Rainy Day Fun

Photo courtesy of The Escape Game San Francisco. 
 
Don’t let the weather outside rain on your parade and force you to live in a parka. Just take your fun indoors. Luckily, there’s so much more than Netflix to help you pass the time in the Bay Area during winter’s waiting season.
 
The following BARTable bars, venues, and game hubs keep things lively even when it might be dreary on the other side of the wet window. Rain? Fog? Cold? Hop on BART and head to one of these spots where you’ll never have to worry about being bored.
 
Photo courtesy of SPIN.

SPIN

SPIN is a lively sports bar where the playful focus on ping pong is a welcome change from the usual Bay Area team games on the field or basketball court. It’s a constant ping pong party a short walk from Montgomery Station, where SPIN serves up cocktails and a full food menu complete a hip table tennis scene in SoMA. Shrimp bao bun with your backhand topspin? Warm flatbread with your forehand drive? And when your paddle plays can use some juice, try a craft cocktail in your paddle-less hand.
 
When: Monday-Wednesday: 12-11pm | Thursday: 12pm-12am | Friday & Saturday: 12pm-2am | Sunday: 12-8pm
Where: 690 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Nearest station: Montgomery St
Walk time: 10 minutes
Website: SPIN
Phone: (415) 636-5995
 
Photo courtesy of The Mechanics Institute. 

Chess at The Mechanics Institute

Meditative, competitive, calming, and strategic, this chess is a timeless board game that can be as cutthroat as it is quiet. There are so many reasons why it remains a classic addiction for devoted players, young and old, and it continues to thrive in Downtown San Francisco. Just around the corner from Montgomery St station, San Francisco’s Mechanics Institute remains a longtime forum for chess players of all skill levels and demographics. Frequent chess meetups, tournaments, and free classes welcome the public to partake in intelligent indoor fun.
 
When: Check website for more details
Where: 57 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94104
Nearest station: Montgomery St
Walk time: Two minutes
Phone:  Chess Room (415) 393-0110 
 
Photo courtesy of The Escape Game San Francisco. 

The Escape Game San Francisco

When outdoor sun isn’t what you’re looking for, try your hand at being the modern Sherlock Holmes or 007. The Escape Game San Francisco presents 60-minute “immersive adventures” during which players unearth clues and coordinate together to solve a given mystery and complete a designated mission. Take BART to Montgomery St and walk a few blocks to find these escape room activities, where you and your team of two or more can choose your own adventure from “Prison Break,” “The Heist,” “Special Ops: Mysterious Market,” “Playground,” or “Gold Rush.”
 
When: Check website for game times
Where: 150 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Nearest station: Montgomery St
Walk time: Five minutes
Website: The Escape Game
Phone:  (415) 940-7808
 
Photo courtesy of Victory Point Cafe. 

Victory Point Cafe

Coffee, beer, and gaming are all conveniently located in one spot located an 8-minute walk from Downtown Berkeley Station. Victory Point Cafe’s light, bright, and wood-adorned setting hosts crowds looking to study, work, and play—open mornings and into the late nights throughout every day of the week. The shelves are stuffed with a vast selection of board games to keep your caffeine high fueling a victorious end. When your competitive nature gets you hungry, toasted paninis, pizzas, and popcorn can help keep your energy going during your next game night in Downtown Berkeley.
 
When: Monday-Thursday: 8am-11pm | Friday: 8am-11:30pm | Saturday: 10am-11:30pm | Sunday: 10am-11pm
Where: 1797-A Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709
Nearest station: Downtown Berkeley
Walk time:  Eight minutes
Phone:  (510) 982-6325
 
Photo courtesy of The Hot Tubs of Berkeley. 

The Hot Tubs of Berkeley

The name says it all. Really, who doesn’t love getting wrinkly toes in a hot tub? Warm up your limbs in winter (or anytime) and de-stress with help from Hot Tubs of Berkeley, located a few blocks from Downtown Berkeley Station. They dub themselves the “home of the 60-minute vacation,” and this relaxing hub of tubs welcomes locals to come in and drift away amidst bubbling bliss for a break from the outside urban rush. Please note you must be at least 18 years old. 
 
When: Monday-Thursday: 11am-11pm | Friday & Saturday: 11am-12am | Sunday: 11am-10pm
Where: 1915 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
Nearest station: Downtown Berkeley
Walk time:  Six minutes
Phone:  (510) 843-4343
 
Photo courtesy of Yerba Buena Ice Skating & Bowling Center. 

Yerba Buena Ice Skating & Bowling Center

Whether or not the Christmas lights are still up, ice skating never goes out of style. Take your tots or favorite date to Yerba Buena Ice Skating & Bowling Center for some indoor action when Bay Area nature excursions can’t make the cut. Just a nine minute walk from Powell St, this family-friendly skating rink and bowling alley has been a standard group destination for more than 20 years.
 
When: Check website for full details 
Where: 750 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94107 
Nearest station: Powell St
Walk time:  Nine minutes
Phone:  (415) 820-3532
 
Photo courtesy of Q-ZAR Laser Tag. 

Q-ZAR Laser Tag

Point and shoot a laser for indoor team play at Q-ZAR Laser Tag, an eight minute walk from Concord Station. Arcade games, air hockey, and (of course) laser tag ensures kids and adults stay lighthearted in the East Bay. Whether it’s a corporate bonding event or a kids’ birthday party, Q-Zar keeps the inner child alive in every player practicing hide-and-seek agility during a game that has all the adrenaline but none of the mess of paintball.
 
When: Monday-Thursday: 12-9pm | Friday: 12-11pm | Saturday: 10am-11pm | Sunday: 10am-9pm
Where: 2295 Willow Pass Road, Concord, CA 94520
Nearest station: Concord
Walk time:  Eight minutes
Website: Q-ZAR Laser Tag
Phone:  (925) 521-9663
 
Photo courtesy of Golden Gate Tap Room. 

Golden Gate Tap Room

Craft beer is the backbone to Golden Gate Tap Room, but the Skee-Ball, air hockey, shuffleboard, pool, and pinball keep this bar more eclectic than your average Downtown San Francisco neighborhood spot. Next to Union Square, just five blocks from Powell St, the entertainment here never ceases. Hop from game to game—careful not to spill that pint in hand—making new friends along the way. Or, come with your large crew to fill the large and lively space.
 
When: Monday-Saturday: 11:30am-2am | Sunday: 11am-2am
Where: 449 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Nearest station: Powell St
Walk time:  Eight minutes
Phone:  (415) 281-9000

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