Got kids who love games? Get them off whatever mobile device they’re playing and take them to one of these spots, most of which harken back to a time when getting a pixelated frog across a freeway was the pinnacle of gaming success. Whether your’e a pinball pro or a dedicated video gamer, you’ll find something to play at one of these awesome arcade and game museums across the U.S.

Arcadia: America’s Playable Arcade Museum – McLean, Il

Put your hair in a side ponytail and pull out your legwarmers. America's Playable Arcade Museum, located just off historic Route 66 in the tiny Midwestern town of McLean (population 836!), pays homage to the decade that made Pac-Man popular. Owner John Yates designed the museum to look like a 1980s arcade, and you'll find all the expected classics including Galaga, Tron, and Qbert—as well as a selection of pinball machines from the 1970s to the 1990s. 

Insider Tip: Don't have a place to crash in McLean? Spend the night at Yates' next-door B&B, which is decked out with its own mini-arcade, a flat-screen TV, and a vintage pinball machine.

Onlinevintagevideogames.com

photo: America's Playable Arcade Museum via Yelp.

 

  • Pacific Pinball Museum - Alameda, Ca
  • The Pinball Hall of Fame - Las Vegas, Nv
  • Museum of Math - New York, Ny
  • American Classic Arcade Museum - Laconia, Nh
  • Arcadia: America’s Playable Arcade Museum - McLean, Il
  • National Videogame Museum - Frisco, Tx
  • Pinball PA - Pittsburgh, Pa
  • The Strong - National Museum of Play - Rochester, Ny
  • Interactive Museum of Gaming and Puzzelry - Beaverton, Or
  • The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment - Oakland, Ca
  • Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum - Simi Valley, Ca

 

Have you been to one of these game museums? Share with us in a comment below!

—Melissa Heckscher