There used to be a day not so long ago when you hoarded nickels, dimes and quarters just so you could try to beat the high score on Ms. Pac-Man. Relive the glory days and school your kids in how things are done at one of these winning spots. Read on for our six go-to arcades to have a blast while keeping warm and dry.

three girls playing games

Photo: eantinio82 via Flickr

Ground Kontrol
Share a piece of your own 70s and 80s childhood with the kids while schooling them on some arcade history. An experience unlike any other, Ground Kontrol offers over 90 of the greatest arcade games including TMNT, Star Wars, Tetris, and Mortal Kombat and more! After throwing a few rounds of Paperboy, don’t forget to treat yourself to a Ground Kontrol corndog and Sunkist orange soda float… You deserve it! Make sure to head over well before 5 p.m. as that’s when GK becomes a bar and is adults only.

Hours: open daily 12 p.m. – 2:30 a.m.; all ages until 5 p.m.

511 NW Couch St
Portland, Or
503-796-9364
online: groundkontrol.com

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Photo: Sheena Portrait

Voodoo Doughnuts Too
There are only a couple of arcade games at Portland’s most eclectic doughnut shop but it is well worth the trip. Who wouldn’t want to be stuffing their face with an iconic Tangfastic Voodoo Doughnut while playing a couple rounds of pinball? This is what dreams are made of. And Voodoo is actually open 24/7. Literally. We’re just saying… if you happen to get the hankering to play some games at 3 a.m. because your new baby won’t go back to sleep, Voodoo Too (and we) won’t judge.

Insider tip: cash only; ATM available inside

1501 NE Davis St.
Portland, Or
503-235-2666
online: voodoodoughnut.com

grand central

Photo: Grand Central Bowling

Grand Central Bowling
With twelve grand modern bowling lanes and a full game room on the second floor, Grand Central definitely lives up to its name. These arcade games do cater more to older kids crowd, but it’s also the place for adults who are into the brewery scene. Enjoy a cider and classic America faire while competing against your kid in a games of Pop-a-Shot, ski-ball, air-hockey or X-Games Snowmobiling.

Insider tip: No school on Friday? Treat the kids to a date night with Throwback Thursday. From 8 p.m.- close, Grand Central plays retro music, shows 80s and 90s movies and has all their games at half price!

808 SE Morrison St.
Portland, Or
503-236-2695
online: thegrandcentralbowl.com

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photo: Josh (JG Photography) via Flickr

Pinball Outreach Project
POP has a mission to improve kids lives by sharing the history and love for pinball. This extremely special spot is donation-based charity. When you play their vintage pinball machines, you’re helping children in hospitals, schools and community centers gain access to this classic arcade game. Feel like a mega winner when you leave, no matter what your score was. During varyingset hours, kids 13 and under get to play for free. Check online for schedule details, birthday party packages and summer camp info.

4605 NE Fremont St. Suite 104
Portland, Or
415-857-1POP
online: pinballoutreach.org

John’s Incredible Pizza
Get entertained for hours at John’s Incredible Pizza! This 45,000 square feet haven pulls out all the stops with bumper cars, a famous Twister ride, arcade games and a laser maze. Let’s not forget about the pizza buffet which features a seasonal pizza (the current seasonal pizza is Cheeseburger). Make sure to cash in your tickets at the prize counter before you leave! The extensive wall of toys and games is for all ages.

Insider tip: John’s Incredible Pizza’s honors kiddos rocking good report cards with a program called Accolades for Good Grades. Bring in your report card and receive 10 free Fun World credits with the purchase of a regular buffet. More details are available online.

9180 SW Hall Blvd.
Portland, Or
503-520-0000
online: johnspizza.com/beaverton

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Photo: Jacob Grove via Flickr

Avalon Theatre Wunderland
If you are looking for family entertainment on a budget then Wunderland at the Avalon is a must. Kids 12 and under can enjoy the game room for only $2.40! The game room has classic favorites likes ski-ball, vintage video games, basketball hoops and pinball. Each game takes 1-4 nickels, that’s hours of fun on the cheap! Movies also show daily $2.50 for kids and $3 for adults.

3451 SE Belmont St
Portland, Or
503-238-1617
online: wunderlandgames.com/avalontheatre

Are there other locations in PDX housing entertaining arcade games that we should know about? Drop us a line in the comments!

— Sheena Portrait