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Rob Bartlett


Orlando bars for fun and games 


1205 N. Mills Ave., 407-796-2522;

What this small spot lacks in space, it makes up for in personality: outgoing bartenders, video game-inspired art on the walls and a well-curated selection of classic arcade games. Grab a bottled craft beer and set up shop for the rest of the evening at the bartop multicade machine.

CityWalk at Universal Orlando

1000 Universal Studios, 407-363-8000;

There's almost literally something for everyone here – serious live-band karaoke at Catch a Rising Star, fruity drinks and a beachy vibe at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, dueling pianos at Pat O'Brien's, an ultra lounge vibe at Red Coconut Club, dancing at the Groove nightclub, all in one location that also includes restaurants, a movie theater, a live-music venue and Blue Man Group.

Boardwalk Bowl

10749 E. Colonial Drive, 407-384-0003;

This massive entertainment complex is not just a bowling alley – it also houses an arcade, mini golf, a restaurant, Coasters Sports Bar (which hosts Bonkerz Comedy Club on Thursday nights) and the Carousel Lounge, which has nine pool tables and plenty of TVs so you can catch the game while you bowl or shoot pool.

Church Street Tavern

120 W. Church St., 407-597-0270;

With lots of dark wood, high tin ceilings and cool old chandeliers, this place looks like it's right out of a movie set. The menu is made up of inspired pub grub – kielbasa sliders, five different kinds of fries – and the beer menu is unpretentious. Try a specialty cocktail, like the Mango Tree – mango rum with fresh avocado and mint. Football fans, take note: This Pittsburgh-inspired watering hole is an unabashed haven for Steelers fans.

Colonial Lanes Lounge

400 N. Primrose Drive, 407-896-1443;

Duck into this dark, sunken bar adjacent to Colonial Lanes bowling alley between frames. Or bowl a few after downing a drink at the bar.

Dancers Royale

5221 E. Colonial Drive, 407-281-0120;

Orlando is not known for its strip clubs, and there's a reason for that – this town has strict rules about all-nude dancing. But Dancers Royale features topless dancers, and the place is couples-friendly. Thursday night is ladies night, which means women drink for free from 9 p.m. until midnight.

Dave & Buster's

8986 International Drive, 407-541-3300;

It's an arcade! It's a sport bar! It's a pool hall! This entertainment-oriented bar and restaurant is basically a Chuck E. Cheese for adults.

The Firkin & Kegler

12850 Waterford Lakes Parkway, 407-629-2665;

If you're looking for something to distract you while you wait for the final scores, Firkin and Kegler in Waterford Lakes has bowling, pool and arcade games to help you forget your stupid, stupid picks. Sports are projected onto screens above the alleys, so you can stay up to date. But it gets crowded quickly, so keep a friend posted within arm's reach of the bar.

Hamburger Mary's

110 W. Church St., 321-319-0600;

This gay-friendly burger joint is a lively, campy downtown hangout. On Tuesdays, play Hambingo with Orlando fave drag queens Miss Sammy and Carol Lee, play trivia with Doug Bouser on Wednesdays, and on Sundays experience a drag show at brunch. Cabaret shows, fun and games, drink specials and more, served up alongside a hearty menu of sloppy burgers, soups, salads and fried foods.


8967 International Drive, 407-426-7555;

The largest permanent ice bar in the United States is right here in Orlando and features 50 tons of carved ice. Coats and gloves are provided, or if you're feeling fancy, you can rent furs to wear inside for $10. Once you're done cooling your heels, warm up in the adjacent Fire Lounge, where resident DJs spin the hits.

Kings Bowl

8255 S. International Drive, 407-363-0200;

High-end amenities, like automated scoring computers, elaborate lighting and private rooms with their own lanes, make this bowling bar-restaurant more than just another bowling alley. Kings serves an extensive scratch-made menu and unusual alcoholic offerings.

Pirates Dinner Adventure

6400 Carrier Drive, 407-248-0590;

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum – what better place to act like a drunken sailor than at a pirate-themed dinner adventure theater? Stadium seats ring a stage set up like an old Spanish galleon, and busty wenches and ripped pirates in skin-tight leotards sing, dance, fight and frolic while the landlubber audience cheers them on with a meal and plenty of grog.

Plaza Cinema Café

155 S. Orange Ave., 407-982-5444;

The only movie theater in downtown Orlando, the Plaza Cinema Café offers a full beer and wine menu, so you can imbibe to your heart's content while catching the latest flicks.


Downtown Disney, 1494 E. Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, 407-938-7467;

This massive Downtown Disney bowling alley features two floors, 30 bowling lanes and five bars, as well as billiards, a restaurant and a patio.

Whirly Dome

6464 International Drive, 407-212-3030;

What could be more fun than an entertainment facility that has laser tag, bowling, an arcade and whirly ball (a crazy combination of basketball, hockey, jai alai and bumper cars) all under one roof? A place that has all of those things plus beer. Whirly Dome serves craft beer on premises, as well as signature cocktails, including banana margaritas and candy apple martinis.


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