Texas To-Do List: Free Play

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly date night, how about playing unlimited 80s arcade games at one single price?

This week’s Texas To-Do List unleashes nostalgia in a modern way at Free Play, located at Trinity Groves in Dallas.

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"Free Play was kind of born out of this concept where you come to an arcade, you pay at the door, and you get to play as much as you want, as long as you want for that day," said Corey Hyden, Free Play’s president and CEO.

For one single price of $11.99 plus tax, you have unlimited access to all 168 games in the arcade. Everything is set to free play, meaning you can walk up, hit start, and just start playing.

"We've gone through the seventies, the eighties, and we found the greatest arcade games. Some of the rarest arcade games in the world are right here. They're in fact, there are two or three games here at Free Play Dallas that you can only play in public at Free Play Dallas. We also go newer. We've got modern indie games; we've got big modern drivers. But we also have those really old pixel graphic games. You've got your Galaga’s, your Pac-Man's," Hyden said.

If you want to introduce you kids to the true classics, bring them with you. All ages are welcome during the day.

"So the only time limits is that we at 9 p.m. have a curfew where all of the children leave and we're either 18 plus or 21 plus on the weekends, so that we can have that time where the adults get to just have their time with the games. It's the adult swim," Hyden said.

The family-owned business keeps its roots right here in North Texas.

"Right now we have five locations. We have Richardson, the original. Then came Arlington, Denton, Fort Worth. And this one is the newest in Dallas. We're a DFW company," he said.

Your wristband grants you entry to any, or all of the five Free Plays within the same day.

"Ah, yes. The Free Play tour is what it's been called by some of the more insane fans, where they will go and they'll try to visit all five in one big circle with one wristband. You can go play up to I think that's up to about 900 games here in DFW," Hyden said.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, make sure to grab one of their award-winning dishes or cocktails.

"We run a true craft bar. We have craft cocktails, craft beer. We have craft sodas. In our kitchen we do fresh appetizers, flatbread pizzas and these really great press sandwiches. In fact, we've won a number of awards on press sandwiches, which has always been a real big point of pride for me, because I know if we're winning awards for our food, we're doing a good job as an arcade," Hyden said.


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They also have multiple leagues, tournaments, game release parties, and even monthly memberships. You can find all events at freeplayinc.com/calendar/

"When we first started this a lot of people talked about like us bringing the arcade back and they were talking about it as the bringing these old arcade games back. But I think one of the things we've also done is captured the spirit, like the feeling of an old arcade. And I think that is one of the things that keeps our customers coming back and back and back because it's like time travel. You come through that door and you're stepping into something different. It's great, its escapism, it's wonderful," Hyden said.