Good Clean Fun: Unique Experiences for Friends
Photo: Wood-Splitters.


As adults in Beer City, it can be easy to forget that there’s so much more to do with your friends than just bars and restaurants.

Especially as the sober and sober-curious seek out other ways to gather and celebrate, it’s key to know about fun options available year-round in town. Casual games, brain-teasing challenges, VIP experiences—we have a wide variety of activities and attractions for a great day with friends.

From immersive escape rooms to adrenaline-pumping axe throwing, and even cooking together, here are some fantastic places where you and your friends can have fun, whether you’re drinking or not.

Mind Games
Escape rooms have gained immense popularity in recent years, and West Michigan has a variety of captivating options to choose from. These interactive experiences challenge your problem-solving skills and teamwork while providing an exciting adventure. With multiple themed rooms to choose from, such as solving a murder mystery or escaping a zombie apocalypse, you and your friends will be immersed in a thrilling race against the clock.
A few options: The Great Escape Room, The Ruse, Locked460

The satisfaction of hitting a target, the exhilarating experience of challenging your skills, the friendly competition between peers, and a little bit of physical activity—just a few reasons why axe throwing has exploded in popularity recently, not to mention all the other experiences local spots have begun to offer. For instance, FlannelJax has not just axe throwing, but crosscut sawing and “Thump the Stump” too. Anywhere you go to throw, experienced instructors will guide you, so you don’t need to be a lumberjack to join.
A few options: FlannelJax, Wood-Splitters, BattleGR Tactical Games

Football + Bowling = 
For a truly unique and entertaining experience, head to the Fowling Warehouse in Grand Rapids. Fowling is a hybrid game that combines elements of—you guessed it—football and bowling. Quite simply, the objective is to knock down the opposing team’s pins by throwing a football, and it’s a whole lot of fun! Not to be confused with bowlball, which involves running and throwing pins down a field into endzones (just kidding). The Fowling Warehouse provides the perfect setting for this truly unique activity with multiple lanes and a social atmosphere, guaranteeing an evening filled with fun and friendly competition. 

And, you know what? There’s nothing wrong with the classic bowling either. Rolling that big bowl down the lane and into a pin (or 10) is a feeling we all crave—it’s simply fun to knock things over! If you disagree, you might want to try duckpin bowling, available at Woodrows in the Amway Grand Plaza, as well as the soon-to-open Crafted Copper in Kalamazoo. It’s a smaller ball that fits in the palm of your hand, with shorter and squatter pins spaced further apart.
A few options: Clique Lanes, Wengers, Northfield Lanes

Game Night
For a more laid-back yet entertaining night, gather your friends and head somewhere with board games. One of the best spots around for this is House Rules Lounge, which combines craft beer, cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks and board games, creating the perfect atmosphere for a game night extravaganza. Choose from a massive extensive selection of board games or bring your own! Plus, they’re just about set to open up their brand new kitchen. If you’re in the Kalamazoo area, consider One Well Brewing for a very similar experience, plus LFG is full of arcade cabinets and old-school console games like Pokemon Stadium on the N64.

Through the Looking Glass
Step into the realm of virtual reality (VR) and embark on extraordinary adventures with your friends. Virtual reality arcades provide a wide variety of immersive gaming experiences, where you can explore virtual worlds, fight zombies, solve puzzles, or engage in multiplayer battles. Whether you just want to play some classic VR or immerse yourself in one of the newer, more unique free-roaming experiences, West Michigan has it all. 
A few options: Amped VR, Nova VR, Zero Latency

Get Cooking
Discover the art of culinary excellence at The Local Epicurean in Grand Rapids. Offering a range of engaging and hands-on cooking classes, this renowned establishment invites food enthusiasts of all skill levels to expand their culinary horizons. Led by expert chefs, these classes provide a unique opportunity to learn essential techniques, explore global flavors, and create delectable dishes using locally sourced ingredients.