Pacific Pinball Museum, Alameda

4.7
#4 of 18 in Things to do in Alameda
You'll find over 90 playable machines at Pacific Pinball Museum, dedicated to preserving pinball as an important part of America's distinctive culture. You won't have to fumble for coins once inside this fun and interactive venue--your ticket allows you to play all the machines on display to your heart's content. The family-friendly and educational museum features exhibits about pinball history and evolution, with machines that date all the way back to the 1870s. The oldest machine housed here is a 19th-century Montague Redgrave Parlor Bagatelle, with some modern examples including a 1930s Bally Bumper, seized by the Oakland police during the Prohibition. Make Pacific Pinball Museum part of your personalized Alameda itinerary using our Alameda online journey maker .
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Pacific Pinball Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
88 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Antique to modern pin ball machines, start with the old machines as they are slower and work up to the modern ones. Most all were in good working conditions. There are restaurants in the area if you w...  more »
  • If you have ever played pinball, and you are any where near Alameda/ Oakland area- you have to go visit and enjoy Pacific Pinball Museum. $20 gets you unlimited plays on 99% of all pinball machines al...  more »
  • The staff are awesome, very helpful and friendly, but the ones we spoke to had no knowledge of pinball machines. The cost is good, but only if the machines work, in our case what we chose to play did ...  more »
Google
  • Large variety of pins. Flat fee to play all you want. My kids never wanted to stay more than about 90 minutes, and I am done after about 2 hours. Too many of the machines are older which is cool to see, but most of them are not great to play compared to the machines from the 80s and 90s. Most of the time there are many machines not working., which is annoying if it is your favorite. If they are crowded you will be playing the less desirable pins unless you are willing to wait. update: They have recently changed the layout of the place and it is not as much of a maze to navigate. The staff is friendly and they are definitely trying to keep all the machines working well.
  • I would say this place is awesome, but that doesn't even come close. Friendly staff, and a huge variety of pinball tables from the '40s on up. My 14 and 12 year old girls had a blast. Will definitely visit again soon.
  • A real museum, there are over 100 pinball machines available to play, chronologically arranged from the 40’s to the present (well, the near present.) both Lynn (early afternoon) and Chris (?) (evening) are more than clerks, they are docents; attentive, knowledgeable and helpful. 3 large rooms to play in, plus a rentable party space. No Quarters Required; all machines are open for play; a flat fee of $20each at the door (although we found a free coupon on the library’s Discover and Go Program.) Multiple restrooms and vending machines to take breaks. What a great date! We played 2 hours of (free) pinball, walked a few blocks, shopped, ate appetizers and drank cocktails, walked back and played nearly 3 hours more! No quarters required!
  • Great collection of games. Great staff. Drove all the way from Redding CA on my only day off. It was very full, an oddity according to the staff. Was told they were not selling entry Any more but was kind enough to squeeze me in after I told him about my trip. Loads of fun for a good price.
  • I'm not much of a pinball person and prior to this visit I didn't understand people's fascination with pinball. I came here because I told it was an interesting place to visit and that my kids would have enjoy themselves. After a few hours, I must say I left understanding the appeal and the history behind pinball. It's much too simplistic to say pinball is just mindless entertainment (which it can be) for a time and people long ago. In many ways, pinball is the manifestation of human experience in technology like many of the newer ways in which people entertain themselves and/or take risk (Pokémon Go, bitcoin, etc...) in technology. Did you know pinball was outlawed because it's connections to gambling? Anyway, if in the area Pacific Pinball Museum is a great place to learn a thing or two about Pinball and get a few hours of playing the many pinball machines they have in house. For a flat rate entrance fee you can stay all day. I recommend.
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