Who has been to the Pinball Hall of Fame?

I have a 3-day weekend in October. Am thinking of going to the Pinball HoF. Never been before. Who here has been? What do I need to know about it? Is October a bad time to go for any reason? It won’t be over Halloween.

If I don’t take advantage of this weekend, my only other 3-day weekend is Labor Day, and I don’t want to go then, because I’m sure Vegas is really crowded then.

This is a weekend when the preschool where I work, and the religious school where I teach will have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off for “Fall break,” but my son does not have Fall break at the same time (a concept that didn’t exist when I was in school, but my summer was a month longer), so I won’t need to be home for him, and he’ll be 12, so he can manage after school by himself until his father gets home.

All I want to see is the Pinball HoF. I want to fly out Sunday morning, stay in the cheapest hotel/motel I can find, take a cab on Monday to the HoF, spend all day there, go back to the hotel, and get either a red-eye, or early morning Tuesday flight back to Indy.

It looks like I can get a roundtrip ticket for under $300. Hotels are pretty cheap too. The whole trip, including cab fare and food, but not including what I spend at the HoF, can be done for under $700.

Is it worth it? How much can I expect to spend at the Hof?

For what it’s worth, I really, really love pinball.

No; it isn’t worth that.

It’s a great place, no doubt. I go there prolly 6-10 times a year for more than an hour each time and I still have the same budget I had 40 years ago: no more than $20.

But it’s not like 1985 Grand Prix Race-O-Rama huge or anything. Tim keeps maybe 8 or 9 dozen machines on the floor representing all eras of pinball, plus about 2 dozen video games (Donkey Kong, Robotron 2084, Defender, Pac-Man, etc.) and a smattering of other old-style arcade games, the kind that were old-timey curiosities even when I was a kid.

If you’re in Las Vegas for a trade show or vacationing, it’s a bargain to take the 4 minute cab ride from the Strip to the Pinball HoF, but it’s not worth a trip all by itself unless, like me, you already live here.

Good advice, thanks. There’s doubtfully any way I will ever be in Las Vegas for any reason. The only time I might ever go there is if I have a stopover on the way to visit my brother in Hollywood, so maybe the next time I happen to be visiting him, I will look for a flight that stops over there. They pop up sometimes, and flights with stopovers are usually cheaper than ones without. If I get lucky, I can get a six- or seven-hour stopover.

Usually, the stopovers are about three hours, or they are the run-through-the airport kind. But if you are actually looking to stay in Las Vegas on purpose, you can arrange a longer one.

Sheeeeeet, who knew there was a pinball HOF? Although should not be a surprise that one exists and it’s in Vegas. Next time I’m stuck in Vegas at some shit trade show, I have something to do. Thanks for highlighting!!!

If you can do that, PM me. If I can, I’ll pick you up at the airport, we can get some food and go play some pinball. I’d be happy to do that for a Doper.

Wow! Thanks!

I have been there a number of times - in fact, I was there in June - but Snowboarder Bo is right; it’s not worth it to fly out, or even drive from LA or Phoenix, to Vegas just for that. It’s nothing more than a very large pinball (and a few old-school video, and one or two other game) arcade. It’s free to get in, but you have to pay to play; it’s anywhere from 25c for the older games to $1 for the new “video backglass” games like “The Wizard Of Oz” and a 1960s TV-based “Batman.”

A lot of cities have similar arcades; most of these charge an admission fee but have the games set on “free play.” You might want to look for one of those in your area first.

In the Bay Area, there’s the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda. Not as big, I think it has 90 machines or so, but it’s definitely worth visiting. It’s not far from the Oakland Airport.

I have decided to go th Vegas anyway on the 14-16. What the hell. I have never been there, because I hate gambling, but a few minutes research have convinced me there is a lot more than gambling.

I am going to the Pinball Hall of Fame, a Penn and Teller show (I have seen them live before, but not since the Clinton administration). I’ll be going alone, but so what? After two years of going to nothing that didn’t have to do with my mother’s death or dying, I am really looking forward to this.

I’m going to rent a bike, and go on a guided bike tour, and then, or course, spend hours and hours in the Pinball Hall of Fame.

If I have some spare time, it seems there are lots of museums there. I’ll pick one (I’ll throw a dart at a set of brochures if I have to), and just go.

Since I’m already renting the bike for the tour, and everything I want to see is withing a mile of my hotel, I might keep the bike the whole two days I’m there (It will depend on weather), and not take cabs. It will be six of one on money, but healthier for me.

The hotel gave me a deal, because I guess it’s a slow weekend. Instead on paying $200 a day, I’m paying $60. My plane fare, with luggage charge, roundtrip, is $300 and change. There’s a fridge in my room, so I can buy some food, and bring some with me, and eat out just a couple of meals, bringing back the leftovers.

I shelled out for the Penn and Teller tickets, but the were still under $100, and that’s what they be if they were in town here. I don’t know what I’ll spend at the Pinball HoF, but it will be worth it.

My mother left me a substantial amount of money, and I have been very careful with it, saving and investing most of it. All I spent was what I spent to pay off a credit card, and pay my insurance in one shot, in order to save money. Plus, we made some repairs to DH’s car.

I decided I really need some time to myself, and this is what I’m doing.

Very much looking forward to it.

And I’ll be able to say I’ve been to Nevada, a state I’ve never been to before. I might ever watch some gambling, even though the thought of it makes my stomach do flip-flops. I definitely won’t actually be doing any gambling. I can’t even buy a lottery ticket. But I might watch.

What does the weather tend to be like there in October? I’m assuming it’s kind of like Indiana in mid-October, which means we can still have pretty warm days, but the nights are cold. So I guess I need to pack a pair of shorts, and pants, as well as something nice to wear to Penn and Teller.

I’m going with only carry-ons. For two days by myself, I can do it. Done it many times before.

Silverball Museum in Delray Beach, Florida has a lot more machines than that.

Just to clarify, Rivkah, you’re thinking October?

I’m hoping to be in Las Vegas in September, but it would be great to play pinball with a fellow aficionado at the Pinball HoF. I’m not sure how flexible I can be on dates, but here’s something to think about:

Las Vegas Dopefest and Pinball Tournament, anyone?

My weekend is inflexible. There’s only one time I can do it, and I already have my ticket.

And frankly, I’m looking for a little solitude. This is a getaway from my life after a year of maternal and filial duties.

But if we do this some other time, I’m up for it. And then, we can look for the best pinball place ever. As someone else mentioned, there is a place in Florida with more machines (albeit, number of machines is not the be all and end all). There ambience, reverence for the game, gamut of historical and modern machines, and soforth.

Daytime in the sun can be quite warm, still in the upper 90s. Shade will be noticeably cooler.

Night time expect to need a light jacket and maybe a lightweight toque outdoors but not much more than that; if you really like shorts you can wear shorts even after dark.

Be aware that any time spent indoors you’ll likely be at about 74F; it’ll prolly feel cool but not uncomfortable thanks to our low humidity, but many people do wear or keep a light jacket or sweater with them at all times (I keep one in my car, for instance).

I was planning to go there but then I got a job and stop practicing.

What hotel are you staying at? Many of the casino hotels add a resort fee each day which can be quite expensive.

Nothing wrong with going to Vegas alone; I do it all the time.

One I can recommend: the Mob Museum, in the old federal courthouse a couple of blocks north of Fremont Street in the downtown area. They even have the actual brick wall from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

That’s the “you’re not staying on a Friday or Saturday” deal. Pretty much every Vegas hotel charges much more on weekends, as a lot of people drive up from Los Angeles on Friday, stay a couple of nights, see a show or two, and drive back on Sunday.

Be warned: check to make sure the room refrigerator is working properly. Either that, or don’t put anything like milk in them. (A lesson learned the hard way.)

And pardon me for asking, but are you sure about those dates? Columbus Day is October 8, not October 15.

It’s got one. It still works out cheaper than most other places. I did the math before I booked.

I guess so.

Will do.

Yes, I’m sure about the dates. It’s what’s called “Fall Break.” Has nothing to do with Columbus Day.

One vote for the Atomic Testing Museum. Fascinating few hours.

I’m in for planning. To be honest, I prolly can’t make it but hope springs eternal.

Oh, no problem. The Pinball HoF is a great place, and you’ll have a lot of fun. If I’m there in September, I’ll warm up the machines for you. :slight_smile:

Given enough lead time, maybe something could be set up, so that as many of us as possible can attend. There are plenty of pinball aficionados here on the SDMB; it makes sense that if we’re going to have a Dopefest that most of us will have to fly into, we have a common interest that we can participate in.