Fargo Pinball is one of the Red River Valley’s best kept secrets. Tucked away in a nondescript office building off of University Drive on the edge of south Fargo’s business district (across the street from the Fargo Cork ‘N Cleaver restaurant, if — like me — you’re Midwestern and using geographical markers is how your brain works), this pinball hideaway flies under the radar.
That’s okay with the enthusiasts who make up Fargo’s members only pinball club. For just $45 a year ($20 to renew), they can play in a comfortable, secure location pretty much any time they want. Fargo Pinball is open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. every day.
Each member gets a key fob like you’d get at a 24-hour gym and can bring guests if they like. Fargo Pinball has nine of the top ten rated pinball games, favorites like Ghostbusters, AC/DC, Star Wars, Super Mario Bros. and Lord of the Rings as well as classics like Whirlwind and Funhouse. (I remember those two from when I was a kid.)
It’s a non-smoking, no alcohol, family-friendly place (the naughtier machines are set to the edited version) and the entrance is secure. There are even boosters for the kiddos, which my toddler appreciated. There are special events and tournaments too.
Every machine costs the same as it did when the game came out, between a quarter and a dollar a play. If you don’t have quarters on you (and who does, in this day and age?) you can pay using the PayRange app on your smartphone. It’s an easy and elegant solution to the modern “I never carry cash” problem.
Here’s my friend Emily showing me how to pay
PayRange also works for the vending machine. My friend Emily (whose husband Bill Brooks owns Fargo Pinball with his brother, Jim Brooks) used PayRange to buy me a a can of pop, because she said there’s really nothing better than an ice cold Orange Crush when you’re playing pinball. (She’s not wrong.)
Fun Fact: The pop machine in Fargo Pinball came from Bill’s frat house at UND (Delta Tau Delta, if you’re curious) and it took some serious MacGyvering to get it back in working order. I’m not gonna lie, I kind of hope this post sparks a frat brothers pilgrimage to Fargo Pinball. That’s a weird and wonderful road trip prompt.
If you want to be a member of Fargo Pinball, I’ve got your hook-up! One lucky winner will score a year-long membership and a sweet Fargo Pinball T-shirt. All you have to do is enter to win using this handy dandy widget thingie. (If you can’t see it on your cell phone, there are additional ways to win listed below.)
Registration ends at midnight (CST) on Tuesday, January 17. This contest is open to adults 18 and older who can access the Fargo Pinball site in Fargo, North Dakota. Like all members, the winner must pass a background check to ensure that the club is safe for everybody.
As with all Prairie Style File contests, you can enter to win multiple times a day by commenting on the blog post below, liking, commenting and sharing on Facebook and/or Retweeting on Twitter. You can do this through the widget above or on your own. Just make sure you tag me (my social media links are listed below) so I can count your entries.
Andrew W.K. is into pinball, sooooooooo….
How about you?
What’s your favorite pinball game?
Where did you play when you were growing up? (Or now!)
Have you ever been to Fargo Pinball?
Why do you want an annual membership pass?
1133 C Harwood Dr S
Bus: Route 14
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