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Off Track: Pinball Wizards Unite

Game shrine is open evenings so you can reclaim your crown after the show floor closes

Where can you have fun in Vegas for a quarter without playing the slots? Tim Arnold’s Pinball Hall of Fame Museum. The 4,500 square foot shrine to the beloved arcade game touts the antithesis of the casino environment: windows, clocks and fun for the whole family.

If you can’t remember the last time you played Bally’s Carnival (1963) or Four Million B.C. (1970) but can vividly remember your highest score, the Pinball Hall of Fame is for you.

Arnold says the museum is an attempt on the part of the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club to display the world’s largest collection of machines, including old-school electro-mechanical models like “woodrails” (wooden side rails hold up the top glass) and “wedgeheads” (named for the wedge shape of the scorebox) from the ’50s and ’60s; multi-player EM models from the ’70s; and solid-state designs from 1977 on. (The last of the EM machines were made in 1979.)

Other classic games housed at the PHoF include Gottleib’s Ace High (1957) and Bowling Queen (1964); and more recent characters like Indiana Jones (1993, Williams) and Freddy-Nightmare on Elm Street (Gottleib, 1993) for the kids. And you can feel good about running through a huge pile of quarters: The Pinball Hall of Fame is non-profit so excess revenues go to non-denominational charities.

Admission is free. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and until midnight Friday and Saturday. It’s locaed about three miles from the Strip, about a $20 taxi ride.

Location: 3330 E. Tropicana (Northwest corner of Tropicana and Pecos)