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. 


Table filled with barbecue meats and sides

5 dining delights in the Dallas suburbs

There are thousands of excellent dining choices in a region as large as North Texas, but these five eateries should be at the front of the list.

You don’t have to venture far to discover culinary delights beyond Dallas’ bustling city center. Plenty of delicious options can be found in each of DFW’s vibrant suburbs.  

We’re here to take you on a flavorful journey through five of the best, where you’ll find everything from top-notch barbecue to innovative gastropub creations, authentic Cuban pastries, Vietnamese street food with a twist, and artistic cuisine that transcends the ordinary. 

Take a break from your downtown routine and come with us on a food adventure that’s only a short drive away.

Cattleack Barbeque

13628 Gamma Rd, Dallas, TX 75244 (Near Addison and Farmers Branch) 

(972) 805-0999

Cattleack Barbeque, situated in North Dallas, initially began as a retirement project for Todd and Misty David, but it has since become renowned for some of the best barbecue in Dallas. The restaurant offers limited operating hours, and there will likely be a line, but it’s well worth the wait. Imagine sinking your teeth into tender beef ribs, whole hog pulled pork, hatch chili and cheese sausage, and sweet banana pudding. They also offer weekly specials like pastrami brisket. Though the restaurant was sold to employee Andrew Castelan in 2023, pitmaster Todd David is still working hard behind the scenes to guarantee exceptional quality and flavors. 

Barley & Board 

Multiple locations (Denton and The Colony)

This gastropub takes pride in using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and offering an exciting array of cocktails, wine, and beers. The menu changes with the seasons to ensure high-quality dishes are served all year round. The offerings are generally New American cuisine, featuring an enticing array of small and large plates like chicken-fried oyster mushrooms, a blackberry and turkey club sandwich, and a wagyu pastrami melt. You can savor this delicious experience at two locations: one in the charming heart of downtown Denton and the other at Grandscape in The Colony.

Cris and John 

5555 Preston Oaks Rd.#5, Dallas, TX 75254 (Near Addison)

(972) 803-4750

This charming North Dallas spot is extremely close to Addison, so we’re including it in this list. Here, you’ll find Vietnamese street food with fun, delightful culinary twists. One standout dish is the Phorrito, a playful take on pho that you can eat with your hands. It comes with rice noodles, jalapeno, basil, onion, bean sprouts, hoisin, and sriracha sauce, all wrapped in a flour tortilla and pan-fried (we recommend adding a side of pho broth for $2.00). Another standout is the birria tacos: three crispy birria tacos come filled with spicy beef, short ribs, and mozzarella cheese and are served with a side of pho broth for dipping. Also, make sure to keep an eye out for their weekly meal specials.

Cuban Dulceria International Bakery

Multiple Locations (Carrollton)

(972) 242-3797

Cuban Dulceria International Bakery is a hidden gem with two Carrollton locations and a delightful repertoire of pastries. This bakery was founded over 30 years ago and offers notable staples like guava and cheese puff pastries, ham croquettes, and authentic Cuban sandwiches. With a commitment to quality ingredients and time-honored recipes, Cuban Dulceria International Bakery has become a beloved institution for those seeking a taste of Cuba right in their neighborhood. Whether you’re stopping by for a quick snack, a leisurely meal, or a special occasion dessert, you can expect warm hospitality and delicious treats. It’s not just a bakery; it’s a slice of Cuban heritage brought to life through the art of baking.

Jasper’s 

1251 State St #950, Richardson, TX 75082

(214) 716-2610

When it comes to dining experiences that blend creativity with warm Texan hospitality, Jasper’s stands in a league of its own. Named after the renowned American artist Jasper Johns, who is celebrated for elevating everyday subjects through unique techniques, Jasper’s takes the essence of backyard cuisine and transforms it into a culinary adventure. Standout dishes include five-spice Cervena venison, grilled oysters, butternut squash and apple salad, and ultra-creamy mac and cheese. The beverage selection at Jasper’s is impressive. Expertly crafted cocktails featuring in-house infused spirits complement the meal, and the extensive wine list ensures the perfect pairing for every palate.