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Drinking Games: Top Spots to Sip & Play

One of the best ways to slip into the summer mindset is with a cold beverage, pub grub, and fun games. We scoped out the region’s top spots to eat, drink, and partake in some friendly competition—whether you’re with friends, family, or riding solo. Keep reading for 10 recommendations.

Arcade Amusement
Ready to kick your nostalgia into overdrive? Then grab your buds and head to Out of Order Arcade. This “beer-cade” is the ideal all-ages weekend spot with a jam-packed bar and by-the-hour gameplay. You’ll find old arcade favorites like Paperboy, a Star Wars Trilogy Deluxe restoration, Super Mario Bros., and more. Want a recommendation for the ultimate drinking game pairing? Order a round of 2 Towns Ciderhouse BrightCider and hit up the four-person Pac-Man game. Between gobbling up on-screen cherries and the refreshing hard apple cider, you’ll feel like you’re getting your daily dose of fruit in. 13320 Lincoln Way, Auburn, 530-888-8081,

Out of Order Arcade


Flippin’ Fun with Pinball
Is there any greater thrill than when you save your pinball from game over with the perfect flipper maneuver? Add a thirst-quenching beer served “das boot style” (aka, in a boot-shaped glass), and you’ve got Rocklin’s pinball wizard paradise: Das Flipperhaus. Warm up those thumbs for a retro revival, and order a stack of tokens alongside a local pint for a family-friendly escape from the heat. Though their tap offerings rotate regularly, you’ll likely find picks from local go-tos like Movement Brewing Co., Solid Ground, and Loomis Basin. If all that high-scoring works up your appetite, worry not! They have crave-worthy bar snacks like chili cheese dogs and mini pizzas, too. 4835 Granite Drive, Rocklin,

Das Flipperhaus


Axe to the Max
Become an axe-throwing legend at Rancho Cordova’s The Smart Axe. Invite a couple of your close pals and sign up for a throwing session. A professional axe tender will show you the ropes and guide you through all their safety protocols, so you have the best (and safest!) time. Or, if you want to tap into your inner Thor, join the club’s eight-week throwing league to sharpen your skills and win prizes. No matter your target, you’ll have fun testing your aim and enjoying a drink. The bar offers soda, rotating and canned beers, and wine. Take a break from target practice with a plate of savory teriyaki skewers, nachos, or ooey-gooey cheese curds. 11151 Trade Center Drive, Suite 106, Rancho Cordova, 916-389-0178,

The Smart Axe


On Your Marks, Get Set, Go-Kart
Skip the sunburn and just burn rubber at The Apex (part of Red Hawk Resort + Casino). The all-electric indoor go-karts on a multi-level track will fulfill any thrill-seeker's need for speed. After passing your friends and battling for the fastest time, do a victory lap at the Apex Grill where you’ll find domestic draft beer staples like Space Dust from Elysian Brewing, 530 by Farmers Brewing, and Golden State Cider. Or, if you need a little pre-track supercharge, swap the alcohol for a Red Bull power-up. Whichever you choose, save room for the kitchen's injected donut holes—deep-fried bites of dough and crème, chocolate, or caramel-filled goodness that’ll certainly take you to the winner’s circle. 1 Red Hawk Pkwy, Placerville, 530-677-7000,

The Apex


Ready Fore Par-Tee Time?
Want all the fair weather of a fairway but with great drinks, tunes, and plenty of shade? Then there’s no better way to beat the heat than with a Topgolf adventure. For first-time Topgolf duffers, this controlled golfing game gives you all the fun of hitting a hole-in-one without the legwork. Head up to your designated table overlooking an enclosed green and swing away at electronically tracked golf balls. You can play for who can shoot the farthest, the most accurately, or try your luck at puzzle-themed games. Just make sure to order one of their seasonal spring drinks, like the Key Lime 'Tini, Sunset Marg, or non-alcoholic Mango Cooler, alongside a burger and tater tots. 1700 Freedom Way, Roseville, 916-200-1002,



All Aboard
Roseville’s Final Gravity isn’t just a great brewery to sample over 400 unique brews, including on-draft refreshments and canned delights, it’s also the ultimate watering hole to chill out with a few board games. Ask Final Gravity’s knowledgeable bartenders for their weekly arrivals or recommendations based on your palate. Once you’ve found your perfect pint (like the crowd-pleasing “Mexican Cutie” by Nitty’s Cider), head to the fully stocked game shelf. Challenge your bar mates to anything from a Jenga battle to an Apples to Apples tournament. Or, if you’re a proper game master looking to test your smarts, drop by at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays for trivia night. Note: Final Gravity is ages 21+. 9205 Sierra College Boulevard, Suite 100, Roseville, 916-782-1166,

Final Gravity


Cue up for Pool
Consider yourself a bit of a pool shark? Then chalk up your pool stick and bring the heat to the Placerville Public House. This home-grown regional spot is ideal for a filling lunch or late-night last call. Here you’ll find no shortage of craft beers, ciders, kombucha, and rare brews beyond what even the menu tells you. But if you’re looking for something outside the box to grease up your pool shot, go for the Hakutsuru “Junmai”—a full-bodied, crowd-pleasing sake with a smooth taste and easy finish. Don’t be surprised if you clean the table with this one. 305 Main Street, Placerville, 530-303-3792, 

Placerville Public House


Jump for Joysticks
Attention esport athletes! Consider this your bat signal. If you haven’t already, get your game on at Roseville’s FireUp Esports Lounge—"the” destination for all things video games. Whether you’re a PC player or console combater, FireUp has something for everyone. Besides popular games like Overwatch, Minecraft, and Fortnite, the lounge also has gourmet food and game-themed beverages. One of their best-selling libations is the Donkey Kong Punch featuring pineapple rum, silver rum, orange juice, and grenadine. Talk about a power-up! To get in on the fun, buy per hour or become a regular with a monthly unlimited gaming pass. Who said the fun has to stop? 1601 Douglas Boulevard, Suite A, Roseville, 916-389-2900,

FireUp Esports Lounge


Get a Lucky Strike
Take me out to the bowl game! Whether you love a good glow bowl adventure or want to check out “HyperBowling” (which combines the fun of bowling with video game technology), FLB Entertainment Center delivers. Newly remodeled with comfy couches and state-of-the-art scoring, it’s a first-class experience for all ages. Their bartenders know how to take your party to the next level, too, especially with their signature Basecamp Lemonade. Made up of citron vodka, a sprig of rosemary, fresh lemon, splash of triple sec, and lemonade topper, this bad boy turns an indoor day into a refreshing escape. 511 East Bidwell Street, Folsom, 916-983-4411,

FLB Entertainment Center


Have a Bocce Ball
Summer and bocce go hand in hand. It’s a classic, leisurely game that pairs with lively conversation, friendly competition, and colorful craft cocktails. Find your bocce ball happy place at Shangri-La in Fair Oaks—a hip hangout that feels more like an urban Palm Springs oasis than a Sacramento suburb. Cooling misters and seasonal sips—like the popular slushies—will help you beat the heat, while elevated eats (think deviled eggs whose creative fillings regularly rotate, hand-cut fries, and fermented beer-battered fish tacos served on Nixtaco corn tortillas) will keep you full and ready to “play ball” on the spacious palm-lined patio. 7960 Winding Way, Fair Oaks, 916-241-9473,



by Pauline Arroyo

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