A Person's Hands Hovering Over a Table Full of Small Candles

8 indoor playgrounds to enjoy fun and games in Atlanta

These creative ideas make for an excellent time with friends, even when the temps get crazy.

If you live in Atlanta, you know the weather can sometimes make or break fun plans. Fortunately, as this city grows, so have the options for entertainment, so you don’t have to let extreme temperatures or rainy days stifle your next adventure. Check out these indoor activities for ways to get out of the house without having to plan around the elements.

The Painted Duck 

976 Brady Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

Have you heard of duckpin bowling? It’s a fun variation on the original, with smaller balls and shorter, squattier pins, creating a challenging sport that’s just as rewarding as its 10-pin cousin. You can see for yourself at The Painted Duck, an adults-only alley (kids are welcome on weekend afternoons), offering everything you need for an excellent night out. The full bar includes signature cocktails and an impressive menu with classic pub fare, plus unexpected additions like Thai ahi tuna skewers or a mixed berry salad. If bowling isn’t your thing, there’s also shuffleboard, pool, knuckleball, horseshoes, darts, and more to keep the good times rolling. 

Beat the Bomb Atlanta

1483 Chattahoochee Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

If you’ve been to an escape room before, you understand the premise: A group of people work together to solve clues to “break out” of a room you’ve been locked into. Beat the Bomb Atlanta integrates a futuristic, interactive spin on the concept, with lasers, lights, projections, and touch-screen puzzles. If you love to solve a riddle, inject some (low stakes) adrenaline into your next adventure at this elevated escape room. 

Splatter Studios

792 North Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

If you want to express some creativity, Splatter Studios is a colorful way to let your inner artist shine. The canvas-covered studio allows participants to freely explore and make a mess by splattering, throwing, dripping, and tossing paint at canvases. You’ll be provided paint, tools, and gear, so you can simply show up and embrace the therapeutic freedom of a little free expression. Plus, you can take your work of art home with you as a souvenir of your experience.

Bear and Honey

421 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

Create something you can enjoy for months to come with a candle making workshop in Little Five Points. This is a calming activity to learn, and easily doable for first timers who would love having a hand-made, custom candle around the house. Relax and enjoy a scent-sational experience. Just be sure to book in advance — this class can fill up quickly. 

Overlook Rock Climbing

1030 White St SW, Atlanta, GA 30310

Rock climbing can be physically and mentally challenging, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. The Overlook Rock climbing gym, located right off the beltline in the West End, focuses on making rock climbing an accessible, fun experience for all who want to explore a new activity in a supportive environment. If rock climbing isn’t of interest, Overlook also hosts yoga and HIIT classes for alternative options to get out of the house and get moving. 

Woman Enjoying Indoor Skydiving

iFly

2778 Cobb Pkwy SE, Atlanta, GA, 30339

Thinks of this option as skydiving without the life-or-death risks. At iFly, you can experience the freedom of flight via state-of-the-art indoor wind tunnels that simulate the feeling of free falling while floating on a column of air. Thrill seekers can even opt for a “high flight” that is faster and higher. Accessible to people of all ages, indoor skydiving is a guided activity, and participants are trained, suited up, and well-prepared for maximum fun — no plane necessary. 

Joystick Gamebar 

427 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA, 30312

When nostalgia hits, bring a bag of quarters and get in the game at Joystick Gamebar on Edgewood. Filled with wall-to-wall retro arcade games like Pac-Man, Galaga, Mortal Kombat, and more, Joystick is an affordable way to feel like a kid again. Make sure to grab a cocktail at their bar or shareable bites from the kitchen to refuel and keep playing. If you’re not a gamer, keep an eye on the events calendar, as this bar-cade also doubles as a venue that regularly features events, trivia nights, karaoke, and more. 

Topgolf

1600 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd NW Atlanta, GA 30318

It’s a classic for a reason. With three floors of climate-controlled hitting bays, you can perfect your swing even when it’s chilly outside. With high-tech, microchipped balls that score themselves, you can keep track of your progress — or forget about scores altogether. You’ll be surrounded with 200 HDTVs, alternative games, music, fire pits, and plenty of food and beverages to enjoy in between hitting holes-in-one.


Group of bowlers with bowling balls in hand.

Explore the indoor playgrounds where adults go for fun and games

Embrace your inner child at these entertaining venues.

Honestly, why should kids have all the fun? The truth is, adults deserve to let off a little steam every now and then too — and, thankfully, the Valley has some epic indoor playground options that are just perfect for date night, a lazy Sunday with your pals, or an after-work happy hour hang. Read on to discover the best spots for ax-throwing, arcade gaming, go-cart racing, and more. 

Breakthrough (smash room)

Have you ever wanted to smash things with a baseball bat or sledgehammer — without the risk of a lawsuit or the need to clean up afterward? Head straight to Breakthrough, Arizona’s number-one smash room and let off some steam by destroying everything in your path. You’ll don some protective gear, of course, and then spend two hours taking turns with up to five of your best buddies as you smash breakable items into smithereens. The experience even comes with pizza and soft drinks, in case you start running low on energy halfway through. 

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Person climbing inside an indoor rock climbing center.

Bouldering Project

Climbing the walls with boredom? Climb them with intention at Bouldering Project in Tempe instead. This modern facility within the Maker district, which neighbors the ASU campus, has a climbing space for grown-ups and little ones, yoga, and an in-house coffee kiosk featuring Arizona’s top coffee roaster to fuel your efforts. Check out the community-focused courtyard for special events and movie nights, like “Parent’s Night Out” every Friday where they’ll host your kiddos so the parents can have their own fun. 

LumberjAxes

With locations in the Tempe Marketplace and Westgate Entertainment District, LuberjAxes is an easy-to-access ax-throwing experience no matter where you reside in the Valley. While outdoor ax-throwing venues are typically on the rugged side, LuberjAxes is an elevated experience set in an event venue with a full bar serving craft cocktails, scratch kitchen (think: lasagna rolls, chicken teriyaki pizza, and Not Your Mammies Apple Pie), flat-screen TVs to watch the game, and comfortable seating. Grab a lane (which accommodates up to eight people) and test your skills in style.

Octane Raceway 

Zoom your way across the finish line at a palm-sweating and heart-pumping 45 mph with high-speed kart racing at Octane Raceway. Racing 14 laps on this 1/3-mile indoor/outdoor track is an absolute thrill and the driver with the best lap time wins the race. You’ll gain speed on straightaways and battle for position through the switchbacks — pop by on Grand Prix Tuesday nights for a chance to win some prizes (there’s even a rolling start so you’ll feel like you’re in the big leagues). 

Puttshack

Puttshack isn’t your grandfather’s boring putt-putt experience — it’s an indoor, tech-centric, nine-hole miniature golfing course won’t require you to do math with a tiny pencil. The balls track your gameplay, and you can earn or lose points based on your skills. The screens will guide you through your game, and you’re playing for points, which means the highest score wins. Look for bonuses and watch out for hazard traps along the way. Each game only lasts about 30 minutes, and there are places to drink crafted cocktails at each hole. 

The Nemesis Club Escape Games

Looking for a truly immersive escape room with one hour of action-packed adventures? The struggle is real at The Nemesis Club, but you’ll have a ton of fun along the way. Once you enter the themed game environment — choose between Evil Robots and Mogollon Monsters — you’ll receive your mission and work with your team to uncover clues. As you solve puzzles, you’ll get closer and closer to cracking the code and beating the clock. Oh, and did we mention this escape room is hidden inside the Soda Jerk Milkshake Bar on High Street in Phoenix? Finding your way IN is half the battle!

Cobra Arcade Bar

Kick it old school at the Cobra Arcade Bar on 2nd Street in downtown Phoenix, which offers a rotating collection of vintage arcade games (including various pinball games, and favorites like Mortal Kombat, Frogger, Ms. PacMan, NBA Jam, and more). All of the games operate on tokens (pro tip: go on Token Tuesdays, where you can get free tokens with drink purchases or on Wednesdays when ladies play for free), and you can often find DJs and food trucks onsite. Come for the arcade games, but stay for the cocktails and draft beers. 

Let it Roll Bowling

Nothing says a fun night out on the town like a pair of rented shoes, but throwing strikes at one of 32 lanes at Let it Roll should help you get over your fashion faux pas embarrassment. Rock N Cosmic Bowl on Friday and Saturday nights is an especially fun time with a nightclub vibe thanks to a kickin’ sound system. There’s also an arcade, a full bar, and a restaurant serving pizza, chicken wings, nachos, mozzarella sticks, and burgers.

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Group of Young Women Jogging in a Local Park

How to stay fit without a gym membership

Prioritize your fitness and wellness with these cost-saving solutions.

Traditional gym memberships sometimes come with a hefty price tag, particularly given stubborn inflation, but maintaining your health doesn’t have to break the bank. All you need is a bit of creativity and motivation to find opportunities in your very own city. Try these fun, accessible, and budget-friendly options to achieve your fitness and financial goals.

Find your people

Fitness isn’t a fleeting transformation; it’s a lifestyle change that comes with the occasional challenge. Working out in a group with like-minded people who share the same goals helps strengthen your motivation and focus. 

Consider Meetup groups for competitive play at any level, from casual pick-up soccer games to dodgeball (or any activity you like!), to meet new friends and elevate your well-being. Or search for fitness-centric groups on social media to like and follow. Let the algorithm do some heavy lifting.

If you have a specific activity in mind, find local groups dedicated to it. For instance, Rungeorgia.com provides an exhaustive list of running clubs for adults and children. 

Get fitness gains by giving back

Volunteering has dual benefits: serving your community and, if you find the right opportunity, boosting your heart rate. Many volunteer activities involve physical tasks like park cleanups, neighborhood beautification projects, community gardening, or event support. 

Organizations like Hands On Atlanta and the YMCA have extensive volunteer programs, including athletic coaching, warehouse labor, and food pantry prep and distribution. Support Habitat for Humanity’s home renovation projects or community gardens like Metro Atlanta’s Urban Farm and work up a sweat while paying it forward. 

Young Women Hiking a Trail Together

Hit the trail

Hiking, walking, running, and cycling outdoors can promote your physical health and mental health. Across the Greater Atlanta area, there are picturesque trails in almost every direction. Many paths have excellent views, so you can boost your health and explore geographic gems that are all around you.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, about 45 minutes northwest of Atlanta’s city center, offers a variety of trails that range from a half-mile to 16 miles, providing accessible options for new and experienced hikers alike. 

Head east from downtown Atlanta to Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, where you’ll find 40,000 acres serving as an outdoor playground for biking, hiking, and fishing. Visitors can enjoy accessible trails and guided tours or discover a new favorite path — just download a visitor’s guide and start the journey. 

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, nestled in a southwest Atlanta neighborhood, is a hidden gem of natural wonders, including springs, waterfalls, and ancient rock formations. The area is one of the largest forests inside the city limits and offers easy walking trails (no biking) that will give you a glimpse of beauty while you reach your wellness goals. 

In fact, in almost every corner of Metro Atlanta, you can find a trail that will work for your fitness goals. 

Take advantage of the workout spaces all around you 

If you love nature, consider taking your workout outdoors. Exercising in a natural environment exposes you to fresh air and sunlight, enhancing your activity and increasing the likelihood of sticking to your exercise routine. Jonquil, Arrow Creek, Piedmont, Old Clarkdale, and Rodney Cook Sr. Parks are just a few of the options available. Hours of operation vary, but facilities generally have flexible opening and closing times. Most don’t require an entrance or membership fee and offer trails, workout stations, and more. 

Or consider gyms right where you live. Some apartment communities offer state-of-the-art fitness centers, free group classes, dedicated gym/workout support, and other location-specific amenities that help your well-being right at home. You don’t even need to leave your four walls — any living space can become a gym with the right app or YouTube tutorial, with online educators offering fitness styles ranging from HIIT to Pilates. 

You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a membership to get in shape. When you approach the city as your gym, maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle is not only possible; it’s thrilling. Atlanta has a wealth of opportunities to help you stay active. The streets, parks, and community spaces are your personal fitness playground. Engage in new outdoor activities, connect with others, uncover some of the city’s hidden gems, and curate a fitness plan on your terms.