Where to Play Family Games

Check out vintage and contemporary pinball machines at the Pacific Pinball Museum.

Family game night at home is always fun with a few board games. But sometimes you need a change of scenery. There are some great places around the Bay Area that offer a variety of game options for families to enjoy together.

East Bay

High Score Arcade – For those of us who grew up in the 1980s this arcade will bring back a lot of memories. It’s got games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede and Tron. If you’re at the Hayward location,  Buffalo Bill’s Brewery across the street is a great place to eat. Check website for hours of each location. 1051 B St., Hayward. 1414 Park St., Alameda. 609-468-3083. 

Pacific Pinball Museum – This interactive museum offers rare pinball machines from the 1940s through present day that are available to play. Throughout the museum, there are also hand-painted murals, vintage jukeboxes and rotating exhibits. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tue.-Thu. and Sun., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 1510 Weber St., Alameda. 510-769-1349. 

Plank – Located on the picturesque Oakland waterfront, this restaurant/game spot is a great place to get dinner and play some bocce ball, go bowling or play some arcade games. Open 11 a.m.-midnight. (Check website; sometimes closed for special events).  98 Broadway, Oakland. 510-817-0980. 

North Bay

Scandia – This place has fun for everyone including mini-golf courses, rides, an arcade, batting cages and a “Lil’ Indy Race Track.” 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.-Thu., 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 5301 Redwood Drive, Rohnert Park. 707-584-1398. 


Gama Ride – This arcade and café in Tanforan Mall offers 3D/6D motion simulator rides, virtual reality, bumper cars, mini bowling and a variety of arcade games. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun. 1150 El Camino Real, #226 and #245, San Bruno. 650-837-9404. 

San Francisco

The Game Parlour – If you want to stick to board games, this is a great place to play and grab a bite to eat with your family. It has more than a thousand games – from old classics to new challenges. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Fri.-Sat., 1-11 p.m. Sun. 1342 Irving St. 415-571-8569.  

Playland Japan – Located in the Japantown Mall, it offers hard-to-find Japanese arcade games. 12:30-8:30 p.m. 1737 Post St., #323. 510-501-6546. 

SPIN – What better way to bring your family together than a night of ping pong and dinner? Located near Yerba Buena Gardens, SPIN offers great finger foods and ping pong in a funky industrial style building. 12-11 p.m. Mon.-Wed., 12 p.m.- midnight. Thu., 12 p.m.-2 a.m. Fri.-Sat., 12-8 p.m. Sun. 690 Folsom St., San Francisco. 415-636-5995. 

Urban Putt – This unique miniature golf course is themed after San Francisco. It also has a game room with skeeball and arcade games and a full-service restaurant. 4 p.m.-midnight. Mon.-Thu., 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-midnight. Sun.  1096 S. Van Ness. 415-341-1080.

Silicon Valley

LVL Up – This place offers tasty pub fare combined with retro pinball machines, arcade games and classic board games. 3 p.m.-midnight. Mon.-Thu., 12 p.m.-midnight. Fri. and Sat., 10 a.m.-midnight. Sun. 400 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell. 408-429-8472. 


 Teresa Mills-Faraudo is an associate editor at Bay Area Parent. 





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