One of my favorite places in my home region of the San Francisco Bay Area is the Pacific Pinball Museum. While it is so incredibly interactive that it is easy to forget that it is a museum, it is a museum dedicated to the history of pinball and all that it entails.
Cost of admission for adults is $15 and half that for under 16s, and includes free play on approximately a hundred pinball machines for the duration of opening hours that day. The pinball machines range from antique (the oldest of them are on display only, no play on these machines) to the most modern. While there is no food or drink inside the museum, people are welcome to leave to buy food, and then come back and play some more.
When one first enters the museum, they will be in a room full of very old pinball games. These games are largely games of chance - smaller flippers and larger open spaces between and next to the flippers for the ball to fall out of the game. The themes of these games are quite entertaining - one of my favorites is a tic-tac-toe game. The tic-tac-toe game requires the player to select x's and o's on a game board, using only flippers to get the ball to hit the selector. All the games in this section are also entirely mechanical, and take a dedicated effort on behalf of the owners and staff to keep running.
Then there are the more modern games, often based off of movies and tv shows. One of my favourite "modern" games is a Doctor Who one, featuring all of the Doctors from the original series. In this game you choose a particular Doctor to play as, and get certain power-ups depending on who you choose to play as.
Enhancing the already great atmosphere of Pacific Pinball are the juke boxes. Several of the rooms at the venue have juke boxes in them, with music befitting the era that the games in that room are from. Like the pinball machines, these machines are on free-play.
Like any great museum, you can also get a tour. The staff of Pacific Pinball are more than happy to give you a run down on the machines, the art used, and how the machines physically work. Basically, it's a quick and fun way to learn the history of pinball.
While the sounds of pinball and the music on the juke boxes make for a very loud experience, I'd still recommend coming here with a group of friends - I mean, while it is fun to play all on your own, it is even more fun to play multi-player and try to get the best score of your group.
So for a fun (And educational!) day out - even if it isn't rainy - Go to Pacific Pinball.