Boozy Sleepovers and Booby Bounce Houses: Kids’ Activities for Grownups
Do you yearn for the halcyon days of your childhood summer vacation, when you could spend the day in a bouncy castle and the night at a friend’s house sneaking in horror movies? Do you remember playing video games for hours? Can you think back to when being bored — instead of stressed-out — was somehow the worst-yet-best thing ever?
Whether or not you were a “Toys ‘R’ Us Kid,” many adults-only activities are taking a childlike approach to fun, making sure you never have to grow up. Or be without a beer while doing so.
Bar + Arcade = Barcade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC (Photo: Pixel Fantasy/Flickr)
Sure, there’s a Dave & Buster’s if you’re looking to get your midway on, but for our quarters, it’s a bit too Chuck E. Cheese’s-y. (Plus, I can’t be the only one still suffering from animatronic PTSD.) Instead, we’re big fans of reliving our arcade lizard youth in establishments such as Barcade, a growing tristate area chain that combines — you guessed it — a killer craft beer selection with vintage arcade machines such as Joust, Frogger, and Street Fighter II (damn you, Vega!). A new location at St. Mark’s Place in New York City makes two in Manhattan; the popular chain also has the original in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood and outposts in Jersey City, N.J., and Philadelphia, Penn.
Similarly popular bars are attracting large crowds around the country: Up-Down in Des Moines, Iowa; Insert Coin(s) and Hi Scores in Las Vegas, Nev.; 16-Bit in Columbus, Ohio; Ground Kontrol in Portland, Ore.; Emporium in Chicago, Ill.; and EightyTwo in downtown Los Angeles. San Francisco’s Castro District is getting a pinball-focused joint called Project 22 later this year.
Ground Kontrol in Portland, Ore., is a classic arcade for adults. (Photo: Ground Kontrol/Facebook)
Live Video Games
For adults whose reflexes might not be as fast as they used to be, New York City also offers the chance to experience rather than play a video game. (It’d be akin to living out the crazed maniac horror movie you might have snuck in during a late-night sleepover.) Escape the Room requires you and a group of puzzle-loving friends to do just that: Escape a locked themed room (e.g., office, library, spy agency) in a certain amount of time, using only your wits and the available objects to crack codes and move forward. The clock’s ticking…