There’s not much to talk about when it comes to Houston. No mountains, no hills, and the closest beach is… well, not what you see in pictures of paradise. I often struggle with telling visitors what to do while they are here. However, there are many gems nestled around the city. I found one particular gem that I am glad is in the city in which I live.
I visited The Game Preserve, located in northwest Houston, this past weekend. It’s filled with classic stand up video arcade games, skee ball, and pinball machines from many generations. I felt like a kid, giddy as I pushed the two-player button as I was transported back to the 10 year old I once was. This time, the second player, was my wife – that didn’t grow up with arcades next to the local TG&Y. The best part, she was having just as much fun as I was.
What makes The Game Preserve so special? This is the best part. The Game Preserve is not a business with a business plan and a loan from a bank. Its a well organized warehouse of classic games. The warehouse was necessary because a group of friends, and collectors, had the machines crowding their own living rooms and garages of their own home. They had to get storage. Acquiring the space is not cheap and requires maintenance. So how could this group of guys help pay for their space? They open it up to members. For a very reasonable membership price, including one-day trial memberships, The Game Preserve is open to you, as long as you like, and all the games are set on free-play. A not-for-profit organization, no quarters required. There are also many member benefits, such as guest passes, and even the opportunity to have the place for the night for you and your friends.
My wife and I spent HOURS there, and time flew as the scores racked up on the skee ball machine, free balls where handed out in pinball, and I destroyed the Death Star multiple times. BYOB is welcome as long as you are responsible. And there is plenty of music on the free-play jukebox.
The Game Preserve is very welcoming, and was a very “make yourself at home” atmosphere you can feel. The popcorn machine pops, and offered as you reach the 3rd intermission on Ms. Pac-Man.
I look forward to many more visits to The Game Preserve with my whole family – it will be a blast for everyone.
Find The Game Preserve on Facebook.