When the weather of a Nashville summer gets a little steamy, sometimes it’s better to look for some indoor fun. Fortunately, Music City has plenty of options for you from bowling alleys that feature all sorts of other activities and amenities to the latest craze in throwing things at a target, axe bars. Whether you prefer your projectiles blunt or sharp, here are your best bets for an afternoon or evening of indoor recreation.
Located on the banks of the Cumberland River just a few block south of the honky tonks of Lower Broad, Pinewood Social is an oasis of entertainment away from the crazy energy of the tourist district. Aimed at a more adult audience, Pinewood describes itself as offering the amenities of the ground floor of a boutique hotel, just without all those rooms above it. Among those attractions are a fine coffee program run by their neighbors at Crema, one of the most innovative cocktail programs in town, a restaurant featuring multiple all-day menus and an outdoor recreation with two plunge pools, table tennis and bocce. But the feature that draws all the boys to the yard is Pinewood’s vintage bowling alley, six reclaimed lanes transported from the Bowl O’Rama in Indiana. Shoes and balls are free, and lane rental for up to eight bowlers is $40 an hour, including access to dedicated servers to bring drinks and food straight to your seating area.
Kings Dining & Entertainment is a little more family-oriented and located out in the ‘burbs near Cool Springs. But kids of all ages can find something to entertain themselves in the home of the Kings, from 16 bowling lanes, pool tables, traditional bar games like foosball, shuffleboard and air hockey and plenty of televisions hanging all over the facility to make sure the big game is always in your line of sight. The Draft Room is especially dedicated to sports and beer serving cold craft drafts on massive mugs. Kings Dining & Entertainment also focuses on musical entertainment in their Whiskey Room, a 120-person capacity music venue which features live music staged with state-of-art lighting and sound gear. You can also be the star during their popular weekend karaoke nights.
The talented entrepreneurs at Strategic Hospitality, the team behind Pinewood Social, finally gave in to the urge to go ahead and build that boutique at their latest venture called Downtown Sporting Club. The multi-story complex does indeed feature a third floor of attractive hotel rooms, some of which offer views of Broadway below, but Downtown Sporting Club is a whole lot more than just lodging. The street level offers a cocktail bar, upscale, but casual, restaurant and more coffee service from those geniuses at Crema, as well as an enjoyable rooftop deck. However, it’s the second floor that has thrust DSC into the itineraries of tourists mapping out a fun evening in Music City, and that’s because it features the plushest axe throwing bar in town. Your alley rental includes access to a trained coach who will make sure all participants learn the proper techniques and safety procedures for a fun hour or two flinging hatchets at plywood targets. Popular among locals and visitors alike, axe throwing is like playing darts on the set of “Game of Thrones.”
While BATL Nashville isn’t as plush as Downtown Sporting Club, it does come from a longer pedigree. In fact, BATL stands for Backyard Axe Throwing League, considered the originators of the sport back in 2006. The company now has warehouse locations all over the continent including a Nashville location in East Nashville. Guests can (responsibly) enjoy a menu of beer, wine and spirits along with sandwiches and bar snacks while they hurl the hatchets in individual lanes separated by fencing. Patrons can also book private parties including alley and axe rental, food packages and the option of purchasing trophies to award to the best throwers.
AxeVentures is located near the Gaylord Opryland resort, about ten minutes from downtown Nashville. Coaches train new throwers in safety and technique and teach them games they can play during their time in the alley. Popular with bachelor and bachelorette groups or for birthday parties, AxeVenture also promotes team-building events during the less crowded daytime hours. Book your small group online or contact them directly if you want to bring a bigger crowd.
Class Axe is situated right on the main drag of Madison, a growing community about ten minutes northeast of downtown Nashville. The company offers 90-minute blocks of time to enjoy flinging 1.5 pound axes at plywood targets marked with concentric rings. Whether you’re a first-timer or an old hand at axe throwing, you can always improve your skills with a fun practice session. Unlike some of the other axe throwing emporiums around town, Class Axe is a BYOB (beer only, no hard stuff) facility, so exercise caution because after all, you will have some seriously medieval weapons in your hands!