Can you imagine the brainstorming session that resulted in Full Tilt Ice Cream? “Let’s open an ice cream shop… that also serves beer… and that has pinball machines and cool arcade games.” This is one business plan that any parent could get behind! And, families across Seattle – stretching from Ballard to Columbia City – are enjoying the creative genius that is Full Tilt Ice Cream. They have literally discovered the trifecta for a night out with your kids – ice cream that is worthy of even the pickiest Seattle foodie palates, beer that gives a nod to local favorites, and pinball machines and classic arcade games that will actually allow you to sit and enjoy your cone and pint while your kids are entertained by games that will hold their attention far longer than the 35 iPhone apps they’re obsessed with.
The Ice Cream
Full Tilt has their own brand of ice cream that, many ice cream loving Seattleites will say, rivals even those other well-known boutique ice cream brands (we won’t name names!). Kids will enjoy classic flavors that they love and they even serve up smaller cone sizes for kids with big eyes and small appetites. Parents can indulge in extreme flavors that will push their taste buds to the limits, including a rotation selection of flavors such as Mexican Chocolate or ube (made from purple Filipino yams). Beyond the crazy delicious ice cream flavors (be sure to ask for a sample if you need to taste before you commit!), the prices are low ($3.50 for single scoop that is much closer to a double scoop) and many of their flavors are vegan!
Honestly, if you’re on a diet, just leave it in the car, because you’ve never realized how well beer and ice cream go together until you’ve visited Full Tilt. Choose from something local on tap or stick with a can of a classic cheapie like PBR to balance out your already rich ice cream – just like the ice cream, the prices are low and the selection always rotating so that every visit to Full Tilt offers a fresh experience.
This will probably be the first time ever that you will need to convince your kids to finish their ice cream before they head off to play. From classic pin ball machines that you’ll likely remember from your own youth, to the sprinkling of more modern arcade-style games, everything is age appropriate for kids at Full Tilt. No need to scour your couch cushions and the bottom of your diaper bag for quarters – each location has quarter machines that will change both $1 and $5 bills into the loot you need to play the games. Beyond pinball, Full Tilt Columbia City also hosts a wide-variety of music shows and other cool events throughout the week – from local bands to DJs to well-known Seattle kiddie performers, it’s likely that when you visit, you’ll also catch a show (all events and shows are free and all ages).
Columbia City (their flagship location)
5041 Rainier Avenue South
9629 16th Avenue Southwest
5453 Leary Avenue Northwest
University District (ice cream only, no games)
4759 Brooklyn Avenue Northeast
— Katie Kavulla
Has your family been to any of the Full Tilt locations? What was your kiddo’s favorite part about this indoor hotspot?