Manitou Springs Penny Arcade – Manitou Springs, Colorado - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Manitou Springs, Colorado

Manitou Springs Penny Arcade

While most of the games in this arcade take quarters, that would have been a small fortune when they were made. 

For something to be described as amazing when it’s nestled beneath the very mountain that inspired “America the Beautiful” it has to be pretty special and the Manitou Springs Penny Arcade is just that: special. 

It has a couple hundred games ranging from working penny pinball machines and Mutoscopes to modern arcade-box games and 12-player mechanical horse-racing. The setup is a true arcade and meanders over a full block, in all directions. Souvenir and snack shops are peppered between small rooms of arcade machines. Coin-operated kiddie rides have a pavilion in the center of the arcade. Bring all your coins, from pennies to quarters.

When visiting, be sure to check out the photos above the games in the penny arcade for a pictorial history of the arcade in its very early days. Seeing how little things have changed, from the lattice on the ceiling to the creaky wood floors underfoot, is as much of a treat as getting a handful of tickets playing Skee-Ball. The Manitou Springs Penny Arcade is a historical treasure that has to be seen in all of its summer-night, twinkling-lights, cotton-candy-scented glory to be believed. There are several different rooms where you can play games, each with its own environment. Some of the games date back to 1900. 

Know Before You Go

Just off Manitou Ave., between the Royal Tavern and La Chemere. Bring coins. Several change machines dispensing quarters are scattered through the arcade, but many machines still take pennies, nickels and dimes. For travelers with small children, the arcade contains 80 coin-operated rides that cost 25 or 50 cents and are accessible 24 hours a day.  The rides are installed around the other arcade buildings and range from The Batmobile to a pink elephant that has likely been in place for a while given it's 10 cents per ride sign.