Games, adventures & activities for kids, adults & families
There are many great days and night out options in Brisbane
Going out doesn't just have to be food, drink, music and dancing. There are many other experiences for all ages that you can have in Brisbane, with plenty of games, puzzles, activities and adventures around, many of which you can also find food and drink. Here is a recommendation of some great days or nights out for kids, families or groups of adults.
Everything listed here is suitable for all ages. That doesn't mean you have to go with your family. Many of these activities also attract groups of young adults, teenagers, older people and can be great for a kids' party. The most important thing though is you do need to be a kid at heart to enjoy them.
Since their invention not that long ago, escape rooms have taken the world by storm. Initially, based on the puzzles in computer games, these are real-world scenarios where you have a wide range of problems which you and your team need to solve. Many escape rooms require solving problems to get out, in others, the goal might be to defuse a bomb, catch a killer or save the world in some other way.
Fox in a Box provides very atmospheric immersive escape room experiences
Normally with an escape, you have teams of between 2 and 6 people, with 4 people usually being the perfect number. Rooms are monitored and if you are stuck, you can ask for clues to help you to get past the current puzzle and onto the next one. For kids, they will provide extra help to them.
Fox in Box run a chain of escape rooms around the world. Featuring story based rooms, such as the classic prison escape through to solving Tesla's Mystery. The rooms are a great balance between clean design and atmosphere, with rooms ranging from relatively easy through to more challenging. Fox in a Box is has a spot for parties, so that first you escape the room, then you have a pizza party.
In terms of atmosphere and complexity, the team of Quest Escape Rooms have gone all out on their rooms. These are challenging rooms that give you a fully immersive experience. Head here when you are ready for the next level.
In the 1920s mini gold became so popular in the US that many people felt it would replace cinema. The popularity of this game has waned a lot since then, but it has never gone out of fashion. You don't need much skill to play the game, though to be a master requires a lot of practice.
The typical mini golf course is an outdoor location, often attached to a regular golf course, but sometimes stand alone. Most mini golf courses in Brisbane are pretty straight forward with a series of putting greens with little in the way of crazy challenges. Examples of these include Golf Central near the Airport or Mt Gravatt Mini Golf. Even though simple, they are still fun.
For a good night, or day for that matter, out, Holey Moley Golf Club in Fortitude Valley is the place to go. This cocktail bar features 18 holes of themed mini golf, including one where you stand on a billiard table to play, another with a washing machine, and one where you have to putt on the irons throne (a pun on the iron throne from Game of Thrones, made from golf irons instead of swords).
To play this hole at Holey Moley, you have to first put the golf ball in the pin ball machine, which shoots it onto the pool table, then you pocket the ball which then lands on the lower pool table
Despite the many options for playing computer and video games at home or, thanks to mobile devices, anywhere, arcade games remain popular because of their social nature. There are plenty of computer game arcades around, and they always seem to be expanding on their offerings while keeping the classics.
As an adult, heading to the arcade often means revisiting your favourites games. The best games though are still those where you get to challenge your friends, which usually means racing games. For cooperative games, those are usually the shooting games where you have to defend yourself from waves of attacking zombies, dinosaurs or other generic enemies.
The favourite games among my friends usually have a physical element, such as basketball or skee ball. My favourite is usually air hockey, though myself and my friends play with a level of enthusiasm that we often manage to hit some innocent person with a flying puck.
The easiest way to find an arcade is usually near a cinema. It can be something to do with your friends or with your kids before or after watching a movie.
Of course these days adults don't want the kids to have all the fun. B. Lucky & Sons provides a unique arcade gaming environment because of the bar setting. In fact, the vibe is that it is a secret bar behind a store, where you can play games, taking on the theme of an illicit gambling den. Though the games are all your favourite arcade games.
Want to put the pedal to the metal and careen along the road, making tight turns and passing other cars. Well, you can't do that on a normal road without breaking the law, but with Go Kart racing you can jump in a specially made kart that will reach up to 70 km/h. Of course, when you are down low on the track and surrounded by other karts, it feels a lot faster.
Rental go karts are designed with safety in mind with bumpers around the outside, though they are nothing like driving a bumper car. At the same time, you are given all the appropriate safety gear and the tracks are designed for safety. Some karts even have a remote slow control, where the park is able to slow all the karts on the track if there is an incident. For juniors, there are smaller and slower carts to keep them safe. All this safety doesn't take away from the thrill of driving a go kart and challenging yourself to drive faster.
Go karting doesn't require that you go with a group, but many people will head there for parties. Challenge your friends on the road to see who has the skills to be the king of the track or get your kids out there in junior cars. Many places also have tandem cars so adults can drive their kids around.
There are several go kart tracks around Brisbane, with 2 examples being Slideways with a track specifically designed indoor track for drift racing, and Kingston Park Raceway for outdoor go karting. Check out the deals for various groups, parties and events.
Many people are rediscovering board games or trying them for the first time. Of course you don't have to go out and buy them yourself, but instead, there are plenty of bars and cafes around Brisbane where you can play these games.
I can't provide a definitive list of places to play games as the cafes and bars that do this come and go all the time, but two that stand out are Sasquatch Bar in Chermside and Birrang Coffee at the Henderson Gallery in South Brisbane. Both places have a great selection of games and are happy for you to sit and play with just a beer or a cup of coffee.
If you are looking to host a games day or night, you don't have to stick with little games, but instead hire the giant versions of the games from Giant Games. Some of the available games include chess, scrabble, connect 4 and Jenga. They also have giant pick up sticks, but I haven't had the chance to play that yet.
If you are looking for a unique experience then there is always indoor sky diving. At the moment, there is only one place in Brisbane to do this sport, which as it iFly in Chermside where they have a purpose-built indoor sky diving centre.
It is actually pretty easy to do as when you start out, you are supported by an assistant who will help you stabilise and fly properly. They will also take you up for a high flight and if you are looking for a different experience, there is the VR flight experience as well, where you wear a VR helmet while experiencing the rush of wind heading past you in the wind tunnel.
You will see a range of different people trying this sport, from groups of kids for a kids party, families and just friends wanting to give this a go. It can be a little expensive, but worth it for the experience, and some people go on to do more lessons and master the art of indoor sky diving.
We must not forget bowling as a fun way to spend some time. It is one of those games that anyone can do, even if it is their first time, but where people who love it work hard to master the game. For kids, it is a fun activity to do for the first time and for many adults it is a return to their childhood.
Many bowling alleys also serve food and drink. You don't go for the food though, and it is usually just something to eat while bowling. The best bowling alleys are licensed, so you can enjoy drinks as well.
Bowling is an activity best done with a group of people. Generally, you pay for a certain number of frames that you will play. If you go with 2 people, the game will be over very quickly. But with more people, you get to talk, eat, drink and watch each person take their turn, so the game stretches on for some time.