Go to work, sit in traffic, pay bills, cook dinner, watch Netflix, repeat. There’s nothing quite like the challenges of adulting that make you wish you were a kid again. Of course, not everything about adulting is terrible, but let’s face it – we could all use a midday nap and a therapeutic game of laser tag every now and again. Thankfully, Minnesota has plenty of establishments (for adults – you don’t have to be the one 30-year-old in the ball pit at McDonald’s) to help bring out the inner child in all of us.
The following is a list of a few places that are guaranteed to help you recapture the simple childhood pleasures – even if your parents aren’t there to pay the bill. If you’re sick of the 9-to-5 routine, why not take a break and have a little fun?
A fusion of eatery, bar, and coolest-birthday-party-ever, Punch Bowl Social serves breakfast, lunch, dinner for those who want to eat, plenty of strong drinks in between for those who want to drink, and karaoke (after drinks, typically), a bowling alley, an arcade with all the classics, and table games like pool, shuffleboard, foosball, and ping pong for those who want to play.
Gather up your friends and challenge them to a game of bocce ball and/or bowling (Pro tip: After 9pm from Sunday – Thursday, these activities are only $1 per person, per hour). This is “king of the hill” for adults. Maybe grab dinner first, as you may not be speaking by the end of it… Plus, if the weather is right, you can end the evening by the fire on their outdoor patio. Hosting your own party somewhere else? They bring the food to you with off-site catering and delivery services.
Up-Down, in Uptown, is a “Millennial-inspired” arcade bar that has it all. Forget the saved quarters for your laundry, all games here cost 25 cents and you couldn’t play them all if you tried (and not just because it gets crazy busy, especially on the weekends). Four skee-ball alleys, Nintendo 64 console gaming, pinball machines, life-sized jenga and connect four are available as well.
Read our review here: A night out with the guys, vol. 1
And yes, all that gaming will make you thirsty. As is now the prerequisite for any good bar, Up-Down has an extensive selection of craft beer, featuring 60 taps with a local focus.
If you’re into the whole nostalgia-thing and long for the days of all-night gaming extravaganzas (who are we kidding, we still do that), check out Chatterbox Pub in Minneapolis. Even the sofas and funky lamps are vintage to accompany a retro library full of favorite board games like Yahtzee and Apples to Apples, along with video games like Frogger, Mario Bros, and Sonic.
Leave your watch at home: time doesn’t matter here. It really doesn’t. You can’t even really see outside. Can Can Wonderland has plenty of arcade games (it’s a theme for this article, apparently), pinball, old-school photo booth, and plenty of quirky live entertainment acts (tap dancing? Sure) carnival-inspired eats (with gluten-free and vegan options) and crazy cocktails. The coolest feature, though, is the mini-golf course: 18 holes of Minnesota artist-created golf. Every hole is unique. Be warned: The game will likely take up your whole afternoon, evening, and night.
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