Caine's Arcade

Our Trip to Caine’s Arcade

Since the kids were on Spring Break last week, we decided (for the first time ever) to both take the week off and enjoy nine precious days together. While every moment with three kids wasn’t what I’d call “precious,” the week did include some major highlights.

I plan to break our “staycation” down in a future post, providing reviews on hotels and activities in southern California. But one of the most memorable experiences of the week together turned out to be low-cost yet high-impact.

You’ve probably seen this video of Caine’s Arcade before. I was late to the party and just stumbled across it when a friend posted it on Facebook in late March. Posted a year ago this week, it’s about a little boy who took over his father’s east L.A. auto parts store when he made an arcade entirely out of cardboard. His very first customer, a man by the name of Nirvan Mullick, happened upon the arcade when on the search for a door handle for his car.

I was so moved by the video, I called the kids in to see it. Within seconds, they were absolutely glued to the computer with big grins, in awe of the little boy with the big smile. Even my husband was emotional while watching (of course he insists it was dusty in the room).

Caine’s Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

Living in the Los Angeles area, we decided to take a drive on our first day of Spring Break to Caine’s Arcade, hoping to meet the creative genius himself. Just off the freeway on the way downtown, it took 20 minutes and several trips around the block to finally find a parking spot on the busy city street, with the kids giggling in the back seat in anticipation of what they were about to see.

As we walked up to the arcade, I immediately noticed the man who had catapulted Caine to stardom (seriously, Justin Timberlake tweeted about this kid). We stepped up to purchase three fun passes and that’s when Caine, himself, appeared to handle the transaction.


Jacob plays basketball at Caine’s Arcade


Brady having a great time at Caine’s Arcade.

With only a few minutes to spend before Caine was closing up shop for the day, the kids tried out a few games before we asked to take a photo with the mini celebrity.


Jacob, inspired by what he sees at Caine’s Arcade


Lucy, looking to beat the claw machine at Caine’s Arcade


Meeting the mastermind behind Caine’s Arcade. “I can’t believe we’re seeing you in real life,” Jacob gushed.












As we walked back to the car, Lucy had an idea. Having just seen the Easter Bunny before we made the trip to Caine’s Arcade (with a man making balloon animals to pass the time in line), she decided she wanted to give her “balloon sword” to Caine, thanking him for sharing his special gift with them by sharing something special to her in return.


We all look on as Lucy runs up to share her “balloon sword” with Caine.

For part two of Caine’s Arcade and to donate to Caine’s scholarship fund, visit