Sometimes a simple “dinner and a movie” just doesn’t cut it, especially during those frigid winter evenings that are on the horizon for Virginia. To help you stave off the boredom that inevitably comes from being cooped up inside all winter, we’ve compiled a few of the most exciting and unique activities around Virginia to keep things interesting. Whether you’re planning an evening out with friends or a romantic date night, these indoor activities will ensure the fun lasts beyond the holiday season in Virginia.
Topgolf/Drive Shack—Ashburn, Alexandria, Richmond, & Virginia Beach Locations
Photo Credit: Sam Dean, @sdeanphotos
Unlike your average golf course, Topgolf and Drive Shack aren’t miserably cold during the winter. These Virginia golf range locations all have heated bays to keep you comfortable even during the chilliest nights. Plus, they offer cocktail and food service directly to your bays, where you can play a variety of interactive golf games and courses to compete with friends or play solo. Inside these high-tech winter golf destinations, you’ll discover bars surrounded by multiple televisions to watch your favorite sports teams, full-service restaurants, and indoor games including table games like pool and retro arcade video games. While Topgolf has locations in Ashburn, Alexandria, Richmond, and Virginia Beach, Drive Shack has just opened their first Virginia location right outside of Richmond near Short Pump.
Tang & Biscuit—Richmond
Photo Credit: Bo Corbin
Richmond’s first shuffleboard hall, Tang & Biscuit, is located in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood close to numerous breweries, cideries, meaderies, and distilleries. The social venue contains ten regulation-size shuffleboard courts, a bar that spans nearly the entire length of the establishment, a huge collection of board games, and an interactive game station featuring favorites like corn hole, ping pong, and giant Jenga. Add to it that they often host live music and you will find that there is always something to do at Tang & Biscuit. Their innovative kitchen serves up all sorts of fresh fare, from biscuits like the Memphis Pig, topped with pulled pork and coleslaw, to flatbread pizzas like the Chicken Bacon Ranch.
Alamo Drafthouse—Winchester, Charlottesville, & Woodbridge Locations
Ok, hear us out; we said beyond the standard “dinner-and-a-movie”, and Alamo Drafthouse delivers on that promise. The state-of-the-art movie theater frequently hosts special events such as theme nights, sing-alongs (a theatrical Rocky Horror Picture Show performance around Halloween is a must), stand-up comedy, and more. And their in-house restaurant and cocktail bar means you can have dinner and drinks without ever leaving the theater. With locations in Winchester, Charlottesville, and Woodbridge, there are multiple places to enjoy this step up from your typical movie night.
The Circuit Arcade Bar—Richmond
Another exciting destination in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition neighborhood, Circuit Arcade Bar has over 50 classic arcade and pinball machines, offering hours of entertainment for those most frigid days in Virginia’s capital city. In addition to games, Circuit has a full kitchen serving made-to-order dishes and a fifty-tap self-serve craft beer and wine section, allowing you to sample a wide variety of beverages without having to order a full pour.
Rosie’s Gaming Emporium—Richmond, New Kent, Hampton, Dumfries, and Vinton Locations
Full-scale gambling is not currently legal in Virginia, but if you’re looking for the closest thing, Rosie’s Gaming Emporium is your best bet. With a game floor holding dozens of HHR (Historical Horse Racing) machines, each Virginia location has casino-like thrills and a range of price points, from the economical machines for those looking to dabble in the games to the high-stakes section for the more experienced player. And each location has several bars and restaurant areas to serve dinner and drinks along with your evening’s entertainment.
Hotel Greene Indoor Putt Putt—Richmond
It may be called Hotel Greene, but you can’t stay here overnight; the vintage hotel-themed business is actually an indoor miniature golf course. “Check in” at the front desk to get your clubs, balls, and score cards, play a round through the Wes Anderson-esque hotel lobby and rooms, then end your mini golf game at the hotel’s restaurant and bar, where you can sip, dine, and unwind.
A sprawling restaurant and game room combination, Ruby’s Arcade pairs creative wood-fired pizzas with duckpin bowling, pool tables, dart lanes, and foosball. The Harrisonburg venue also has two full bars and a lounge area, where they host weekly events including live music from acoustic performers on Tuesday night and DJ dance parties Thursday through Saturday.
A 40,000 square foot state-of-the-art indoor kart racing facility, Autobahn is the largest completely indoor go-kart facility in all of Virginia. Race your friends in Italian pro-karts that reach speeds of up to 50 MPH on this exciting track. Twelve laps on the weekend start at just $21.99 per person, but they offer several race packages (all under $100) that let you fulfill your need for speed. The Northern Virginia attraction also has an indoor axe-throwing facility, providing even more entertainment for those cold-weather days.
Beachside Social—Virginia Beach
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the beach! Come to Beachside Social in Virginia Beach for a classic game of shuffleboard as well as a bevy of board games including Trivial Pursuit, Taboo, and Scrabble. And what’s a visit to the beach without a refreshing drink in hand? Head to their coastal-themed bar for a seasonal cocktail, craft beer, or a glass of vino to relax while you game.
Bad Axe Throwing—Fairfax, Richmond
The world’s biggest urban axe throwing club, Bad Axe Throwing, has one location in Northern Virginia and plans to open a second Virginia location in Richmond by the end of 2019. Skilled axe throwing staff will teach you the traditional Canadian backyard pastime in a safe environment, providing you and your friends with a unique activity for a winter outing.
River City Roll—Richmond
Photo Credit: Heather Nicholas, @rivercityroll
Bowling used to mean putting on smelly shoes and snacking on an array of fried food options while hefting a ball down ancient wooden lanes, but River City Roll has redefined the popular pastime. Elegant tufted leather couches frame each lane, providing a comfortable place to sit while you wait your turn to bowl, and their upscale dining menu includes truffle fries, pork belly steamed buns, and a selection of gourmet brick oven pizzas delivered to your lane. And forget warm pitchers of discount beer; River City serves a full lineup of craft brews, flavorful cocktails, and carefully selected wines from around the world.
Punch Bowl Social—Arlington
A veritable “fun factory,” Punch Bowl Social contains three entire floors and 24,000 square feet of entertainment, including four bars, a scratch-to-craft restaurant, both mini and full-size bowling, ping-pong, billiards, karaoke, and old-school arcade games. Rent a private karaoke room for you and your friends to belt out your favorite hits without the judgement of a public karaoke bar, or share your talents with everyone at Punch Bowl Social by singing something on the main stage.
Bingo Beer Co.—Richmond
Yet another attraction to visit in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition, Bingo Beer Hall is a craft brewery that also serves food, hosts live music, and has endless games to keep you entertained for hours, from twelve classic arcade games to pinball, ping pong, and all the boardwalk classics.
And of course, if the weather makes you want to stay indoors, consider spending the afternoon at a local winery, craft brewery, cidery, or distillery, where you can keep warm with some of Virginia’s most delicious drinks!
Where are your favorite places to go when the days get shorter and the temperatures? Share a few of your go-to spots with us in the comments!