• Open Noon-Late Daily
  • All Ages Admitted Until 4:30PM
  • 21+ & I.D. Required After 5PM

Categories: Free Play Party

All Ages Free Play Party – Wednesday 3/25, 11am-5pm

All Ages Free PlayNo school, plus a building full of arcade games and pinball tables set to free play? That’s right, Ground Kontrol is hosting its second All Ages Free Play Party smack dab in the middle of spring break, so you can spend a full day playing your favorite arcade games without totally flaking on your coursework!

Gamers of all ages are welcome to descend upon the best selection of games in the Pacific NW with no quarters necessary – every single game will be ready to play just by hitting “Start”! You don’t even need to worry about wandering downtown searching for lunch – we’ll also be serving our full food menu, all day long! A BLT and Burgertime? Killer Nachos and Killer Queen? There are plenty of classic combos available, just save room for a fully-loaded sundae or root beer float for dessert!

Ground Kontrol will open an hour early to give you even more time to beat X-Men or crack the high score on Simpsons Pinball Party. If you’re 21 or older, you can also stick around past 5pm for even more free play – just drop another $5 at the door when it’s time to transition.

WHAT: All-Ages Free Play Party
WHEN: Wednesday, March 25th, 11am-5pm.
COVER: $5 cash at the door. All ages welcome until 5pm! Children 3 and younger are free with their parent or guardian’s paid admission. If you plan to come to the evening Free Play Party starting at 5pm, you’ll also need to exit and pay $5 at the door at 5pm. Ground Kontrol is 21+ only after 5pm.

GODZILLA Free Play Night – Thursday 5/8, 7pm

The world’s most famous monster invades Ground Kontrol’s Second Thursday Free Play Party for a night of giveaways and a special tournament!

Celebrate the 60th anniversary of the misunderstood monster and the upcoming release of the brand-new GODZILLA reboot with food and drink specials and a “Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters” gaming tournament in our lounge. Participants can win merchandise and VIP screening passes to the new film!

Ground Kontrol will also have our entire selection of arcade and pinball classics set to FREE PLAY for one flat $5 cover.

Doors open at 5pm, and the tournament kicks off at 7:30pm. Get here early to sign up, and good luck – even if you win, we’re all doomed when GODZILLA hits theatres May 16!

WHAT: GODZILLA Free Play Night

WHEN: Thursday May 8th. Doors open for Free Play at 5pm. “Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters” tournament kicks off at 7:30pm.

COVER: $5 at the door for FREE PLAY on all games. No extra cost to enter the tournament! 21+ only w/ ID.

Game Over! Football-Free Free Play Party – Sunday 2/2

Want to escape the Big Game but don’t know where to turn? Ground Kontrol’s got you covered! We’re setting all of our amazing arcade games and pinball tables to FREE PLAY for a special event – with no commercial interruptions!

During Game Over: Football-Free Free Play, one flat cover will grant you unlimited gaming across dozens of arcade classics and the biggest and best-maintained pinball selection in the Northwest. Starting at 9pm, DJ Nate C. will spin classic metal tunes. We’ll also be running happy hour food and drink specials at the bar until midnight!

We know many of our customers and fans will be parked on a couch enjoying Super Bowl XLVIII, but for those of you looking for something else to do, park your car or bike on Couch Street and join us!

WHAT: Game Over! Football-Free Free Play Party
WHEN: Sunday, February 2nd. Doors at 5pm.
COVER: Just $5! 21+ only w/ ID.

Super Hero Free Play Party! Thursday May 9, 5pm-close

Super Hero Party!Come down to Ground Kontrol on Thursday, May 9th and relive your Saturday morning adventures, all night long! It’s the Super Hero Party – a celebration of classic cartoon heroes, villains and Saturday morning cartoons!

Ground Kontrol is teaming up with Portland’s pop-culture subculture convention, Wonder Northwest, for a night of 80s super hero fun! Pull on your neon tights, straighten your cape and strike a heroic pose to vanquish boredom with a night of classic cartoons, a costume contest and free play on all of Ground Kontrol’s arcade games and pinball tables!

Dress up as your favorite super hero or super villain and enjoy a discount at the door on one of Ground Kontrol’s most popular nights, Free Play! Join your friends and dominate Magneto’s forces on the six-player X-Men game, or flip your way to a high score on Spider-Man pinball, all while enjoying food and drink specials from our bar. And who can pass up a chance for a hero-villain showdown on the field of Pac-Man Battle Royale?

At 9pm, we’ll host a costume contest judged by Wonder Northwest’s own Manny “Spork” McIvor. We’ll bestow upon the winners the great power (and great responsibility) of Ground Kontrol gift certificates, free admission to Wonder Northwest, and other mysterious prizes! NOTE: So we can properly ID you and serve you, we have to ask that you don’t wear a full face mask or completely obscure your face. You can put your mask on for the costume contest judging! Your secret identity will be safe with us.

Fly, swing or warp your way down to Ground Kontrol the evening of Thursday May 9th – the fate of your weekend rests on your dedication to fun!

More on Wonder Northwest:

Wonder Northwest is an amalgamation of pop-culture subcultures. There you will find regular folks co-mingling with super heroes, pirates, geeks, nerds, cosplayers, film enthusiasts, gamers and other nice people! The vendor room will feature comic books, toys, video games and more from some of the best dealers from across the country. Contests, panels and other special events will be open for all attendees to enjoy. Conveniently located in the heart of Portland with easy access to PDX (Portland International Airport), public transportation, nearby restaurants and other attractions. To get more info on attending Wonder Northwest including schedule, ticket and location information, visit them online at: http://wondernorthwest.com

WHAT: Super Hero Free Play Party with Wonder Northwest!

WHEN: Thursday, May 9th from 5pm-close. Costume contest judging at 9pm!

COVER: Come in an awesome superhero costume and pay just $3 at the door for free games all night! Non-costumed civilians pay the standard $5 – still a great deal. 21+ only, please bring valid ID!

RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends!

Four Pac-Men, One Survivor: The Pac-Man Battle Royale Rumble – Thursday March 14

Four Pac-Men enter, one Pac-Man leaves! 

Do you hunger for more than some measly pellets? Go beyond a friendly game of Pac-Man and pit your pizza-shaped protagonist against 3 friends-turned-foes in the Pac-Man Battle Royale Rumble! It all takes place on our four-player Pac-Man Battle Royale machine and the two-dimensional disorder won’t end until only one Pac-pugilist is crowned king or queen!

To enter, make it to Ground Kontrol between 5-8:30pm on Thursday, March 14. We’ll be hosting a Free Play Night, so there will be a $5 cover at the door (and all of your games will be free!). Sign up at the Pac-Man BR cabinet, where we will have a clipboard and registration sheet, or talk to someone from Best Bout Gaming. At 9pm, the first game will begin. Players will be scored based on Pac-Men consumed and Pac-Deaths, adding an additional layer of strategy to the game.  The top 3 winners will receive Ground Kontrol gift certificates, good for anything we sell!

This tournament is sponsored by Best Bout Gaming, who are dedicated to promoting the strategic gaming scene in the Pacific NW.

WHAT: Pac-Man Battle Royale Rumble – a Pac-Man Battle Royale tournament!

WHEN: Thursday, March 14 during our 2nd Thursday Free Play Party. Sign up between 5-8:30pm, first game starts at 9pm.

COVER: $5 cover at the door for Free Play Night, no additional cover or fee to enter the tournament. 21+ only.

Get Retromantic! Valentine’s Day Free Play Specials – Thursday February 14


Make your Valentine’s evening pixel-perfect at Ground Kontrol! We’re kicking off our 2nd Thursday Free Play Party with a special 2-for-1 deal. During happy hour from 5-7pm, free play entry is just $5 for 2 people. Whether you’re with your sweetheart, your best friend, or a new acquaintance, pair up and save half on your cover!

At 7pm, entry is still a fantastic deal at $5 per person. Bar specials will be available all night, too – grab some food made for sharing and toast with a delicious drink!

Rescue your prince or princess from the clutches of a dull evening and join forces with your friends – Ground Kontrol is the best place to refill your heart containers and continue your epic quest!

WHAT: Get Retromantic! Valentine’s Day Free Play Party

WHEN: Thursday, February 14. Doors at 5pm.

COVER: 2-for-1 entry from 5-7pm – pair up and pay just $5 for 2 people! From 7pm-close, entry is just $5 per person.

Free Play Nights – Every 2nd Thursday & Last Wednesday

Save your quarters: On Last Wednesdays and Second Thursdays each month, Ground Kontrol helps you stretch your gaming dollar by setting all of our video games and pinball tables to FREE play!

What’s “Free Play”? It’s exactly what it sounds like – during these special events, our 100+ arcade games and pinball tables don’t require any quarters to play. Just hit start and go! Of course, there’s one small step to unlock unlimited gaming: Pay $5 at the door and you’re good all night. Bring your ID, too — you need to be 21+ as we also serve a full bar!

Show up early and bring friends: Free Play Nights are one of our most popular events, and it’s a great night to team up on games like The Simpsons, X-Men or TMNT: Turtles in Time. There’s also a great chance you’ll meet some new foes-turned-friends on the field of Pac-Man Battle Royale!

WHAT: Free Play Nights

WHEN: Every 2nd Thursday & Last Wednesday. Doors typically open at 5pm, DJs begin at 9pm. Check our Events page for info on upcoming occurrences, including schedule changes.

COVER: $5 at the door for free play all night! Must be 21+ w/ valid I.D.