Austin’s active bar scene has never seen better days. Some of our favorite local watering holes have progressed beyond dive bar hideaways, experiential craft cocktails, and secret hidden bars. Nowadays adults have their own version of boozy playgrounds offering fun lawn games, activities, video games, park rides, live bands, and delicious food.
Some of the greatest local saloons allow us to relive some of the childhood experiences that we enjoyed at vintage spots like Chuckee Cheese and Austin Park N Pizza. We got rid of the creepy clowns and animatronic bands, in favor of cocktail lounges and taprooms paired with the arcade games, bowling alleys, cornhole boards, and pickleball courts.
If you’re ready to feel like a kid again while sipping on a few adult beverages, check out our guide to Austin’s best playground and entertainment bars.
Punch Bowl Social
213 West 5th St. | Located in the heart of downtown, SPIN boasts 14 ping pong tables, a full bar serving craft cocktails, a shared plates menu, and a semi-private room for your own party. The bar also hosts ping pong tournaments for those that want to try their luck against the crowd. Photo credit – SPIN Austin Facebook
Upstairs at Caroline
621 Congress Ave | Upstairs at Caroline is a fun terrace-style bar to kick off your happy hour or weekend, offering board games, cornhole, cocktails and snacks to keep you and your crew entertained all evening.
Parlor & Yard
Aussie’s Beach Grill & Bar
306 Barton Springs Rd | Aussie’s has been an Austin beach volleyball staple for several years. Whether you arrive here to play a game or get knee-deep in adult beverages and food, the covered patio is the perfect place to kick back and enjoy the scene along with multiple TVs to watch your favorite games. Volleyball leagues run nightly 6-11 PM (except Sat) and tournaments every weekend. Photo credit – Aussie’s Facebook page
REVL Social Club
16231 N Interstate Hwy 35, Pflugerville, TX. | REVL is Pflugeriville’s premiere spot made to offer nightlife and entertainment to adults, offering classic entertainment options, billiards, darts, ping pong, and the first street curling lanes in Texas. They also have the first indoor roller coaster in Austin, a heart accelerating tower drop, and an enormous laser tag arena for those looking to flex their special warfare muscles. Enjoy any of the 165+ arcade games, bowling, virtual reality, and more that Austin’s Park has to offer next door.
2700 Esperanza Crossing | It doesn’t matter if you’re a golf pro or a total novice, Top Golf is one of Austin’s most popular destinations for those that want to hit the long ball with a group of friends, at one of their 102 bays, while sipping on beer and cocktails, along with a few plates of delicious bites. Photo by Courtney Pierce
11500 Rock Rose Ave | Wonder Bar is easily the most Instagramable and imaginative bar in town, featuring interactive and unique installations that ignite all five senses, including traditional bar games with a twist, specialty cocktails, light menu fare, and moments made to inspire, bringing a unique experience to Rock Rose Ave. Photos by Wonder Bar, Facebook page
6700 Burnet Rd. | Yard Bar is a delightful outdoor restaurant, bar, and dog park in Allendale, offering delicious food and drinks in a backyard patio. Bring your furry little creatures to enjoy playtime with agility and play equipment with their fellow pups.
13301 North US Hwy 183 | Eat, bowl, and play is the name of the game at Main Event. Featuring the “most fun under one roof,” it offers family-friendly fun with a combination of modern bowling, laser tag, gravity, mini-golf, pool tables, rock climbing, and dozens of arcade games. Enjoy all of the fun activities with an adult beverage and delicious shared plates with your crew! Photo credit – Main Event Facebook Page
The Original Pinballz Arcade
8940 Research Blvd. | Offering classic arcade games and the largest selection of pinball machines in Texas. Enjoy game time with bar drinks, food and BYOB to enjoy your own beer.
2027 S Lamar Blvd | Bouldin Acres has become South Lamar’s most popular Beer Garden for delicious food, drinks and pickleball. There are also several televisions with live sports, arcade games, and even a kid zone for those with rugrats. You’ll rarely drive by and find an empty parking lot, so they get packed on a daily basis. Photo Credit – Bouldin Acres Facebook page
10106 Manchaca Road | Armadillo Den was designed thoughtfully to bring the emerging area of South Manchaca the essentials Austin cherishes on its three-acre property — live music, cold beer (18+ drafts to be exact), food from beloved food trucks Pueblo Viejo and Ranch Hand, an off-leash dog area, options for spacious indoor and outdoor relaxing, and large oak trees to lounge under. Photo by Hayden Walker