Between pool playdates and park picnics, it’s nice to have an indoor option where you can escape the heat and still have a blast. At Punch Bowl Social, all ages are entertained with bowling, karaoke, arcade games and more. This summer we’re amped about the revamped kids’ menu that keeps us fueled for game after game. Check out what’s new at downtown Portland’s hot spot for the summer.

photo: Punch Bowl Social

New Eats
Straight from the scratch kitchen comes a kids’ menu with even more crowd-pleasers than before. New items include BBQ Ribs, a Banana Almond Butter Sandwich (a must-try, especially when strawberries are added) and a kid-sized serving of the popular Lil’ Knock Cheeseburger with fries. The Lemon Waffle with Whipped Cream has just enough lemon-y flavor to move the breakfast staple to the gourmet category, while the Grilled Cheddar Cheese Sandwich is simple enough for your purists to order and feel like it was made at home.

As usual, most menu items can be made vegan or gluten-free, so just ask if you have those requests. And don’t dare visit without ordering a punch bowl for the table. The adult flavors on the menu can be adapted for the under-21 crowd, and you can order for 1, 4 or 8 people. Our favorite is Something About Rio, which is a perfect tropical summer treat (with or without rum, depending on the ages in attendance). Milkshakes are another specialty, but you might want to order a variety of flavors and share among the group because the options are too tempting to choose just one.

Insider tip: Order your food at the beginning of your bowling game to keep the youngest bowlers busy while they wait for their turn. Bring some baby wipes along so you can wipe sticky fingers before (and after) handling the bowling balls.

photo: Punch Bowl Social

Let’s Bowl
Punch Bowl Social is participating in Kids Bowl Free, the popular summer bowling program that’s sweeping the nation, one bowling alley at a time. Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., ages 15 and younger can enjoy one hour of free bowling and complimentary bowling shoes. Make sure to sign up for the program ahead of time, and always have an adult accompanying the kids while they bowl. Call ahead to reserve your lane and check adult prices for your visit in case you want to join them for a game.

Insider tips: Rent all four lanes in a section and it will feel like a private bowling party. Bumpers are available and so are ramps for the youngest bowlers, so just make those requests when you arrive.

photo: Punch Bowl Social

Play and Sing
Bowling isn’t the only activity available, so you might need to plan on staying all afternoon to enjoy it all. Vintage arcade games like Ms. Pac-Man, Frogger and Return of the Jedi are just a few in the line-up, and the 4-player Pac-Man table will spark an intense tournament once you get started. With skee-ball, foosball and ping pong on hand, it will be hard to choose what to play next. All arcade games are coin-operated, but an ATM and change machine are available if you need them. Ping pong tables can be rented and they’re spread throughout the venue so you can grab one closest to your seating area.

If your group wants to turn up the volume, private karaoke rooms are the way to go. There are plenty of song choices for all ages, from the Disney and Pixar crowd to the Beatles and the 80s hair bands in between. Karaoke rooms can fit a maximum of 10 people and the rental fees vary according to the weekday and time of day, so call ahead for the rates if you’re planning your visit.

photo: Punch Bowl Social

Have a Party
Punch Bowl Social has so many activity options, it’s an obvious choice for an indoor birthday party. Get in touch with their events staff to plan it, because they prefer to tailor your event with your preferences in mind instead of offering pricey birthday packages. Most events will include a food and drink minimum in order to reserve a space, but they do not include a reservation fee, so you can expect to pay just for the food, drinks and your chosen activities.

Insider tip: We recommend birthday parties here for the older crowd, aged 10 and up, so they can be free to roam from one activity to another without a need for constant parental supervision.

Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Fri., 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
Sat., 10 a.m.-2 a.m.
Sun., 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
All ages welcome before 10 p.m. each day (21 and older from 10 p.m.-close)

340 SW Morrison St. (Pioneer Place, 3rd level)
503-334-0360
Online: punchbowlsocial.com/location/portland

Have you taken your crew to Punch Bowl Social yet? Let us know in the comments below!

— Marianne Walters