A friend and I had dinner in the little Hudson River town of Beacon NY last night, after a day hike on nearby South Beacon Mountain. As luck would have it, Beacon is home to the Retro Arcade Museum. Despite the enticing name, we almost didn’t bother checking it out since it was fairly late, and from a distance the museum appeared to have closed down for the evening. What a mistake that would have been! Inside was the finest collection of classic arcade games, pinball machines, console and handheld games I have ever seen (not that I’ve seen a lot of these, but it was still *very* impressive). The owner, Fred, gave us the grand tour, which includes a hilarious party room in the back dubbed “grandma’s kitchen”, outfitted with yellow formica everything, just like your nana’s — perfect for hosting hipster birthday parties. We didn’t have time to play the games but for ten bucks you can enter the matrix and play anything you want for a full hour. And these are not a bunch of PacMan machines you could find on eBay. Fred has obviously done a lot of homework, and legwork, and acquired a number of very fine examples of early games, including many electro-mechanical ones and first-of-their kinds. It is truly a museum. Of awesome.
Beacon is a 75 minute train ride from Grand Central, and the museum is a one mile walk from the train station. Aside from the museum, Beacon has a number of other cute shoppes and restaurants so this would make an excellent day trip for the whole family. I shall be back.