Under-the-radar spots to play Skee-Ball, pinball and other retro arcade games on Long Island
Retro video games are hot. People want to play in the past with classic titles like Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, Centipede and Pac-Man. The focus is not on home consoles but rather arcade cabinets.
"Parents love the throwback element and they introduce these games to their kids who enjoy the simplicity," says Seamus Keane, curator of the "Arcade Age" exhibit and director of special events at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City. "They see these original game cabinets and the visual immediately draws them in. What’s old is new again."
Here are 11 places on Long Island where you can find Skee-Ball, NBA Jam, Galaga and more to get your game nostalgia fix:
RARE VIDEO GAMES AT A MUSEUM
The Cradle of Aviation in Garden City has reopened its "Arcade Age" exhibit featuring over 60 video game cabinets including the first-ever coin-operated game, Computer Space, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, plus other rare titles like Pong, Super Breakout and Sinistar. Currently open Saturday and Sundays for three sessions 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. (90 minutes each — $10 per session).
INFO Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Garden City; 516-572-4111, cradleofaviation.org
COIN MACHINES AT A FLEA MARKET
Head over to the Tri-County Flea Market in Levittown where Retro Games & Toys of LI sells, buys and trades old-school video games for Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Atari, Sega Genesis, PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and GameCube. Then go into the basement where there are more than 15 coin-operated machines to play ranging from Dance Dance Revolution to Fast & Furious to Cruis'n USA.
INFO 3041 Hempstead Turnpike, Mezzanine Level, Levittown; 516-450-5357, facebook.com/retrogamesandtoysofli, facebook.com/Tri-County-Flea-Market-344774561220
PAC-MAN AT A PIZZERIA
Hungry but still have the urge to get in the game? Grab a slice of grandma pie and play Ms. Pac-Man or Donkey Kong at Pappalardo’s Pizza Cove in Massapequa with a few quarters.
INFO 1079 Hicksville Rd., Massapequa; 516-731-0015, pappalardos.com
SUPER MARIO IN A MOBILE TRAILER
Bring the video game cabinets to you as Metrocade of West Babylon will deliver a trailer to your property ($500 — 90 minutes, $550 — 120 minutes, $650 — 180 minutes) containing 14 retro titles including Dig Dug, Operation Wolf, Super Mario and Street Fighter II.
INFO 631-465-9911, metrocadeny.com
SKEE-BALL AT A BAR
Standard Rec turns the clock back at this new '70s-, '80s- and '90s-themed bar/eatery in Patchogue. In between sips of craft cocktails like The Quint (lavender simple syrup, coconut Red Bull, tequila, grenadine in a fish bowl) and bites of Asian Fusion appetizers (General Tso’s cauliflower), play some Skee-Ball, NBA Jam and NFL Blitz. Charge $5 on your credit card for 20 quarters.
INFO 49 E. Main St., Patchogue; 631-730-8100, facebook.com/stndrec
PINBALL AT A RETAIL STORE
Shop for some retro games at Video Game Trading Post in Massapequa and have a pinball experience in the process. Bring in your quarters to get a turn on the Iron Man or Black Knight 2000 pinball machines in the store for $1 plays.
INFO 1 Sunrise Mall, Massapequa; 516-666-0712, vgtp.com
SPACE INVADERS AT AN AMUSEMENT PARK
Guests of Adventureland in Farmingdale cannot only enjoy the rides but participate in the park’s arcade featuring over 65 video game titles like Jurassic Park, Cruis’n Blast, Walking Dead plus modern versions of Pac-Man and Space Invaders with LED lights and jumbo screens. Players use a cashless system by purchasing points on a card ($1 = 4 points, games vary 1-12 points). Park admission ($44.99 box office, $29.99 online) essential for entry.
INFO 2245 Broadhollow Rd., Farmingdale; 631-694-6868, adventureland.us
VIDEO GAME CABINETS AT A RESTAURANT
A new video game-themed restaurant Arcadia Retro Eats is opening in Levittown at the end of the month. A comfort food menu designed by Executive Chef Brian Duffy ("Bar Rescue") will be paired with coin-fed video game cabinets such as Mortal Kombat and Galaga plus Super Chexx bubble hockey.
INFO 2890 Hempstead Turnpike, Levittown; 516-899-5309, facebook.com/ArcadiaRetroGrubLevittown/
ARCADE AT AN ICE CREAM PARLOR
Enjoy a cone of homemade ice cream flavors like banana split, chocolate fudge brownie and vanilla peanut butter at Beaches & Cream Soda Shoppe in Bayville while playing an assortment coin games like Hot Wheels King of the Road, DC’s Injustice Arcade, Aliens Extermination or Skee-Ball at the Arcade of Amusements inside.
INFO 8 Bayville Ave., Bayville; 516-624-7433, bayvilleadventurepark.com
GAMES AT A CANDY STORE
Dive into vintage candies like Turkish Taffy, Peanut Chews, candy buttons, Razzles, Necco wafers and Pop Rocks at Carl’s Candies in Northport while playing a few rounds on the old school Ghostbusters pinball machine ($1, 4 balls per play) featuring the voices of comedic actors Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.
INFO 50 Main St., Northport; 631-651-8699, carlscandies.com
PINBALL AT A MALL
Take a break while shopping at the Westfield South Shore Mall to play some pinball at High Score Pinball Arcade where there’s over 40 machines like Home Run, "Last Action Hero" and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to choose from as well as several video games (Tetris, NFL Blitz ’99, NBA Hangtime). Pay to play per half-hour ($10) or hour ($15) or get an all-day pass ($25).
INFO 1701 Sunrise Hwy., Bay Shore; 631-358-2319, highscorepinball.com