In the course of my obsessive guidebook-scouring, I ran across Arcade Amusements, and it was immediately added to our "must-do" list. So upon arrival in Colorado Springs, we checked into our hotel and drove the short distance into Manitou Springs to this incredible penny arcade.
"Arcade" is really a misnomer since this place really occupies several spaces of Manitou Springs.
And really, it's more museum than arcade because there are hundreds of antique machines here, most of them fully functional.
And yes, there were some games that only cost a penny!
We had a lot of fun trying out some of the quirky old games.
Some of them, like this shooting game, seemed way ahead of their time. Check out those 3-D figures you could hit! (Click on the picture for a better look.)
The artwork and wooden cabinetry were fascinating to see.
Of course, we had fun with the standards, too:
I recognized this pin from the Texas Pinball Festival .
This room was dedicated to a multiplayer horse racing game that looked like it'd come from a carnival or amusement park. So cool.
Another room had pool tables and air hockey amid the video games.
We spent a couple of hours playing games and just looking around at all the games spread out over this city block. The kids and Brett had a blast, roaming from room to room. They could've stayed there all night!
What was I doing all this time? Well, mostly I kept hitting "refresh" on my phone to check Twitter updates to see how the Horns were doing in the College World Series. Texas was one win away from the championship series, so as my family played, I wandered around the arcade, following the near-real-time tweets from those at the game. And when the Horns hit two homeruns in the bottom of the ninth to win the game, I had a hard time suppressing my excitement!
Besides that, I tried to document all these games, amazed to see them all assembled in one place.
Considering our family's love affair with games and my husband's line of work, it's no surprise that we found ourselves back at Arcade Amusements the next afternoon.
(Notice the jacket. Brett and I were wearing jackets. In June! We LOVE that Colorado weather!)
This wall had several penny machines like this strength tester.
We had fun with this Career Pilot game. Put in your dime, spin the wheel, and then see your fate! So what did the Career Pilot choose for my destiny?
This baseball game looked like a pinball machine, but players would swing a bat to propel the ball toward the targets (single, double, triple, HR, out). Fun stuff!
This basketball game was crazy hard! You were supposed to shoot the ball (which was like a ping pong ball) past the defender, but it was really hard to get the timing just right.
Manitou Springs has all kinds of quirky shops, clubs and restaurants, but we saw very little of them. Arcade Amusements got all of our time—along with our quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies!
A teacher is a form of a dictator, right?
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