Love drinking but love playing games even more? Want to break the ice on a date with some board games, or maybe trivia or pool? Look no further – this article will tell you everything you need to know about the 11 best activity bars that NYC has to offer.
Two-Bit’s Retro Arcade (153 Essex Street)
This punk rock bar is home to 32 different retro arcade games that will make you feel like you’ve been transported back to the 1980s. Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Frogger, in addition to 13 pinball machines and punching bag games, will keep you completely captivated. The best part is that the games are regularly rotated, meaning that no matter how many times you come back, you’ll never get bored. On top of that, the bar serves drinks like wine, beer, and sake along with finger foods to keep you nourished!
Break Bar and Billiards (32-04 Broadway)
If you’re a fan of pool, foosball, air hockey, or ping-pong, this is definitely the place for you. A very large room featuring all of the above, Break Bar and Billiards is the ideal place to meet up with friends and show off your skills. It also serves a wide selection of pub food staples and beers at very reasonable prices.
Bushwick Country Club (618 Grand Street, Brooklyn)
This dive bar’s main attraction is its six-hole mini golf course (with a motorized PBR windmill), though it is also home to a classy black and white photo booth. The owners also encourage birthday parties, so make sure to ask them about their “birthday party person special”. Other goodies include boozy slushies, free cheese puffs, and a membership card that gives you discounts and free drinks for the night if you bring along more than 15 people.
Ace Bar (531 East 5th Street)
There’s a little bit of everything in this bar. Try their pinball machines, skee-ball, and pool for $1 per game. If you’re not in the mood for any of that, you can also go for a round of darts or swing by for Sunday trivia night free of charge. Interestingly, this bar also features a retro lunch box collection that is 40 years old. (If you bring along your own childhood lunch box, they’ll trade you a drink for it.)
The Uncommons (230 Thompson Street)
This café probably has one of the largest collections of board games in NYC. With more than 750 games at the location, you can feel free to choose to play anything from Monopoly to Risk to Cards Against Humanity. An all day pass costs just $5, and the café also serves small dishes like pizza bites and pigs in a blanket. It also offers coffee, wine, and over 20 craft beers.
Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club (514 Union Street, Brooklyn)
Step into this enormous 17,000 square foot game hall and you’ll instantly feel as though you just boarded a cruise ship. There are ten sleek shuffleboard courts that you can play on while sipping tiki cocktails, and the hall is always bustling with neck-tattooed skaters and fly girls dressed like Miley Cyrus. What’s more, Royal Palms also regularly hosts a rotating lineup of food trucks each day.
Full Circle Bar (318 Grand Street)
This is the home of “Brewskee Ball”, a skee-ball and alcohol mash up that has become ridiculously popular. In fact, it’s become so popular that the bar successfully launched the first skee-ball league in the nation. Full Circle Bar is probably one of the best places to play a game of skee-ball for just a dollar a game, but also offers unique twists on dreidel games such as Spinagogue and Target Tops.
The Gutter (200 North 14th Street)
Predominantly known as a bowling establishment, The Gutter features eight vintage lanes located conveniently next to a well-stocked bar. If you’re not feeling bowling, there’s also a pool table and pinball machine that you can check out. The best part is, The Gutter also hosts Monday night trivia at 7pm as well as live music shows every Thursday to Saturday.
Fat Cat (75 Christopher Street)
There’s always something for everyone at this underground West Village bar. Standard board games like Scrabble, checkers, and chess are always a good time. But if you’re feeling a bit more active, grab a friend and play some ping pong, shuffleboard, foosball, or pool. There’s also daily live jazz that never fails to keep your spirits up.
Common Ground (206 Avenue A)
This is the place to go if you’re looking for classic games like Monopoly or Jenga. Common Ground’s happy hours, which run on weekday nights until 8pm, feature a large range of $3 drafts. If you’re up for some trivia, swing on over to their challenging Wednesday night trivia that starts at 9pm. And while you’re at it, make sure you try their almond-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon.
Dive 75 (101 W 75th Street)
Lined with comfortable couches, this is an excellent place to lounge around and sock in the wonderful mellow atmosphere. Jenga, Chutes and Ladders, and Connect Four are just a few of the multitude of games that Dive 75 offers. There’s also always free assorted candy at the bar – what more could you ask for?
Planning a date and new more ideas? Check out the best first date spots in New York City!