Frogger. Pac Man. Burger Time. If these names mean anything to you, then you're a member of the generation that grew up with fantastic arcade games. As my sons conquer the world of home and hand-held video games, my husband and I recall pumping quarters into standing machines to beat the record holder. Recently we discovered a place where we could step back in time and introduce our sons to the original world of gamers.
Galloping Ghost Arcade in west suburban Brookfield caters to arcade enthusiasts, young and old, with more than 200 lovingly restored arcade games. From Asteroids to Tron, you can make your way through the rows of machines, competing against other players or just reliving old memories. It's truly a tween boy's paradise. My 10-year-old's eyes popped out at the sheer number of choices. After just one visit, he asked, "Next time, could you just drop off me and some friends?" Meanwhile, my husband suggested we make our next trip a date so he could focus on playing.
Galloping Ghost has wisely made all of the machines "free play." So instead of carrying pockets full of quarters, customers pay a flat rate of $15 each for unlimited play. Since you can easily get lost in playing games for a few hours, it turns out to be a great price. They also offer private party rooms with giant screens. For a flat hourly rate, you can bring in your own food and drink and play Wii, PlayStation or XBox games to your heart's content. Each room is an ideal "man cave" for any age.
Be aware before you go, this is not a kid-safe zone. Video games are not rated, so your child can find Fatal Fury 3 next to Ms. Pac Man. You may also want to eat before you go, as refreshment options are limited to pop and candy.
For those of us who delight in gaming (old-school or new), Galloping Ghost fits the bill.
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.