Banning

Pinball Buffs Will Play 500+ Machines in Banning

The Museum of Pinball only opens for public play on rare occasions.

Museum of Pinball

What to Know

  • Museum of Pinball
  • Jan. 9-12
  • $50-$60, depending on day; free play on 500+ machines

Maybe the holiday season had you bumping around, from this place to that other place to another place beyond that one. Maybe you felt like you were constantly going to roll down a drain or get stuck in hole.

And being sent backwards, away from where you wanted to be? It happens during the hectic holidays.

We've all felt as though we're inside a pinball machine from time to time, but your chance to play the master of the bumpers and flippers and other components of the classic game are coming up, from Jan. 9-12, in Banning.

For the Museum of Pinball, that mega repository of both vintage and newer games, will opening up for the Open IFPA World Championship.

That means that some of the best pinballers around will be rocking the flippers, but anyone can stop by to watch the action or try their hand at a few of the machines during the INDISC Pinball Festival, which will be flipping out at the same time.

And there are rows and rows of machines to choose from, making the prospect of alighting upon one both difficult and delightful.

Maybe you'll go with the machine you haunted during high school, the one that was down at the local convenience store? Yeah, you probably should.

Entry runs from $50-60 per day, depending on when you go, but check it out: The pinball machines are set to free play, and there'll be a "small selection of classic video games" available to enjoy for free, too.

So, nope: You don't need to stroll the aisles with a bunch of quarters jangling in your pocket, though if you want to, you can, just as a nostalgic nod to how you used to approach the pinball machines when you were a kid.

You'll leave with those quarters, and probably a sense that you've been through a time travel tunnel, a route that took you back to the afternoons of your youth, when you were full of beef jerky, orange soda, and high hopes for taking the high score on your favorite machine.

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