Where to go in Austin to feel like a kid again

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Where to go in Austin to feel like a kid again

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Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman
Devin O'Brien, left, and Chris Camp, right, look on as Ryan Marchese, center, loses the ball during the novice league night held at Pinballz Arcade in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, July 25, 2013. (RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Call it nostalgia. Call it Peter Pan syndrome. But sometimes, you just want to feel like a kid again. There are plenty of places in Austin where you can do that. 

ROLLERSKATING AND ICE SKATING

Austin Roller Rink is family-friendly but offers adult nights twice a week. On Wednesdays from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Sundays from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., the rink only allows skaters who are 18 or older. It costs $8 per person to skate (yes, even if you bring your own), but the best part? Adult nights are BYOB. They’re also open Thursday through Saturday, if you don’t mind skating with all ages.

Playland Skate Center is open four days a week. Adult nights for skaters 18 and up are held on Tuesdays from 7 to 11 p.m. ($8.75 per person) -- or if you go early on Tuesdays from 3 to 6 p.m., you can skate for $6 per person. A steal!

Austin Sports Arena in Round Rock hosts two-hour open skate sessions several times a week, but make sure to check the schedule before you go.

Chaparral Ice offers public ice skating year-round (and it’s oddly fun to go during the warm months). Admission is $9 and skate rental is $5. Just make sure to check the schedule first so you know when they’re open to the public.

TRAMPOLINE PARKS

Altitude Austin is friendly for all ages, and they even offer group fitness classes at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. Rates start at $12.95 for an hour of jumping.

Urban Air is also friendly for all ages and offer fitness classes as well. There are two Austin-area locations that start at $12.99 for an hour of jumping.

Jumpstreet in Cedar Park offers special pricing depending on when you go (on Fridays after 4 p.m., if you buy an hour for $14.99, you get a second hour free).

Jumpoline has group packages -- for four people, you can pay $20 for your first hour. 

Andrew Scott, left, flips in the air as he and Taylor Houssian, right, practice tricks at Altitude Trampoline Park on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN Deborah Cannon

ARCADES AND BARS WITH GAMES

Game-friendly bars like Kung Fu Saloon, Recess Arcade Bar and Punch Bowl Social are everywhere in Austin. See a full list here.

Vigilante Gaming Bar just opened and is chock-full of all your favorite board games and beer. 

Full Circle Bar has several Skee-Ball lanes, and you can play for free from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays. They’ve also got cornhole in their garden, which is free every day. If you’re serious about Skee-Ball, you can even join a league.

Pinballz is Austin’s best arcade, with three locations and hundreds of old-school and new-school pinball machines. The Buda location even has a full restaurant and bar, and you can BYOB at the original location in North Austin.

Vigilante Gaming Bar, where you can eat, drink and play games, is offering a special brunch with Cards Against Humanity and a "Rick and Morty"-themed meal on Aug. 6. Kyser Lough/Kyser Lough

ROCK CLIMBING/BOULDERING

Crux Climbing Center offers memberships and walk-in hours, with rock walls of varying difficulty level. Day passes start at $17 and monthly memberships start at $70. They have climbing classes as well as yoga and fitness classes.

Austin Bouldering Project offers day passes and monthly memberships with yoga and fitness classes included, as well as a full gym and rock walls of varying difficulty levels. You can take bouldering classes as well, and shoe rentals are $4 (but free your first time). Day passes are $16 for adults, and monthly memberships for adults range from $68 to $86.

Austin Rock Gym was around before bouldering was “trendy.” You can take various bouldering courses at their two locations or just pop in for a day pass ($10 plus you can rent shoes, harnesses, belay devices and chalk).

Award-winning climber Maya Madere, 17, works her way through some new routes at Crux Climbing Center Dec. 6. 12/06/16 Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN Tom McCarthy Jr.

ESCAPE ROOMS

Texas Panic Room was ranked one of the 10 best escape games by USA Today and was the first escape game in Austin. They offer several “escape” scenarios at a time, and the rooms change every 10-12 months.

The Escape Game Austin offers five escape scenarios with varying storylines.

Lockout Austin offers four themed rooms you have to escape within an hour.

There are a ton of escape rooms or panic rooms in Austin (you can search Yelp here for some of the top-ranked ones).

A woman seeks clues in the Museum Room of the Austin Panic Room. It has become a popular venue for companies, tourists, friends and family and thrill seekers to participate in situational scenarios using puzzles and clues to decipher the correct answer and escape safely. The idea is simple: your group of friends or coworkers are locked up in a room, and you have 60 minutes to escape, by solving a series of puzzles using your wits, deduction skills, and clues found throughout the room in order to escape the room before time runs out. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman

SHOPS

Comic book shops like Austin Books & Comics and Dragon’s Lair are perfect places to lose yourself for a few hours. Dragon’s Lair hosts dozens of events each week, from open play to chess, Dungeons & Dragons and Magic The Gathering meet-ups.

Big Top Candy Shop on South Congress calls itself “the most amazing candy store the world has ever known,” and well, they’re probably right. You can find your favorite old-school candies and even an old-fashioned soda or shake.

Toy shops like Toy Joy or Terra Toys are perfect for kids of all ages. They’re filled with novelty games and toys, toys you probably forgot existed and toys that are just, frankly, pretty weird. 

Alanna Baker and Kyle Cragle, who perform as the Black Widow and the Dragonfly in Cirque du Soleil's production of OVO, strike a pose at Big Top Candy Shop as they visit quirky spots along South Congress to promote the show at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, which runs March 15-19, 2017. (Tamir Kalifa/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN) Tamir Kalifa/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

MUSEUMS

Austin Toy Museum is home to vintage and classic toys, action figures, video games and more. Take a walk down memory lane

The Thinkery, Austin’s children’s museum, hosts events aimed at adults called “Thinkery21.” Each event has a different theme but always offers a cash bar and access to the entire museum.

Jack Shurtz, 5, plays at The Thinkery as his mom watches during the UnBirthday Party hosted by Casey's Circle for families with medically fragile children May 1. "We had no idea it was going to be so small so it gives him a chance to explore and really experience it," she said. Marty and Tim Barnes created Casey's Circle to help parents of medically fragile children have real life experiences. Their daughter Casey died just days shy of her 10th birthday. 05/01/17 Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN Tom McCarthy Jr.

OTHER FUN

Main Event has bowling, arcade games, laser tag, food and drinks ... you want it, they’ve got it. And trust me, you want it.

Blazer Tag is the most epic laser tag arena in Austin. We’re talking multiple levels, towers, wall robots that give you special powers ... they’re not messing around.

Dave & Busters is the ultimate adult playground. It may be a little obvious to mention it, but it’s popular because it’s great. Anyone under 18 requires a parent or guardian to hang out.

Austin’s Park N Pizza is much like Main Event, but the local kind. Plus, go-karts, batting cages, bumper boats, mini golf, a rock wall and something called a 7D XD ride that frankly looks a little terrifying.

iFly Indoor Skydiving is the less-scary version of jumping out of a plane, but it’s just as fun. Two flights start at $69.96, and you can even have your birthday there.

K1 Speed is like F1 racing, except not at all like F1 racing. It’s just really, really intense go-karting. Seriously, those karts are insane.

Bowling. Look, I’m not going to list all of Austin’s bowling alleys. But Dart Bowl is a fan favorite (eat some cheese enchiladas while you’re there, please).

Pam LeBlanc, left, flies with the help of flight instructor Aaron Necessary at iFly on Friday Jan. 25, 2013. Jay Janner/Jay Janner/Austin American-State

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