Women playing pinball at Pinball Garage in Hamilton (photo courtesy of Travel Butler County)

5 Old-School Arcades in Ohio

Whether you love the kinetic thrill of pinball or the beeps and blips of ’80s arcade favorites, these spots are loaded with retro fun.

Pinball Garage, Hamilton: While looking for a warehouse for his digital-pinball-machine manufacturing business, Pinball Garage owner Brad Baker decided to open an arcade in this former Goodyear tire store. Since 2020, the all-ages entertainment venue has welcomed parents and kids alike to enjoy a selection of over 40 pinball machines and arcade games. The arcade has a full bar for the 21-and-over crowd as well as food-menu choices sure to please the little ones. facebook.com/pinballgarage

Superelectric Pinball Parlor, Cleveland: A love for pinball spurred three artists to move their collection of classic machines from Cleveland’s 78th Street Studios to a corner building in the Gordon Square Arts District in 2015. Superelectric Pinball Parlor has since become a spot where people can enjoy a drink while playing casual or competitive pinball. The owners’ art backgrounds are a clear influence on the place, evidenced by the fun decor and shuffleboard-table bar top. superelectric.tv

People playing pinball at Past Times Arcade (photo courtesy of Past Times Arcade)
Past Times Arcade, Girard: Past Times Arcade owner Rob Berk’s lifelong passion for collecting pinball machines manifested as a more than 600-game arcade he opened inside a former grocery store in 2023. Visitors can play the hundreds of machines — ranging from retro arcade games of the 1970s and ’80s to classic pinball machines as well as favorite versions from the ’90s such as The Simpsons and The Addams Family — for only $20 a day. pasttimesarcade.com

Old North Arcade, Columbus: In 2015, Benjamin Morgan opened Old North Arcade in Columbus’ Old North neighborhood, hoping to re-create the the arcade boom of the ’80s and ’90s. The collection here includes retro arcade cabinets, pinball machines, rare Japanese rhythm games and digital consoles like Nintendo and PlayStation — all of which are free to play while enjoying a drink. The 21-and-over venue serves a variety of craft beers and cocktails with playful names such as Save the Princess. oldnortharcade.com

Toledo Pinball, Toledo: Northwest Ohio-based amusement company Toledo Pinball began in 2019 with just a few pinball machines and a partnership with the local pub The Basement. Today, the company has joined forces with other local businesses and added dozens of games to its collection, which is shared among The Basement and four other locations. Toledo Pinball’s goal was to bring a competitive pinball scene to the region, and it regularly hosts tournaments and leagues. toledopinball.com