Silver Ball Museum Arcade

Image By Rebecca Angel
Image By Rebecca Angel

Ding! Whap! Whap! Ding! Ding! Whap!

“Awww….right down the middle.”

END GAME.

“Play again!”

Image By Rebecca Angel

While on vacation on the Jersey Shore, my family and I checked out the Silver Ball Museum Arcade in Asbury Park. It was clean, well-lit, and you paid $10 an hour for unlimited play on dozens and dozens of pinball machines dating from the 1930s on, and in working order!

We wandered around, each trying different games, all failing to get a decent score, but who cares? It was fun. I enjoyed a wooden and metal game from the fifties that launched a tiny baseball, and you hit it with a bat at different speeds to knock down “runs” flags. After a bit, I got the hang of it.

Image By Rebecca Angel

My husband and I tried out the two-person pinball machine that dips to one side or the other after each score, plus, your buttons are connected to two sets of flippers that act as offense and defense. A challenge.

They also had air-hockey and Skee-Ball. They were ancient machines–a couple with no electronic displays, just cards that would click over a number as you made your score, with smooth and heavy wooden balls. So cool and vintage.

Image Rebecca Angel

I spent half my time reading the signs over each game that gave a little history: How many machines were made of this type, any special features, movie tie-ins, history of game significance, etc. I kept finding my family members to tell them some interesting fact, and asked if they had found anything. “Mom, no one reads those signs but you.” Right. History nerd here.

It’s a good way to spend an hour on a hot or rainy afternoon on the beach. If you’re in that area, I recommend you check out the Silver Ball Museum Arcade.

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Rebecca Angel was one of those kids that put the dragon book on top of her pile in the hopes that someone would say, "Hey, I'm into that stuff too!" Alas, she had to wait until she was an adult to find fellow geeks. Luckily, she married one and their kids are too. Rebecca is a lover of tea, science literacy, music, funky tights, RPGs, anime, manga, comics, fantasy books and movies.