The next time you go out, try coupling your cocktails with competition and head to a game-themed bar around the city.
Luckily, the District is home to a popping scene of bars with various games from mini-golf and ping pong to board and arcade games. Boost your bar-hopping game by mastering Pac-Man or board games while you sip on cocktails at one of these local spots.
Enjoy a fusion between mini-golf and alcoholic beverages at Swingers. Inside Swingers, you’ll find two nine-hole putt-putt courses outfitted with greenery and a giant windmill. While Swingers doesn’t prepare its own food, the menu caters meals from local businesses like Southern BBQ ($12-$14) from Succotash, pizza ($15-$20) from Kneadza Pizza and tacos ($9-$12) from tuTaco. To loosen up on the mini-golf course, order cocktails like the Mulligan Mule ($14) with vodka, hibiscus liqueur and ginger beer and the Lime in the Coconut Collins ($13) with spiced rum, pineapple and Red Bull. Tickets are $19 a person for golf ($24 a person at their peak times of Thursday and Friday after 6 p.m. and all day Saturday) and food and drink packages start at $39 a person.
Dupont Circle. 1330 19th St. NW. Open Tuesday through Thursday 3 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday noon to midnight and Sunday noon to 10 p.m. 21+ only.
The Board Room
For a quiet night out with friends, The Board Room is the ideal place for you. For $2, choose from one of the 30 plus board games offered like Scrabble and Yatzhee to Settlers of Catan and Backgammon. To drink, the Board Room serves draft beers like Guinness Draught ($7 a glass) and DC Brau Public Pale Ale ($6 per glass and $20 per pitcher). The Board Room does not serve food but provides paper menus from local places like Flippin’ Pizza, Banana Leaves and Glen’s Garden Market to deliver with no extra cost.
Dupont Circle. 1737 Connecticut Ave. NW. Open Monday through Thursday 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday 4 p.m. to 3 a.m., Saturday noon to 3 a.m. and Sunday noon to 2 a.m.
Transport yourself back to the 70s at Players Club for a night of vintage games, music and drinks. Try your hand at the pool tables, foosball, pinball and other classic arcade games located in the downstairs basement. The games are cash and coin-operated, and the venue includes an ATM and quarter machine. On the roof is the Skybox bar where you can order cocktails and draft beer options. Players Club does not serve its own food, but you can place orders through Player’s club to be supplied by the neighboring Shake Shack.
Logan Circle. 1400 14th St. NW. Open Tuesday through Thursday 5 p.m. to 1:45 a.m., Friday 5 p.m. to 2:45 a.m., Saturday 4 p.m. to 2:45 a.m. and Sunday 5 p.m. to 1:45 a.m.
Replay at Pose Rooftop
Drink, dance and pinball the night away to throwback tunes at Replay, an 80s-themed rooftop pop-up bar at Pose Lounge in the Gaylord National Resort. The lounge, which opened in July, features neon 80s-style decorations, priceless National Harbor views and vintage arcade games like Atari, Pac-Man and pinball. Its star cocktails are giant milkshakes that guests can add alcohol to for $6. Try out the strawberry shortcake milkshake ($26), which serves two people and is topped with a cookie, brownie, marshmallow and chocolate covered cherries.
National Harbor. Pose Rooftop Lounge, 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Md. Open Fridays and Saturdays 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and weekdays 4 p.m. to midnight. No reservations needed.
Comet Ping Pong
Comet Ping Pong is a hipster pizza restaurant, ping pong tournament locale and live music venue all in one. This restaurant is family friendly and full of ping pong tables to try your hand at. The pizza menu includes a build-your-own category with ample toppings in addition to original creations like the Little Mac Burger ($16), the Cheesus Crust ($15.50) and the Veganista ($16). Starters include garlic knots ($6), risotto balls ($7), meatball sliders ($9) and a variety of salads ($5-$11). Reservations are available by phone but are not necessary.
Chevy Chase. 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. Open Monday through Thursday 5 to 9:30 p.m., Friday 4 to 10:45 p.m., Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
For pinball fans, check out Lyman’s Tavern and grab a bite of indulgent bar food while you’re there. The Tavern currently houses 10 pinball machines, an updated list of which can be viewed on their Pinball Map. To eat, the tavern offers a large selection of bar food like the house-made pimiento dip ($8), the Mr. Taylor grilled cheese with pork roll and swiss ($10) and 10 different hot dog options ($4-$11). The tavern also sells drafts, bottles and cans ranging in price from the Natural light ($3) to the DC Brau Imperial IPA ($8).
Columbia Heights. Corner of 14th and Quincy streets NW. Open Sunday to Thursday 11 to 2 a.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 to 3 a.m.