Thanks to Nashville’s notoriously unpredictable weather, it can get cold and rainy any time of the year. You can always hunker down at a bar or restaurant, especially one equipped with games, but why not be a bit adventurous when you’re trapped indoors? Here are the best ways to play without stepping foot outside.
The Best Indoor Activities in Nashville
If you make your way Downtown to Lower Broadway you’ll find duckpin bowling at Nashville Underground. Nashville Underground’s first floor, Bowl & Bull, features four lanes, arcade games, a mechanical bull, and prizes. For larger groups we recommend checking out Pins Mechanical Co. and 16-Bit Bar + Arcade. The popular Gulch establishment combined concepts so guests can enjoy duckpin bowling, themed pinball machines, 30+ classic arcade and video games, foosball, bocce ball, and drinks all at the same time. This gaming mecca is a crowd pleaser for all types of groups.
Trivia is almost like a sport in Music City—things can get very competitive. Popular trivia nights around town include Bottle Cap in 12 South (Tuesdays at 7:00pm), Flying Saucer (Tuesdays at 7:30pm), and Two Bits (Wednesdays at 7:30pm).
From pinball machines to skee-ball, arcade bars have it all. Up-Down Nashville, located in East Nashville, is a 10,000-square-foot arcade bar with over 80 arcade games from the ‘80s and ‘90s, skee-ball alleys, and a Nintendo 64 gaming console. If you make your way over to the Gulch you’ll find 16-Bit Bar and Arcade which features over 30 classic arcade and video games like Pac Man, Donkey Kong, and Mario Bros. Down in South Nashville is the Game Terminal where gamers can enjoy over 200 vintage and new arcade games and pinball machines with all games varying from 50 cents to $1.
The Escape Game
Since opening in 2014, The Escape Game has quickly become one of the most popular indoor activities in Nashville. The interactive phenomenon features scenarios of varying plausibility (like Ruins: Forbidden Treasure and The Heist), and players must work together to free themselves from a room within 60 minutes. Can your team crack the code—maybe even in record time?
Downtown Sporting Club located right on Broadway in Downtown Nashville has axe throwing. You can sign-up for an hour axe throwing session for $20 per person and you’ll have a coach there to guide your group. After axe throwing, head to Paradise Park downstairs or up the rooftop for drinks.
This is not your typical golf outing. The goal of Topgolf is to hit microchipped golf balls at various targets in a giant outfield; your score is calculated by computerized readers on the field based on distance and accuracy. With more than 100 covered, climate-controlled hitting bays, plus a full-service restaurant and bar, you could spend an afternoon here without having to step foot outside.
Bowling is the ideal bad-weather group activity. Pinewood Social is Nashville’s trendiest (and most Instagram-friendly) option, with six reclaimed wood lanes, vintage ball returns and scoring tables, and food and cocktails just a few steps away. Lanes are $60 per 90 minutes for up to 8 people; this includes shoe rentals. Another fun spot is Brooklyn Bowl in Germantown! Lanes are first come first serve, the cost is $15 per half hour for up to eight people, shoe rents are $2.95, and socks are available for $3. If you’d rather go to a good old-fashioned bowling alley, there are still a few out there, including Franklin Lanes, Donelson Bowl and Strike & Spare’s multiple locations. And for a higher-end experience, check out King’s Bowl in Cool Springs.
Rabbit Hole Virtual Reality
The future is here—a virtual reality arcade in midtown. Each of The Rabbit Hole’s six 10-foot-by-10-foot play areas is equipped with the latest in VR technology, a projection screen and plenty of space for your friends to watch you experience an alternate reality.
If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, Music City Indoor Karting likely has the answer somewhere in its 77,000-square-foot facility. MCIK offers head-to-head racing (with karts going up to 40 milers per hour) as well as blacklight mini golf. Get discounts and other perks by purchasing an annual membership.
Blacklight Mini Golf
Who says you can’t putt-putt inside (and in the dark)? While go-karting is the main attraction, Music City Indoor Karting & Entertainment Center also has an 18-hole blacklight mini-golf course. It’s 7 per person or $5 if you race the same day.
Photo Credit: Centennial Sportsplex
Bring out your inner Chazz Michael Michaels at the Centennial Sportsplex rink, which offers public ice-skating and skate rentals throughout the year. For ten bucks ($7 for rink access and $3 to rent skates), you can blow off some built-up energy and take embarrassing videos of your friends who have never hit the ice before.
Nashville is well acquainted with classic karaoke bars, like Ms. Kelli’s, Santa’s Pub, WannaB’s, Lonnie’s, The Lipstick Lounge, and Cross-Eyed Critters Watering Hole. Expect to take in some stellar performances, but don’t be too intimidated to grab the mic yourself—there are plenty of average and below-average singers in Music City, too.
Did we leave off a fun indoor activity in Nashville? Let us know in the comments!