Retro Electric Arcade is Open in Lowell, MI
You’ll have a blast from the past when you visit the new Retro Electric Arcade in Lowell, MI.
The new family-operated facility has taken up residence in the old Fit Body Bootcamp location in the mall next to the GQT Ada-Lowell 5 Movie Theater and is one of the new fun things to do in West Michigan. Maybe even over winter break?
Retro Electric is a free-play arcade and nostalgic retail shop with all the old arcade games you remember (if you were around in the 80’s), awesome pinball machines, and a whole bunch of rad retro toys and collectibles.
My husband’s words after taking our 11 & 17-year-old to play: “It was a lot like going to a friend’s house, you can just jump from one game to the next and it was a lot of fun. They set it up so that it’s easy to enjoy all of the activities and it wasn’t too loud. It was really cool and we had a lot of fun.”
From my mom perspective, it’s really hard to find things that my kids like to do together at this age. We bopped between pinball, foosball, snacks, and getting really competitive over Connect 4 for hours. By the time we left, we were all exhausted in the best way.
What to Expect at Retro Electric Arcade
The game play area consists of the following:
- Pinball Game Section
- Arcade Games
- Mom’s Basement
- Board Game Areas
While the arcade isn’t massive (I counted 8 pinball machines on the floor), the new owners have captured the vibe of the 80s and 90s in the most inviting way.
I loved the cassette tape counter, the VHS-themed-wall paper, and of course, Mom’s Basement!
Here’s how Retro Electric describes the Mom’s Basement section of the arcade:
“It’s Friday night in the ’80s. Your mom got a new couch so the old one got moved down to the basement and now you have the raddest hangout on the block. You and your friends are about to fire up the NES for some Paperboy. Your buddy Cody’s gonna bring over some Dominos and you’re going to stay up until your eyeballs are burning.
This is Mom’s Basement. Tucked in the back corner of the arcade, we have original NES and SNES systems and some sweet games that’ll bring you back. And we even have that old couch your mom hated but you totally loved.”
Some standouts from my childhood that I found on the arcade floor:
- Pac-Man & Ms. Pac-Man
- Donkey Kong
Their game supply isn’t limited to that, though. A quick check of the Retro Electric website reveals the full list of games they own – with a note that “Not every single game will be on the floor at all times, and we will be continuously adding new games to our lineup.”
PINBALL GAME NOTE
The owners were amused, and a little surprised, to find that many players were new to pinball and didn’t realize that you get three balls per game.
Players were playing one ball, thinking the game was over and moving on. So now each pinball machine has a little sign letting you know to expect three balls per game.
Foosball & Board Games
Foosball and board games provide an analog alternative to the electronic games in the arcade.
They’re accessible and fun and create just the right vibe at this hangout destination.
Food & Drink
Food & Drink is allowed ONLY if purchased onsite.
They have a nice selection of craft sodas, candy, and chips for you to choose from in-house.
If you do get a snack, only eat in the designated areas and don’t set the drinks on games. Some of their machines are over 40 years old and need all of the TLC they can get.
If you plan on staying over a meal, an Arby’s restaurant (2143 W Main St, Lowell, MI 49331) shares the parking lot with Retro Electric Arcade and is within walking distance. This Arby’s is closed for dine-in eating at the moment though, so you may find yourself lunching in your vehicle.
While small, this unique retail shop is like no other. They did a great job of filling the shelves with authentic merch from days gone by, along with a mix of new yet relevant games and other things that will transport your mind to days gone by.
This is the stuff you haven’t seen in years but will definitely bring you back!
If you’d just like to shop, you’re welcome to stop in and shop without paying admission to the arcade.
Can I Drop Off My Kids?
First of all, don’t write yourself out of this script! I’m not a huge game person but I found myself having a blast hanging out with my family and it wasn’t hard. I just needed to be present and willing to engage. I’m glad I went.
If you are looking for a place your teens can hang out and have a good time together, this is an awesome option.
Retro Electric Arcade’s Kid Policy:
Ages 12 and under need to be accompanied by an adult in the arcade at all times. Ages 13 and up are allowed to be in the arcade unsupervised but are expected to abide by our rules. Retro Electric Arcade is not responsible for the care or supervision of children using our facilities, nor is it responsible if children leave our property unattended. We reserve the right to alter this policy.
WHAT’S A FREE PLAY ARCADE?
No need to bring a pocketful of quarters to Retro Electric Arcade because ALL of the games are set to free play!
Pay admission when you arrive at the front desk and get a wristband. From that point on, you’re good to play as many games as you want for as long as you want that day.
Everyone in the arcade area needs to pay admission. At the moment, admission is $12 per person for an all-day pass.
Kids 5 and under FREE with paid admission.
Winter Break Holiday HOURS
Dec. 22 & 23: Noon-9pm
Dec. 24 & 25: CLOSED
Dec. 26: Noon-6pm
Dec. 27–Jan. 1: Noon-9pm
Jan. 2: Noon-6pm
Normal hours begin January 3, 2022
Monday & Tuesday: Closed
More West Michigan Retro Arcade Fun
If you want to take your retro arcade fun on the road, consider these cool West Michigan destinations:
- Pinball Land in Rockford, MI
- Rocket Arcade in South Haven, MI
- Klassic Arcade in Gobles, MI
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