The Arcade opens in Aylesbury tomorrow! It’s part of the brand new Stay and Play that is opening in the Hale Leys shopping centre. The soft play doesn’t open for another few weeks but the arcade is all ready to open. I’m very excited about this place as it reminds me a lot of the arcades we visit on our holidays! Trust me, that’s a good thing. We don’t do crap arcades in our house. We were invited along to a sneak peek event tonight to have a look around and a play.
I know we already have an arcade of sorts in Aylesbury, but The Arcade is specifically family friendly. Supervised children will be allowed, there are no slot machines or any hard core gambling. It’s purely machines for entertainment.
What machines do they have at The Arcade Aylesbury?
It’s not a huge arcade, but they’ve packed a lot of machines in, without it being too overcrowded. They actually have 48 machines apparently and there’s a good range. You’ve got the usual grab machines (does anyone EVER win on those??), there’s a bowling game, basketball game and a couple of other throwing games. I’d not realised how much hard work it is shooting hoops, but I did quite well. Even the kids were impressed. They’ve also got the new versions of old classics like Pac Man and Space Invaders. There’s a Nerf arcade (turns out I’m actually very good at this one), Mario Kart and a very cool looking Star Wars battle pod. Sadly that was very popular so we didn’t get chance to have a go. There’s also air hockey and several other machines that I couldn’t begin to explain to you what they are, but I’m sure they were fun.
The Jurassic Park game was a MASSIVE hit with the boys. I swear they would have stayed in there for hours if they could! Another favourite with us was the driving machines. The boys spent a long time on the bikes but we all really liked the cars. It’s really immersive and I actually felt slightly giddy at one stage when going over a particularly big jump. I don’t think the seats actually move, but you really do feel like you’re in the car. Giddiness aside this was my personal favourite machine. The fact that I came first had absolutely nothing to do with that of course!!
The 2p Machines
Whenever I mentioned to anyone that I was going to be doing a review of The Arcade Aylesbury, the first question people asked was “are there going to be any 2p machines?” It’s reassuring that I’m not the only person who bloomin’ loves those things. They’re mesmerising. I can happily confirm that there are 2p machines and 10p machines. Happy days!
Now, I’m a bit of an aficionado when it comes to 2p machines and I HATE it when they have them set up so hardly any money comes out. Let’s face it, you know that whatever coins do drop out of the machines are just going straight back in. Why then do some arcades insist on setting them up so hardly any coins fall out? TBH, when I come across machines like that I just end up leaving really quickly. You have to at least feel like you’re winning. With this in mind I had to test the machines at The Arcade Aylesbury and I’m very pleased to say they’re set up perfectly. You get a decent amount of coins out (which naturally went back in again) and there are little prizes as well. Literally everyone’s a winner.
I didn’t get chance to go on the 10p machines but I imagine they’re set up to the same level of difficultly. I’ll just have to go back another time and check.
The Prizes at The Arcade Aylesbury
The Arcade Aylesbury operates a ticket based prize system. Sometimes the prizes that you can exchange your tickets for a quite frankly pants. Well, it seems that here they’re actually quite decent. They’ve got branded things from Harry Potter, DC, Halo etc. For example you can get a DC mug or a Harry Potter mystery wand. There’s also baseball caps, a VR headset and cuddly toys. I believe you can exchange smaller quantities of tickets for things like sweets too.
Normally when we’re on holiday we never win the decent prizes because we don’t have enough time to build up sufficient quantities of tickets. Because this is right on our doorstep that’s not an issue – we can just save the tickets up!! The prizes were all things that you could purchase yourself if you wanted too, and I honestly didn’t see any prizes that I’d dread the boys choosing (which has happened in the past). I don’t know if they had all of the prizes out tonight though.
Entry to the arcade is free and they’re going to be introducing a membership scheme shortly after opening. Details are TBC. The machine costs vary but most of them are £1 each. How much money you spend when you’re in their is obviously variable.
Parking / How to get there
The Arcade Aylesbury is based within the Hale Leys Shopping Centre and so is right next door to Exchange Street Car Park. Parking charges apply. There is direct access to The Arcade from Market Square. It’s down the alleyway between Halifax Bank and the Green Man pub. This used to be a very dodgy alley but it’s been cleaned up now.
Address – Market Square, Aylesbury HP20 1TS (this isn’t technically their address, but it’s the best way to find the entrance)
You’re not allowed to bring your own food and drinks, but there is a kiosk serving drinks and snacks. Once it opens there is also a lounge area downstairs that will be serving a wider variety of food.
On-site, including baby change.
Our The Arcade Aylesbury review
4.5 / 5. I think it’s very refreshing that somewhere like this has opened in Aylesbury. Whilst I don’t think it’s just going to be full of teenagers, I do think it’s going to appeal to them and it’s nice for them to have something decent to do. I also think it will appeal to families in general. There were a lot of people there tonight, of all ages, and they all seemed to be loving it. The fact it’s an independent business is also a real plus.
For more information re opening times visit their website.
The new Stay and Play soft play centre downstairs will be opening in November. Work has already begun and I’ll be doing a review as soon as it opens. I’ll link to that once it’s live.
I’m Vicky and I am a mum of three living in Aylesbury. I set up Free Time with the Kids to review free and cheap family days out in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire, mainly because I kept forgetting all the fabulous places that were recommended to me!! I love getting out and about with the kids (and hubby of course) and we have adventures all over the place. My reviews tell you all the things you need to know about the family days out and activites we’ve done such as how much it costs, if there’s parking, toilets and if there’s a cafe or if picnics are allowed. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook