Gatlinburg and the Smokies at large are just as well known for off-the-beaten-path attractions as we are for the rollercoasters, distilleries, candy stores, hiking trails and other mainstream options. If you want to see Goats on a Roof, we’ve got it in the Smokies. If you want to go see thousands of salt and pepper shakers in one place, we’ve got it in the Smokies. Want to go see a museum dedicated to, of all things, the Titanic ship? We’ve got in the Smokies. Want to see some old-school vaudeville theater? We’ve got in the Smokies!
Despite catering to a very general audience of all shapes, sizes, ages and then some, we do have some pretty niche interests that could be worth your time to check out all the same usually in the form of museums. We have a museum for aforementioned Titanic ship, we have a museum for the aforementioned salt and pepper shakers, we have a museum for not-yet-mentioned old school synthesizers and now we have a museum for pinball games in Gatlinburg, TN.
That pinball museum is the most recent addition to the growing selection of niche attractions here and we’d like to take a moment to introduce it to you!
205 Historic Nature Trail
Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738
The Gatlinburg Pinball Museum is located next to the Space Needle and Zip Gatlinburg on Airport Road/Historic Nature Trail just up from Bubba Gump Shrimp and across the street from the Gatlinburg Convention Center. It’s actually in the same building as the Headcase Escape Games and adds another interesting dimension to their business there. The Gatlinburg Pinball Museum is more than just a place to look at a growing collection of rare pinball machines, it’s also where you can play all those rare pinball machines with the purchase of an all-day pass. $15 to see and play pinball machines that I will never get the opportunity to see and play elsewhere until closing time? That’s a “sign me up!” declaration if ever I made one.
From their website:
“Largest Collection of Pinballs & Retro Games in the Smokies”
“The history of a museum meets the fun of an arcade – The best kind of museum is one where you can play with the exhibits. Our goal is to give our guests a fun, informative experience by sharing our love and passion for pinball. Our collection includes mostly Limited Editions from both modern times and dating back to the 1960’s!
Some of our pinballs include:
- Medieval Madness
- Attack From Mars
- Lord of the Rings
- Dialed In
- The Addams Family Gold Edition
- The Walking Dead,
- The 1965 classic Gottlieb Sky-Line
- and many more!
Located off the Parkway on Historic Nature Trail, just past the Space Needle. Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for children age 10 & under.”
Furthermore, an article on the extremely enticing museum by Knoxnews.com offers some more information: “The museum features several rare games like Ready Aim Fire, which only had 390 units produced in 1983, and Gottlieb’s Sky-Line, which Shropshire also said “is very rare.” There are also limited-edition Jurassic Park, Aerosmith and Spiderman pinball games. Shropshire said the museum is also currently trying to get a Hercules pinball machine, “the largest pinball ever.”
Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for children under the age of 10, and includes unlimited play on all games in the museum. Shropshire said all of the games are set to “free play,” so visitors can stay as long as they want. “The cool thing about pinballs is there’s not just a game,” Shropshire said. “There’s geometry, there’s electronics, there’s engineering and artistry.” In addition to pinball machines, Shropshire said there are also retro arcade games like Street Fighter 2 and Dragon’s Lair 2, which was featured in season two of “Stranger Things” on Netflix.”
It’s been a long time since we had an arcade with this much classic gaming stuff in it in the Smokies and with retro gaming continuing its rise in the mainstream, we’re greatly looking forward to how it will develop. Go check it out!