15 Great Bars for Fun and Games

 Add a side of competition to cocktail hour at these bars, where fun and games pair perfectly with food and drinks.

Clinton Hall: New York

With permanent locations in the Financial District and the Bronx, and a seasonal location in Manhattan's Seaport, this bar infuses fun throughout New York City. Activities include life-size chess, towering Jenga stacks, extra-large versions of Connect 4 and board games. The bar offers 20 beers and ciders on tap to go with 20 different burger combinations. Upgrade the side of fries to cheesy waffle fries, but be sure to save room for towers of dessert waffles. 

Pinewood Social: Nashville

This social-gathering spot manages to be all things to all people, with a restaurant, coffee bar cocktail bar, sprawling patio —€” with a bocce court, two dipping pools and a thirty-foot Airstream trailer —€” and indoor six-lane bowling alley. Whimsical libations keep the mood lighthearted, like General Woundwort, a mixture of cognac, two rums, lime, carrot juice, ginger, and amaro; and the Pimm'€™s Cup-esque River City Rally, with Pimm's #1, orange cordial, whiskey, ginger, strawberry and mint.

Greenleaf's Pool Room: Richmond, Virginia

This throwback to the pre-World War II era of pool halls is named for a 1920s billiards champion. Channel an older era with fresh cocktails, classic luncheonette food, local craft beers and an inviting retro design. Grab a cue and a cocktail named for various players of yesteryear. Greenleaf's namesake potable is a glorious riff on the Old Fashioned, with rye, gin and coffee syrup.

Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club: Brooklyn

Proving that the sport is not only for cruise ships and retirees, the world’s first shuffleboard bar has 10 regulation courts, rotating indoor food trucks, league nights, board games and tropical music and cocktails. The Shuffleboard Bob (named for one of the sport’s most iconic players) mixes gin with cucumber syrup, lime, coconut water and bitters; the Earl Ball (an homage to the world’s best player) mixed bourbon with pineapple and lemon juices and a homemade ginger-black pepper syrup. Owners Jonathan Schnapp and Ashley Albert, both ranked among the world’s 50 best players, are on hand to help your technique.

WhirlyBall: Chicago

With three locations in the Windy City, this multi-activity Chicago institution has been around for more than 20 years offering guests a bounty of bowling, Laser Tag and the signature namesake sport, which fuses lacrosse, hockey, basketball and bumper cars. There’s an ambitious cocktail program, and a selection of rotating beers, including local and regional options. Dark Magic is a hop-tail version of a chocolate churro, with locally brewed Moody Tongue’s Caramelized Chocolate Churro Baltic Porter, crème de cassis and orange bitters, for the adult version of a treat at the fair.

The Spare Room: Los Angeles

Housed on the mezzanine level of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel along a series of flatiron-style arched windows, this tony gaming parlor and cocktail lounge is a nod to the 1920s, when wealthy families designed gaming lounges in their homes. Eschewing modern technology, two bowling alleys feature chalkboard scoring and turn-of-the-century mechanics; to play, bowlers wear handmade oxfords designed by George Esquivel. Dominoes, Scrabble, backgammon and Mad Libs are available to keep players occupied between frames, along with drinks like the Lucky Smoke, with whiskey, rum, banana liqueur, vanilla syrup and coconut bitters, garnished with a wrapped pandan leaf.

Punch Bowl Social: Denver, CO

With eight locations around the country and nine more coming soon, this all-in-one entertainment complex bills itself a “dirty modern mash up of chandeliers, Gangster’s Paradise, food for foodies, PBR tallboys and craft beverages.” Denver’s adult playground has bowling, shuffleboard, ping pong, private karaoke rooms and vintage video games. Popular beverage options include the rich and complex Van Damme!, with cognac, pear syrup, lemon and allspice dram, and the Watermelon Polo Bowl, a cocktail available in single-, four- or eight-serving vessels, with tequila, local watermelon-spearmint tea, watermelon shrub, strawberry syrup and lime.

The Corner Alley Downtown: Cleveland

Not just another bowling alley, this downtown Cleveland sports destination was completely overhauled in 2015 to include retractable windows and a range of cocktail, culinary and entertainment options. Bowl one of 16 lanes, tackle the free video games and table games, or feast on American-inspired cuisine with 24 draft beers. Creative cocktails include a barrel-aged New Fashioned, with bourbon, sweet vermouth, blood orange liqueur and maraschino liqueur, and an eye-opening Smokehouse Bloody Mary, with bacon-infused vodka and Bloody Mary mix, rimmed with smoked sea salt and garnished with candied bacon.

AceBounce: Chicago

The first U.S. location of the wildly popular London-based ping-pong palace combines table tennis with inventive cocktails and global bar snacks from Chef Rick Gresh. Sip cocktails at one of several communal tables under the UV-lit graffiti-inspired roof while honing your backspin. Fire on the Mountain combines aged rum with a cranberry-orange cordial, Chinese five spice, lemon and ginger, garnished with a fire-orange marigold; Hits from the Pong shakes mezcal with cinnamon liqueur, horchata, habanero and lime.

Spin: New York City

Launched by actress Susan Sarandon, this ping-pong social club now has five U.S. locations. The original lounge in Gramercy offers everything from casual play (on 17 tables), tournaments, lessons, dance battles and themed events in a space decorated with commissioned street art from Tripp and Dasic Fernandez. Order cocktails in the VIP room or from the duo of bars. Keep playing late into the night with the creamy, caffeinated Coffee Madness milkshake, with an optional shot of cinnamon whiskey.

Bundox Bocce: Reno

This 24,000-square-foot entertainment destination is a place for guests to play bocce, the Italian ball game, on seven indoor and two outdoor courts, or try their hand at Skeeball or shuffleboard. The menu is inspired by local ingredients and global travels, including cocktails like the Foro Sour, with amaro, preserved Meyer lemon syrup, lemon juice and frothy egg white.

Urban Putt: San Francisco

At this indoor miniature golf course, pop culture influences abound, including nods to Disney, Willy Wonka, Rube Goldberg and Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Players putt at hand-built, steampunk contraptions when they’re not pausing to try Californian comfort dishes and inventive drinks. The Long John Daly — named after the long-driving and hard-drinking pro — mashes up punch with Italian digestives, orange and lemon juice, and Earl Grey tea-infused gin. The retro Dirty Mar-Tee-Ni combines vodka with two vermouths and olive brine, served in a grapefruit bitters-misted coupe and garnished with olives skewered on a wooden golf tee.

Uptown Billiards: Portland, Oregon

Pool may be the name of the game at this Alphabet District billiards hall, but the food and drinks lure equally avid fans. The small plates are ambitious yet accessible — think mini beef Wellingtons and a bacon-pear-fontina pizza. Bartenders, behind a handsome, Belgian turn-of-the-century mahogany bar, turn out well-crafted drinks like the heady and elegant gin- and St. Germain-based Edith Piaf, named for the French cabaret singer.

Topgolf: Ashburn, Virginia

Sibling rivalry motivated twin brothers Steve and Dave Jolliffe to invent the world’s first microchipped golf ball. Now, they’ve combined their love of golf, entertainment and competition at 30 locations worldwide. Players tee off from climate-controlled, year-round stalls and aim for giant dartboard-like targets for shots instantly measured for accuracy and distance. Between plays, they can relax on couches and order food, beer and cocktails like a Strawberry-Jalapeno Margarita or the Tipsy Palmer, a leader version of the golfer’s favorite alcohol-free libation, with vodka, sweet tea vodka, lemonade and iced tea.

The Rook: Cincinnati

The city's first and only board-game parlor boasts more than 800 free-to-play games, including Sorry, Ticket to Ride and card games like Cards Against Humanity. Locally owned and operated, it opened in May of 2016 and quickly racked up best-of awards for its entertainment options. The menu of classic game-night foods includes pizza rolls and pretzels with beer cheese. Cocktails stick with the retro theme, including Pretty Pretty Princess, with cotton candy, a candy necklace, gold glitter, amaretto and sparkling wine, and Mrs. Peacock Mojito, with rum, lime, blueberries and mint.