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Planning a night out with your significant other or friends (or both!) is great, but even dinner out at the best new restaurant in town can start to seem routine after a while. Enter a new way to enjoy the company of your favorite people: game night done right! There is plenty of local entertainment to be had, from game nights to arcades, bowling, trivia, and more—it’s all here on the North Shore.

In The Game

Located in Peabody, In The Game has something for everyone. From birthday parties for kids to corporate or social events, there’s little this vast facility can’t accommodate. Whether you want to enjoy a night out at their restaurant or bar or immerse yourself in laser tag, a ropes course, or even a virtual reality experience, you can do it all under one roof at In The Game. Their mini bowling is a great way to get involved with an activity that everyone is familiar with—picture standard bowling scaled down. It’s low-key and makes for a fun activity to try with a few friends or a larger group.

535 Lowell St., Peabody,

Kings Bowling 

Kings is synonymous with fun and games, and with good reason. With two North Shore locations (Burlington and Lynnfield) to choose from, it couldn’t be more convenient to have a good time. Kings is family friendly by day (and early evening), and their expansive footprint at both locations allows them to provide a wide variety of activities; from their 16 ten-pin bowling lanes to two bars and a full-service restaurant, there’s so much to do. In nice weather their outdoor patio can’t be beat, and sports fans will love the 50-plus HDTVs and HD projector screens throughout the facility. Kings offers private game rooms as well as a “throwback arcade,” their 1UP Retrocade, where you can play all your favorite games from “back in the day,” including two-player air hockey, Mario Kart, Golden Tee, and more. And don’t forget that you can order food and drinks at both the lanes and table games—an added perk for sure.

52 Second Ave., Burlington, 510 Market St., Lynnfield,

Brick & Ash

At Brick & Ash in Newburyport, the setting is cozy and casual with an upscale vibe. Yes, you can still order all the beers and comfort foods—they just taste better. Fans of their trivia night have great things to say (They’re true fans!), so get a group together and experience what the hype is all about. This is also a good place to improve your pool game or try your hand at one of their indoor shuffleboard tables. They even feature live entertainment, making it the perfect place to meet up with friends. Just don’t be surprised if you end up spending the entire evening here!

10 Center St., Newburyport,

SKY HI kitchen + bar

Whatever your reasons for visiting SKY HI in Amesbury, formerly Trina’s Starlite Lounge, the fried chicken is surely one of them. You might also go for the fun of their Wednesday trivia nights or the pinball machines in the back room, their unbelievably delicious comfort food that goes way beyond the fried chicken, or their expansive cocktail menu (You’ve been warned!). All in all, it’s really hard not to have a good time here.

37 Main St., Amesbury,

Kowloon Restaurant

Is there a person on the North Shore who isn’t familiar with the Kowloon on Route 1? Their comedy night is the stuff of legends. Who wouldn’t love to gather with a group of friends for a special event or just a casual good time at this venue where the laughs are pretty much guaranteed! Check their online “Kowloon Kalendar” for the rotating lineup of comedians.

948 Broadway, Saugus,

Bit Bar

Bit Bar in Salem is an arcade bar done right. Complete with music, gaming, food, and drinks, it has everything you need for a unique night out. Their outdoor patio is great in good weather, and they have more than enough classic arcade games and pinball machines to make anyone who came of age in the 80s and 90s yearn for the good old days. Serving a local selection of beer and alcohol, Bit Bar is the perfect place to stop in on a whim or to plan a party in advance (contact them for more information about private events).

50 Saint Peter St., Salem,

The Castle: A Board Game Café

If board games are more your speed, The Castle: A Board Game Café is the place for you. Located in Beverly and open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, serving beer, wine, and mixed drinks, this is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys tabletop games. With over 750 games to choose from, it’s the perfect place to spend a few hours enjoying an old or new favorite (or two, or ten). The Castle is a full-service restaurant, so you don’t need to leave the comfort of your table to order food and drinks. They have a “$5 to play” model that grants access to all of their games, as well as memberships that offer unlimited gaming in addition to other perks. You can bring your own games, too!

240 Rantoul St., Beverly,