With the year nearly over, it’s time to think about Christmas outings and boisterous group activities to finish off 2023. And sometimes you want to do more than just sit in a restaurant’s private dining room or grab drinks at the pub.
We’ve rounded up some fun ideas for group holiday hangs this year, including belting out hits at karaoke, solving large-scale puzzles (with a Wes Anderson aesthetic) and more.
Visit Adelaide’s new entertainment precinct
If you’re stuck for ideas, look no further than Adelaide’s new 450-capacity, multimillion-dollar precinct – it opens November 30 across the first level of Rundle Mall.
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It’s by Funlab, the creators of Holey Moley, which first opened in Adelaide six years ago. Now the team is debuting three of its brands – all known for “competitive socialising experiences” – in South Australia, after outsize success in other states.
In that one destination alone, you’ll find Hijinx Hotel, Strike Bowling and Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq. The goal is simple: to recapture the nostalgic good times of childhood, bolstered by new technology, playful twists and theatrical themed cocktails. Bookings for all three are already open.
Play old-school arcade games with a twist
What’s better than the action-packed lights and sounds of a classic arcade? Maybe playing with a cocktail in hand? Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq is an arcade with a twist, combining time-honoured group games with drinks that have a Wonka-esque flair.
Long-time favourites like Mario Kart and Bop It sit alongside air hockey, claw machines and basketball. Rack up tickets to take home some fun prizes, then double down on the team-building with bumper cars, laser tag or an immersive virtual-reality experience.
At the bar, order the Pop Till You Drop, which sneaks fireball, butterscotch, apple juice, bitters and whipped cream into a movie-style container topped with maple popcorn. Others will transport you straight back to childhood, from the playful Rub a Dub Tub to the shake-inspired Candy Stand – complete with a swirled lollipop. Booze-free versions are available, too.
Check into a hotel with no beds – just games
Part escape room and part candy-coloured flashback, Hijinx Hotel is a Wes Anderson-worthy experience featuring 10 distinct spaces. Two to six players will need to show their best teamwork to finish each challenge in under four minutes, including giant Scrabble tiles, a Big-style floor piano and a winking take on a kids’ ball pit.
The themed bar is also close by, if you need a refreshment before taking on the challenges again. Every time you play, you’ll get a random selection of five to conquer.
Knock down pins at bowling (then belt out at karaoke)
If you think bowling hasn’t changed with the times, Strike might just change your mind. The new bowling alley updates the familiar experience with a booming sound system, food and drinks service straight to your bowling lane and animated targets projected for earning extra points. There are also multiple modes available for group play, from team-on-team to total free-for-all. The balls themselves are more colourful than you might remember – brightness is the theme here.
And if you’re keen to keep the group vibe going, there are karaoke rooms at the same site. With a continually updated song list and enough microphones to go around, it’s an ideal way to break the ice with co-workers or deepen your bond with close mates. From anthems to ballads, there’s simply nothing like you singing your heart out.
This story is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Funlab.