Photograph: Funtopia USA

The best family-friendly arcades in NYC

These awesome arcades in NYC are full of the gnarliest games, including Mario Kart, Pac-Man and Dancerush Stardom

By Allie Early and Oliver Strand

If you're looking for the best arcades in NYC, we've got you covered. These family-friendly arcades are perfect for kids, and many of our picks also have accompanying activities, such as bowling, laser tag and other cool stuff—including places to eat. These are the perfect places for your family when it's cold, rainy or you just don't feel like venturing outside.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to indoor activities for kids in NYC

For even more cold-weather fun with your kids, explore our favorite indoor playgrounds for kids, indoor amusement parks for kids and trampoline park venues, too! 

Mom and Dad: If you're looking to get in on the Mario Kart action without the kids, be sure to check out Barcade—a gaming and craft beer destination in one! 


The best arcades in NYC

Photograph: Modern Pinball

1. Modern Pinball NYC

Things to do Games and hobbies Kips Bay

Modern Pinball is the brainchild of two gaming enthusiasts, and this venue areis jam-packed with brilliantly-lit pinball games that are fun for both kids and adults. Dive into Addams Family, where you'll explore the family mansion to gain points, launch balls at Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy or enjoy other classic games inspired by Terminator 2 and Star Wars—even Gorgar, the first talking pinball machine ever made. Admission (one hour to unlimited play) includes free play on all games, and you're able to leave and re-enter—you won't lose play time if you exit the building. 

Photograph: Courtesy Chinatown Fair Family Fun Center

2. Chinatown Fair

Attractions Arcades and amusements Chinatown

This family-owned joint is maybe best known for being the former home to the famous Tic Tac Toe Chicken—that bird has flown, and the arcade today is popular with a mix of diehard arcade buffs and casual gamers. Grab lunch in Chinatown before settling in for a game of Beatmania IIDXReRave PlusPIU InfinityNeon FM and DDR—and redeeming tickets for some fun prizes. If any of the older machines happen to eat your dough, tell the staff—they’re known to refund your credits if you ask. Be sure to bring cash!

Photograph: Courtesy Bowlmor Chelsea Piers

3. Bowlmor Chelsea Piers

Attractions Arcades and amusements

This souped-up bowling alley offers HD video walls, cushy seating, state-of-the-art lanes, plus a New York City-inspired laser tag arena. It also has arcade games like Jurassic Park Arcade and Mario Kart, as well as traditional pinball machines and some super-slick air hockey setups that remind you why dinging around a puck is so much fun. The machines use game cards that you fill them with credits, so you don't need to carry around any tokens or change. There's pizza and other kid-friendly fare, plus a full bar for deserving parents.

4. Laser Bounce

Things to do Games and hobbies Queens

This scaled-up arcade has a bounce zone, Mission Impossible laser maze, 3D simulator and a laser tag arena with plenty of twists and turns to keep the competition on edge. The selection in the arcade includes all the latest games, and all the classics. There's plenty in here that will work up an appeitite—good thing Laser Bounce is in a mall with a food court.

dave & busters.jpg
Photograph: Dave & Buster's

5. Dave & Buster’s

What more could a kid want? This sweet arcade has food, bowling, shuffleboard AND a giant arcade that's great for all ages. It's also a sports bar Favorite games include Jurassic Park Arcade, where kids can use “tranquilizing guns” to help restore order to the island and save over 30 species, Candy Crush SagaKung Fu PandaBatmanMario Kart Arcade Grand Prix DeluxeStar Wars Battle Pod and tons more—many games offer prize tickets, too. If you're bringing a crowd, you'll definitely want in on the Eat and Play Combo (an app or entree + a $10 power card) for $18–$23 per person.

Lucky Strike
Photograph: Courtesy Lucky Strike

6. Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge

Things to do Games and hobbies Hell's Kitchen

This bowling alley is a scene at night, but families that visit during the day can take advantage of a more relaxed atmosphere. There is bowling (naturally), plus all the latest arcade games. Take advantage of the extensive menu: mac and cheese bites, soft pretzel dippers, or maybe truffle goat cheese mini burgers for the sophisticated tot. Kids aren't allowed after 5pm Mon–Fri, and after 7pm Sat–Sun.

Photograph: Funtopia USA

7. Funtopia USA

Jam-packed with as much fun as your kids can handle, Funtopia definitely lives up to its name—there’s Balladium, Time Freak Playground and Lazer Runner (all blacklight/glow games), a three-level playground with tubes, tunnels and slides, bumper cars and a toddler play area. There’s also a huge area dedicated to arcade games (over 150 to choose from), including air hockey, Fruit NinjaFrogger and Pac-Man


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