Ever since I was a kid I have loved game rooms. Air hockey, foosball and pinball have been my favorites. When I first looked into buying a fishing lodge one of the things that I loved was the opportunity to have my own game room. Seriously, the kid in me was giddy at the thought of hanging out with my own kids playing pinball or playing foosball in my own game room.

This excitement dimmed during the past two summers as I watched kids come up to our game room and leave disappointed. Kids rarely hung out in the game room. I found this odd because if I was a kid, the game room is where I would be on a rainy day. I asked my kids why they thought the other kids rarely came to the game room, and one of them responded, “well dad, it’s because everything in there costs like 75 cents to play and then they have to go back and ask their parents for money”. With this new insight we watched as kids came up to the game room, looked around and left. I decided to investigate this theory further and talked to a handful of guests we felt comfortable with and they elaborated on my kid’s theory. They pointed out we had one free game-ping pong and a handful of games that cost money. The money games are all games most kids already have on their phones.

So we took all this into consideration and decided to make some adjustments to our game room. This winter we acquired an air hockey table and a foosball table. Now we have them along with the ping pong for kids to play at no cost. And of course we made sure to get a pinball game, because pinball on your phone is not as good as real pinball. We finished reorganizing the game room just before fishing opener and were eager to see how kids react to the new game room. It has been a huge success in our eyes. Most days now we have kids hanging out in the game room playing a game and on days the weather isn’t good, we can hear the air hockey puck sliding around and kids laughing in the game room!