Skip To Content

    23 NYC Bars With Indoor Activities For When It's Too Cold To Do Anything Else

    Boozy bowling, board games, bocce, and more!

    BuzzFeed / @little_traveller_974 / @torilehrer / Five Iron Golf / moxy_nycdowntown / Via instagram.com instagram.com Facebook: fiveirongolf instagram.com

    Hibernating in a bar is a fail-safe winter survival technique. But after months of seemingly never-ending cold weather, even that can get a little boring. Thankfully, NYC has no shortage of bars with actually fun things to do while you drink.

    BuzzFeed

    1. The Diamond

    The Diamond / Via Facebook: thediamondgpt

    A reliably good, unpretentious neighborhood bar with a solid beer selection and a shuffleboard table inside.

    Where: 43 Franklin Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

    2. The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

    Bridget Badore / Via Facebook: RoyalPalmsShuffle

    There are lots of bars with shuffleboard tables, but The Royal Palms is an actual shuffleboard club. The converted warehouse is decked out in a retro-Florida theme, and boasts 10 courts, great cocktails, and a different food truck every night.

    Where: 514 Union Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn

    3. Nancy Whiskey Pub

    Nancy Whiskey Pub / Via Facebook: NancyWhiskeyPub, chefgurski / Via instagram.com

    An old-school joint with a shuffleboard table and a jukebox, plus a hearty food menu that'll warm you from the inside.

    Where: 1 Lispenard Street, Tribeca, Manhattan

    4. The Lost Lady

    Shannon Sturgis / Via thelostladynyc.com, thelostladynyc / Via instagram.com

    Activities at this nautical-themed bar include shuffleboard, playing DJ on the jukebox, and seeing how many hibiscus margaritas you can down during happy hour.

    Where: 171 Avenue C, Alphabet City, Manhattan

    BuzzFeed

    5. Brooklyn Bowl

    Brooklyn Bowl / Via Facebook: BrooklynBowl, liann1976 / Via instagram.com

    No prize for guessing what activity is on offer here. The 16 bowling lanes operate on a first come, first served basis, but if you miss out there's also a lounge that's great for spectating (watching people bowl is an activity too, guys).

    Where: 61 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    6. Union Hall

    Via Facebook: UnionHallBK

    A cozy bar with indoor bocce courts. Never played before? Well, a cold, wintery evening is the perfect time to learn. If you have to wait for a court, do so while sipping a drink and sitting by the big, toasty fireplace.

    Where: 702 Union Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn

    7. Gutter Bar

    Gutter Bar / Via thegutterbrooklyn.com, josh s jackson (CC BY-NC 2.0) / Via Flickr: joshsjackson

    This grungy bar is home to a few bowling lanes, pool tables, and bubble hockey.

    Where: 10–22 46th Avenue, Long Island City, Queens; 200 North 14th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    8. Floyd NY

    __carolineventura / Via instagram.com, bernardofcarvalho / Via instagram.com

    Another bar where you can play a booze-fueled game of bocce. Thankfully the rules are fairly simple (I think you literally just roll the ball?) so it's easy enough to pretend you know what the hell you're doing.

    Where: 131 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn

    BuzzFeed

    9. Barcade

    Pixel Fantasy (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) / Via Flickr: techthis

    Barcade is a true arcade bar with more than just one or two machines tucked down the back. If you're serious about your arcade games, you can't beat the range on offer here.

    Where: 388 Union Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 6 St Marks Place, East Village, Manhattan; 148 West 24th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan

    10. Bar Great Harry

    balphazar / Via instagram.com

    Waste away an afternoon in this relaxed bar with pinball machines and a huge selection of craft beers to try. Beer tasting counts as an activity too, right?

    Where: 280 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

    11. Two-Bit's Retro Arcade

    stefanloftsson / Via instagram.com, Two-Bit's Retro Arcade / Via twobitsnyc.com

    An intimate bar (well, as intimate as an arcade bar can be) with plenty of old-school games from the '80s and '90s, plus a couple of pinball machines.

    Where: 153 Essex Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan

    BuzzFeed

    12. SPIN

    mantis.954 / Via instagram.com, little_traveller_974 / Via instagram.com

    This swanky table tennis club was co-founded by Susan Sarandon (which could explain why it's a little more upscale than your typical ping pong hall). Pro tip: Go after 9pm Mon–Thurs for $9 unlimited ping pong.

    Where: 48 East 23rd Street, Flatiron, Manhattan

    13. Kick Axe

    torilehrer / Via instagram.com, barkmatt / Via instagram.com

    Axe throwing and alcohol — what could possibly go wrong?! It might sound like a terrible idea, but I promise it's not as dangerous as it sounds. And when better to pretend to be a Viking than in the middle of a New York winter?

    Where: 622 Degraw Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn

    14. Five Iron Golf

    Five Iron Golf / Via Facebook: fiveirongolf

    Grab a drink and brush up on your swing or book a beginners lesson at this indoor golf club. As you stare off into the (simulated) sunny green course, you might — just for a second — forget it's freezing outside. (FYI this is definitely more of an activity place than a bar.)

    Where: 138 Fifth Avenue, Flatiron, Manhattan; 22 Stone Street, Financial District, Manhattan

    BuzzFeed

    15. Boobie Trap

    excitore / Via instagram.com, full.spectrumm / Via instagram.com

    Make yourself at home in this quirky dive bar with board games, kitschy boob-themed decor, and a big "fuck off" sign behind the bar. They also run occasional drink and draw events, bingo nights, and Connect Four tournaments.

    Where: 308 Bleecker Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn

    16. The Uncommons

    @kikuindaface / Via instagram.com, Kate S. / Yelp / Via yelp.com

    There are plenty of bars that have a board game or two, but at The Uncommons the walls are piled high with them. There's a small cafe menu and booze selection to keep your competitive spirit well fed. (No flipping tables, pls.)

    Where: 230 Thompson Street, Greenwich Village, Manhattan

    BuzzFeed

    17. Fat Cat Music

    citizenroy_ / Via instagram.com, dante.rdgz / Via instagram.com

    Fat Cat Music is essentially an adult games room in a no-frills basement bar setting. Play pool, ping pong, foosball, chess, or countless other games, and listen to live music every night. You do have to pay to play, but the drinks are cheap so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

    Where: 75 Christopher Street, West Village, Manhattan

    18. Crocodile Lounge

    hannahspringett / Via instagram.com, kevinomare / Via instagram.com

    A laid-back dive-y bar with Skee-Ball, Big Buck Hunter, and on selected nights, trivia and bingo. You also get a FREE PIZZA with every drink (ok granted it's not amazing pizza, but ya know, it's free!).

    Where: 325 East 14th Street, Gramercy, Manhattan

    19. Baby Grand

    babygrandnyc / Via instagram.com, babygrandnyc / Via instagram.com

    This cute AF karaoke bar offers sing-a-longs in an intimate environment. There are no private rooms, but there is a decent bar if you need a lil' Dutch courage.

    Where: 55 McGuinness Blvd South, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; 161 Lafayette Street, Little Italy, Manhattan

    20. Full Circle Bar

    lauraivorra / Via instagram.com, extralaurdinary / Via instagram.com

    A little bar with cheap beers and Skee-Ball, aka a place you could easily let several hours slip by. Especially if it's snowing out.

    Where: 318 Grand Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    21. Break Bar

    Paul Wagtouicz / Via break-ny.com!gallery-1-13

    A rec room for adults featuring ping pong tables, darts, arcade games, foosball, and hoops. BYO group of competitive friends, and you'll be set for hours of entertainment.

    Where: 32–04 Broadway, Astoria, Queens

    22. Recreation at Moxy NYC Downtown

    moxy_nycdowntown / Via instagram.com, @flytevu / Via instagram.com

    Things are a little fancier here (given it's a hotel bar) but that doesn't mean you can't have fun. Choose from classic arcade games like Ms. Pac-Man or Donkey Kong, Skee-Ball, a permanent Twister board painted on the floor, or a giant Jenga set.

    Where: 26 Ann Street, Financial District, Manhattan

    23. The Creek and The Cave

    The Creek and The Cave / Via Facebook: creekandcave, ryancrash1 / Via instagram.com

    You could wait out an entire snow storm at The Creek and The Cave — it's a comedy club, Mexican restaurant, and bar (with eight pinball machines to choose from). Take that, winter.

    Where: 10–93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens

    Sign Up For The Bring Me! Newsletter!

    The latest travel tips, off-the-beaten-path experiences, and inspiration delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form