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Nickel! Nickel! Arcade: Worth the Drive
Remember when arcade games only cost a nickel? Of course you don’t. You’re way too young for that. But apparently once they did and today still do at Nickel! Nickel! Arcade in Huntington Beach. Unlike the torturous arcades you’re used to, where games cost at least a quarter and $20 barely satiates your kid’s game fix, this arcade lets you get out for way under and with a much happier experience for parent and child.
Located in an unassuming strip mall, there’s plenty of free parking. There is an entry fee to the arcade of $1.95 per person, whether you play or not. At the cash register where you pay your fee you can also trade in your bills for a bag of pre-measured nickels in a Ziploc bag in a number of denominations up to $10. This makes it crazy easy to give each kid (and in my case, myself) their own bag of coins to use and carry. It also makes it easy for them to see how many they have left. No running to you for more or complaining they ran out.
One Yelp review accused this arcade of being where Chuck E. Cheese games go to die, but I didn’t find that to be the case at all. There are a huge variety of games from Skeeball to basketball, Plinko to Deal or No Deal. It’s impossible to go wrong with ten cent Skee Ball, which most arcades feature for a quarter or two per game. My kids each got $10 bags of nickels and that kept them busy for a solid 90 minutes. Many of the games are generous with their ticket rewards and there is a large wall of toys and candy to choose from when you finally cash in. Included on the wall is a large section of inflatables which, if you accumulate enough tickets to earn one, they will inflate for you on site. They’re that good.
I was quite happy to wander with the kids and play too, but there’s also a row of chairs, a flat screen T.V. and free WiFi when you enter the arcade that many parents took advantage of. There’s no food to purchase on site but there is a delivery pizza menu posted and a variety of drinks are available for purchase behind the counter.
Nickel! Nickel! Arcade also offers very affordable and fun party packages starting at $8.50 per child that include goody bags, invitations, a party manager and extra coins for the birthday child. The party room is right off the arcade to make supervision easy and is already festively decorated.
This arcade is a fun family and budget friendly alternative to your regular arcade experience. It’s worth the drive on it’s own but is also near many other worthwhile destinations and close to a variety of restaurants and shopping opportunities.
Contributed by Susanna Morgan, who while utterly professional on MomAngeles, uses Not June as her forum to “let the pearls come off.”