Need a bit of nostalgia for your vacation? After you’ve enjoyed the history and architecture of the Grove Arcade, cross the street to the Asheville Pinball Museum and lose yourself in video games that are far from hand held. With thirty-five machines ranging from 1966 to 2016 -Was I the only one not aware that they still made pinball machines in 2016?- this place is a gamer nerd paradise. This nerd was one happy kid walking inside, though I refuse to confess to how many hours I actually spent immersed in playing Star Trek: The Next Generation. Note: It was an embarrassing amount.
A day pass for unlimited play ranges from ten to thirteen dollars and people are surprisingly thoughtful when it came to being aware if someone else wanted a turn at the machine. Though it was rather crowded when I went, the unlimited nature of the play really made the wait worth it. Their website does recommend you call ahead to verify how long the wait is, especially if you’re going to come on a weekend.
This wasn’t just an arcade, it was an experience. Want to know the history of a particular machine? There are helpful placards located in strategic locations throughout the the long hall and if you have additional questions, the staff are well educated on the subject. Another thing I enjoyed about the museum is that, unlike most museums, this one lets you take pictures. Tourists, go nuts and pose with your favorite machines to share with relatives back home.
Need a beverage while you play? They have water, soda, and beer available at the nifty bar toward the center of the museum. Don’t want to wait in line? Throw a party for 20 of your closest friends at an after hours shindig all of your own. Love the games you’re playing? Most are available for purchase for budgets between seven hundred and several thousand dollars. The Asheville Pinball Museum is surprisingly accommodating for all your pinball gaming needs.
Children of the 80s will be especially appreciative of this place but that’s not to say the younger generation won’t enjoy the nostalgia of these machines. However, I wouldn’t recommend bringing the little ones under ten. The last thing you want is for little people to be unable to reach or coordinate the controls and end up getting bored. This is more of a ten and over sort of party and you’re invited for a rather inexpensive cover fee.
Since they’re open six days a week, it’s easy to fit a visit into a vacation schedule. Come explore Asheville’s most unique museum and consider bringing home a bit of pinball history for yourself. Have a favorite pinball game or Asheville Pinball Museum memory? We’d love to hear about it!


Asheville Pinball Museum

1 Battle Square, Suite 1B. Asheville, NC 28801

Star Trek Pinball
Ashvelle Pinball Museum

Asheville Pinball Museum

1 Battle Square, Suite 1B

Asheville, NC 28801