Florida Travel: Riding the Wave of Nostalgia at the Silverball Museum

Who can resist the bygone pleasures of pinball, Pac-Man and Donkey Kong at the Silverball Museum in Delray Beach?

  The moment I stepped into Delray Beach’s Silverball Museum, a wave of nostalgia hit me. And I wasn’t alone. I turned to my friend, whom I’d convinced to drive across the state with the promise of pinball, Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, and his eyes were wide. “Tron! Centipede!” he said. “I love these games.” Suddenly, the man I had walked in with was 12 years old. With 88 pinball games from the 1950s to 2000s, arcade video games from the ’80s and ’90s, plus a skee-ball set built in 1954, the Silverball Museum is a ringing, clinking, jangling monument to bygone fun. I was just getting the hang of Centipede when my friend pulled me by the hand. “Come on,” he said. “We’ve got more to play.” We left the ’80s video games behind in favor of pinball, working our way down the line and through the decades until we ended up at the 1990s, a time that was, arguably, the heyday of pinball machines. One of the best parts about the Silverball Museum is that visitors pay by the hour or by the day, and an entrance wristband comes with unlimited play. So, no quarters required. We parked ourselves in front of a pair of pinball machines and stayed there easily for half an hour, clicking the flippers in rapid fire, cheering when a ball made a chaotic turn around the playfield and moaning when it slipped straight down the outlane. I’m no pinball wizard, but I played some mean machines in my day
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