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!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
Austin Toy Museum is home to vintage and classic toys, action figures, video games and more. Take a walk down memory lane
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).
MORE THINGS TO DO:
- Your guide to Austin record stores
Where to take visiting friends and family for a fun time in Austin
- Where to go camping near Austin