Between the ample sunshine and the easy access to hiking, biking and winter sports, Denver has earned its reputation as an outdoor lover’s paradise. But there’s also plenty of fun to be found indoors! From escape rooms and arcades to indoor archery and golf, we won’t blame you if you decide to stay inside.
It’s all about teamwork at these Denver escape rooms. At EscapeWorks Denver, you’ve got one hour to band together with your group of two to twelve people to escape from a clue-filled room. Each room features a different scenario: plunder Blackbeard’s pirate ship, escape from an Egyptian tomb, elude the police at Prohibition-era speakeasy or pull off an "Ocean’s Eleven"-inspired casino heist. Plus, keep an eye out for seasonal rooms: EscapeWorks ups the scare-factor around Halloween and decks the halls with a Christmas-themed room in the winter.
Techy types will love problem-solving at Puzzah! Each themed room is rated by difficulty (easy-medium or medium-hard) and allows for a different number of players from two to eight. Spend an hour combating cyberterrorists, exploring an alien spaceship or breaking a powerful, ancient curse.
When it comes to classic arcade fun, it’s tough to beat Dave & Buster’s. The family-friendly sports bar and restaurant is a great spot to grab food and drinks while you’re watching the game, or indulge your inner child (and your actual kiddos) with more than 200 arcade games, Skee-Ball, air hockey, a life-size Rock'em Sock'em Robots and carnival-style games where you can win tickets to redeem for prizes.
For a truly immersive experience, head to the VR Arcade, which boasts a huge selection of virtual reality games and experiences. Compete against friends in all sorts of sports, visit distant times and places or battle monsters and aliens to save the world. Not a gamer? No worries! There are VR options for every interest and skill level.
Throw a rave-worthy game night without the pressure of hosting at home. Located in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood, the Game Lounge offers chef-driven food, an extensive menu of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and a mind-boggling board game library. Everything is free to play, from tabletop classics like Monopoly and Catan to party games like Codenames, Telestrations and Cards Against Humanity.
Urban Putt is Denver's first and only indoor miniature golf course. Located in the 130-year-old City Cable Railway Building, Urban Putt’s two high-tech nine-hole courses are decked out with thousands of LED lights, motion sensors and sound effects. But the detail most likely to delight both locals and visitors is the collection of Denver landmarks. Putt past Denver International Airport, around Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre and through the Colorado State Capitol, complete with gold dome. And lest you think mini golf is only for mini humans, note that Urban Putt is 21+ after 8 p.m. and includes a full bar and a menu of pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, salads and more.
Okay, so this one is technically indoor-outdoor, but we’re including it here because you can comfortably play rain, snow or shine. Both the Topgolf in Centennial and the Topgolf in Thornton have more than 100 covered, climate-controlled hitting bays. Play against up to five friends in a variety of games — every ball is micro-chipped to track your shots. Got a non-golfer in the group? The Centennial location also includes a game hall with new and retro arcade games. After all the physical exertion, you’re bound to work up an appetite. Simply flag down one of the bay hosts and order something from the extensive food and drink menu.
Throw on some flannel and channel your inner lumberjack at DAGAR, a hybrid axe-throwing venue and art gallery located in the heart of downtown. Never hefted an axe before? Not to worry. When you arrive, you'll be taken through a safety briefing, then a coach will teach you how to throw the axes. Your session culminates in a series of axe-throwing competitions to see who’s the biggest, baddest Paul Bunyan of them all. While you’re there, sip a selection of local beer and admire art by local artists.
Dodgeball meets archery at Archery Games Denver. There’s no archery experience required — a staff member will take you through 15 minutes of instruction and target practice before you enter the 3,300-square-foot playing field armed with bows and foam-tipped arrows for a battle royale. Don’t worry: the arrows are specially designed so there are no painful marks or bruises, and all players must wear masks to protect their eyes.
Rhein Haus is all about the three Bs: beer (or bier in this case), brats (and other Bavarian food) and bocce! Bocce is one of the oldest lawn games and is played all over the world, including Germany and Austria (where it’s known as boules). Rhein Haus features four indoor bocce ball courts. It’s always free to play, and you can reserve a court in advance Monday through Thursday (walk-ins only Friday through Sunday). The restaurant serves up house-made sausages, pretzels and an impressive selection of German, Belgian and American brews.
Keep the good times rolling at Lucky Strike, where you can go head to head with friends and family on 12 full-size bowling lanes. After you’ve bowled your last frame, challenge your peers to a game of pool, table tennis, shuffleboard or some of the 130 deluxe arcade games. If all that rivalry whets your appetite, fill up on smoked gouda mac and cheese bites, chicken tinga quesadillas, filet mignon sliders or cauliflower-crust pizza, and wash it all down with a handcrafted cocktail.
Denver Punch Bowl Social has eight bowling lanes. But — despite the name — this giant fun factory is so much more than just bowling. Punch Bowl Social also offers private karaoke, ping pong, foosball, arcade games, board games, Virtual Reality, billiards and giant Scrabble and Jenga. When you get thirsty, pop up to the bar for wine, cocktails or craft beers, or take a quick break from gaming to share an order of sriracha peanut fries or some cocoa-dusted carnitas tacos.
Denver has more than 60 craft breweries, but only one of them also boasts Denver’s largest pool hall. Head to Wynkoop Brewing Company in Lower Downtown (LoDo) and belly up to one of the 15 tournament-sized billiards tables on the second floor for a game or two. There are also two shuffleboard tables and two dart lanes. Keep hunger at bay with eats from the lunch, brunch and dinner menus, and browse the long list of beers brewed in-house. People especially love the Cowtown Milk Stout, the Rail Yard Amber Ale and the Patty’s Chile Beer, aged with Anaheim, serrano and ancho peppers.
You better bring your A-game when you show up at Ace Eat Serve. This Uptown eatery dishes up dim sum, bao buns, fried rice, ramen and other Asian cuisine, along with a heaping helping of competition when you challenge your dinner companions to a few rounds of table tennis.
SMASH*IT Breakroom might not count as a “game,” but it is indoors and it is a lot of fun. A break room is a room designed for specifically destruction! SMASH*IT provides you and a buddy with safety gear, an assortment of wrecking tools (think hammers and crowbars) and a room full of items to destroy. Pricing depends on exactly what you want to smash, from small items like glass cups and ceramic plates all the way up to electronics and furniture. Want to really make a mess? Check out the “wet room,” where you can smash a variety of seasonal fruits and veggies and pumpkins and watermelons à la Gallagher the comedian.