Look how rainy and cold it is outside! (You might even say that the weather outside is frightful.) With the holiday season upon us, you might have guests visiting from out of town or you might want to spend time with your local friends and family. You all lead such busy lives that it’s hard to get together except during the cold season.
However, the outdoor patios and beer gardens are closed at your favorite bars and pubs, and even sightseeing can be more complicated and unpleasant by the downpour or cooler temperature. That means it’s time to find some new places to entertain your friends and guests and be entertained yourself. The good news is that there’s a plethora of bars and arcades—and some that are both—in the Portland area.
Arcades have been a favorite pastime for gamers of all ages for decades, but here are a few that take that nostalgia and give it a twist or build upon it. Grab your quarters and head out for a night on the town with these five arcades for adults in the Portland area.
Ground Kontrol B-arcade
This bar and classic arcade has an excellent and vast array of pinball machines (they have over 40) and classic arcade games (over 100) from the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. There are some new games too. The games are still a quarter to play, though! What a deal!
With a full bar and menu, you can keep going all night. Menu items can often be made vegan as well. But that’s not all Ground Kontrol offers: come for the games, stay for the DJs, the comedy shows, or Rock Band karaoke. Their space is available for public and private event rentals, and you can even challenge the hall-of-famers at a high score competition or a game tournament.
Gamers of all ages are welcome at Ground Kontrol from noon to 5:00 p.m. daily. After 4:30, 21+ must have their IDs for entry. Visit their website for more information.
A popular hangout—in the summertime too—with a large bike parking area and picnic tables to enjoy in the good weather (and with lots of excellent restaurants nearby). Good doggos are welcome to hang out in the picnic area but aren’t allowed inside.
The pinball machines here range from classic to modern, but the biggest draw is the dozens of great beers on tap. The selection changes often—plenty of opportunities to try something new. Make sure to check out their live beer menu. There are also hundreds of bottled brews for you to try, and you can even take them away if you find something you want to bring home with you!
Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere any time of the year. There’s a wide range of restaurants nearby, and you’re welcome to bring food in with you since they only serve drinks. Apex takes cash only, but they have an ATM on-site for your convenience.
Celebrate your old arcade favorites, such as Galaga, pinball, and Skee-Ball. Quarterworld isn’t just a pinball arcade; it’s also a retro arcade museum! Enjoy the full bar and pizza creations, as well as tasty carnival-inspired delights. It’s hard to be sad in such a happy place!
This arcade has 34 different pinball games and 63 classic and new arcade games. The games take quarters, dollar bills, and credit cards using the PayRange app. More variety provides greater convenience. And here’s something you won’t see every day: this magical place has a musical Tesla coil that plays songs using lightning bolts as musical notes. Tesla coil shows are on Sundays and Tuesdays at 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Invite your friends—you can host a birthday party, a graduation party, a team-building party, or any other kind of party you can think of! Visit the website for more information.
Spin Laundry Lounge
Among our favorite “why didn’t I think of that?” ideas is Spin Laundry Lounge. Come to think of it, if your holiday guests have laundry to do, why not take them here to this novel twist on the laundromat? Spin has two laundromat locations that both feature energy-efficient washers and dryers for your clothes, food and drink, and arcade games (which happen to be provided by Ground Kontrol!). Enjoy beers on tap and coffee in the café. Wash your laundry and enjoy your time doing it—this arcade has Wi-Fi and arcade games upstairs, so laundry won’t feel like a chore ever again. Reward yourself with a free clothes dry with a café purchase. You can also catch a game on the TVs.
You can buy environmentally friendly soaps, bleaches, and stain removers, including Nellie’s All Natural, Charlie’s Soap, The Laundress, and Nikwax. If you’re not sure which is best for your load, you can consult with one of their laundry experts (including if you have delicate or special items like wool that need a wash). Check them out.
Bullwinkle’s Arcade in Wilsonville
We saved our favorite for last! With over 100 video games and redemption games in our arcade, you’ll be hard-pressed to choose a favorite. Among our favorites: Wheel of Fortune, Deal or No Deal, Air Hockey, Star Wars Battle Pods, Crossy Roads, Nascar Racing, and Wizard of Oz! You’ll be able to find something for the kids and the kids at heart. Play by yourself and challenge your gaming skills, or play with your friends or family members and challenge them too! Receive your ticket rewards and redeem them for great prizes at our Prize Center. Children of all ages are welcome here (no height requirements!).
Want to make a day of your trip to the arcade? Bullwinkle’s has a bowling alley, laser tag, and the XD Dark Ride. You can also enjoy food in our restaurant and our full bar—this will definitely be a good day for a friendly game in the arcade.
Visit on our website for information about our holiday hours or for organizing a party for your friends, family, or coworkers.