‘Pinball Madness' to Go Full Tilt with 1000+ Machines

It's a major meet-up of bumper buffs and those who love ample amounts of vintage-style free play

What to Know

  • Banning
  • Oct. 18-20, 2019
  • $50 Friday, $65 Saturday, $50 Sunday, $125 three-day pass

How long might it take you to play 1000-plus pinball machines and arcade-awesome games?

Don't sweat it. "That depends" is a fine answer.

If you're going for top score on each one? You'll need several weeks to complete that task. If you don't mind losing a few spaceships or silver balls along the way, you might wrap up the whole enterprise in swift order.

But taking on hundreds and hundreds of pinball and arcade games over the course of Pinball Madness, the three-day free-play extravaganza at the Museum of Pinball in Banning, California, isn't a requirement or even a suggestion.

Rather, you're free to approach whatever free machines you like during the Oct. 18-20 to-do, and try your hand at running up the glowing score on the board as high as it can go.

This annual fall festival o' pball attracts hundreds of aficionados who play one rate (think $50 on Friday or Sunday or $65 on Saturday) to work those flippers or mash those buttons as much as they like.

There's a weekend pass, too, for $125.

Buy that one, and vow to be at the museum every minute it is open for the festival, and you must might come close to your goal of playing all 1,000+ machines in the house.

Or at least a few hundred, surely? You're a pinball wizard, and an arcade queen, and you can weave among the machines as deftly as a small frog weaves in and out of fast traffic.

Small frogs remind us that while vintage games'll be presented and popular at Pinball Madness, new offerings will be in the spotlight. "The two newest Stern pinball machines" will be in play, so if you're eager to try Jurassic Park, LE or Elvira House of Horrors, LE, you know where to go.

Other happenings ding-ding-dinging during the fun include a Halloween Tango Dance on Oct. 19 and a Funhouse Haunted Maze.

But you will need a place to snooze, to keep your flipper-wielding energy up, so find that ASAP, before you go full tilt for this digital-big desert delight.

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