There is nothing quite like a little fun and games to break up our regular routines. Some of us have agile fingers and quick reflexes with a controller, perfect for virtual play. Others prefer to exercise their gray matter and challenge friends to a battle of the brains. Still others choose more active pursuits. Whether you’re a zealous competitor ready to take down your opponent, or you’re looking to make memories with your family, here are some of the places to head to play games in downtown Austin.
Arcade and Video Games
If you love videos games and socializing, head to Bull & Bowl, Punch Bowl Social, or the Texas Toy Museum for that sweet arcade experience. If you’re looking for a couch and controller type situation, Speakeasy has classic video games set up on their second-floor balcony with four controllers for a fun night out.
Elevate your bingo experience by going to Drag BINGO! Rain on 4th. Vegas Backyard Bonanza happens every Thursday starting at 8pm and is first come, first served. To up the ante, you can even go for some great prizes!
Board games and card games are both free at Punch Bowl Social. Grab a drink and snag a table to take on your friends. If you decide you want to bring games home that you enjoyed downtown, we highly recommend finishing your visit with a trip to Toy Joy!
Believe it or not, there are multiple bowling lanes downtown. If you want to test out all the lanes downtown, start on the second-floor balcony of Speakeasy overlooking the stage. Next, head over to test your skills at duckpin bowling, located in the basement of Punch Bowl Social. For your next step, experience multiple types of bull-ing at Bull & Bowl. Start by testing your bull-riding skills on the mechanical bull and then go for a strike with a few games of bowling. If you are lucky enough to get an invite to a special event at Scholtz Garten, you can also bowl in the six-lane center at Saengerrunde Hall.
You may not immediately realize what corn hole is, but nearly everyone has played it at one point or another. If you are having trouble picturing what it is exactly, think about that game where you stand behind a slanted board with a hole in the top of it and toss bean bags at the board across from you. If you want to keep score, you get one point for landing the bean bag on the board and three points if your bean bag makes it into the hole. The first team to 21 wins! This game can be played Upstairs at Caroline, anytime in the sunshine at Republic Square, or inside Punch Bowl Social if the weather isn’t to your liking. Corn hole can also be found at Parlor and Yard, along with other popular yard games.
Get ready for a battle of wits on a larger scale with giant chess at Woolridge Park, which is set out every Saturday from 1-4pm, underneath the pavilion.
If word games are your thing, giant Scrabble is available at Punch Bowl Social, although you may have to work extra hard to hide your tiles from your opponents.
While we can’t all be musically gifted, chances are that you have been belting it out in the car during your commute. Why let all that practice go to waste? If you are shy, book a private karaoke room at Punch Bowl Social or head to Bull & Bowl dressed up with your friends for a fun (and funny) experience. Select your favorite tunes from a wide variety of music and sing along with all your new friends.
In addition to great music and drinks, the second floor of Speakeasy has you covered if you have aspirations of becoming a pool shark. You can also practice your backspin at Bull & Bowl or Upstairs at Caroline on one of their billiards tables.
With a flick of the wrist and some lightning-fast reflexes, you can showcase your table tennis prowess at Speakeasy and Punch Bowl Social. Practice ping pong with your friends until you are ready to let your inner Forrest Gump shine! If you need a refresher, here’s how to play.
While this is not an exhaustive list of all the fun games you can play downtown, we hope you use this as your guide to get into the competitive spirit and enjoy the company of your friends and family.