Three boys playing arcade games.

Chatham Kent | Destination Ontario

Turn back the clock with fun retro activities

Three boys playing arcade games.

Chatham Kent | Destination Ontario

Go back in time to enjoy the charm of these popular activities from the past.

Bowling alleys

Bowling is an indoor, team-based recreational sport that involves rolling a ball down a lane in order to knock down a set of standing pins.

Its origins date back to ancient times, but in North America, bowling became increasingly popular in the 19th century. Canada’s love of the activity led to the invention of the 5-pin bowling version in the early 1900s.

Modern upgrades to the bowling experience include glow-in-the-dark bowling, automatic scoring and advance online booking and reservations.

Here are some of the best bowling alleys in Ontario:

The Ballroom Bowl: classic 10-pin bowling lanes.
Location: 145 John Street, Toronto

Leisure Bowling Lanes: enjoy classic music hits as you bowl during Rock n’ Bowl nights.
Location: 728 Champlain Avenue, Oshawa

Classic Bowl: 60 10-pin lanes.
Location: 3055 Dundas Street West, Mississauga

Rexdale Bowlerama: 5-pin and 10-pin lanes, regular and glow-in-the-dark bowling.
Location: 115 Rexdale Boulevard, Etobicoke

University Lanes: operating 5-pin and 10-pin lanes for over 50 years.
Location: 101 Osler Drive, Dundas

Cataract Bowl: features synthetic anti-skid lanes.
Location: 7906 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls

Strike Rock N’ Bowl: includes pinball, arcade games and racing simulators.
Location: 4848 Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls

Woodlawn Bowl: bowling plus arcade games, pool tables and dart boards.
Location: 253 Woodlawn Road West, Guelph

ibowl.ca Family Fun Center: 5-pin and 10-pin bowling, as well as mini golf and a redemption arcade.
Location: 10 Park Hill Road East, Cambridge

AMF Frederick Lanes: 30+ bowling lanes, an arcade, billiards and an on-site pro shop.
Location: 385 Frederick Street, Kitchener

Fleetway: bowling, billiards, mini-golf and arcade games.
Location: 720 Proudfoot Lane, London

Marcin Bowl: 5 and 10-pin bowling fun since 1957.
Location: 609 Helena Street, Point Edward, Sarnia

Lakeview Bowl: 24 lanes of bowling fun, plus a pro shop, lounge area and snack bar.
Location: 109 George Street North, Peterborough

Bowlerama Barrie: home of the cosmic glow-in-the-dark bowling sessions.
Location: 320 Bayfield Street, Barrie

Georgian Bowl: open daily with 5-pin bowling and arcades.
Location: 832 Hurontario Street, Collingwood

Stellar Lanes: 5 and 10-pin bowling lanes available, plus billiards.
Location: 1220 Stellar Drive, Newmarket

Huntsville Bowl: state-of-the-art facility with instant 5 to 10 pin conversion on all lanes.
Location: 2A Cann Street, Huntsville

Arcade games

Long before home console systems like PlayStation or Xbox and exciting games like Minecraft, Fortnite and Call of Duty, arcades were the zenith of gaming fun.

Arcade games were generally considered to be coin operated video games, pinball machines and air hockey tables. Often one or two could be found in shopping centres or restaurants.

The real attraction, however, were dedicated venues with a wide variety of games called amusement arcades. The 1970s and 80s were the “golden age” of arcades but retro arcades have made a comeback with new and seasoned gamers.

Note: some of these venues are bars with an age requirement of 19+.

Find an arcade near you:

Dave & Buster’s: popular restaurant/arcade combo with fun throw-back games like Skee-Ball, Connect 4 Hoops and a coin pusher Star Trek game.
Location: 2021 Winston Park Drive Unit East, Oakville

The Rec Room: state-of-the-art traditional and modern games.
Locations:
255 Bremner Boulevard, Toronto
100 City Centre Drive 1-705, Mississauga

Cabin Fever: 19+ pinball themed bar.
Location: 1669 Bloor Street West, Toronto

Moodys Pizza Bar and Arcade: arcade games and pinball machines, open Thursday to Saturday (19+).
Location: 107 George Street, Hamilton

Pin Up Arcade Bar: a great selection of pinball machines and classic arcade games (19+).
Location: 247 King Street North Unit 8, Waterloo

Great Canadian Midway: features more than 300 interactive games.
Location: 4848 Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls Fun Zone: wide variety of arcade games a including a VR experience and a laser tag arena.
Location: 4955 Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls

The Rec Room: traditional and modern games.
Location: 8 North Village Way, Barrie

Last Level Arcade Lounge: a classic arcade with a retro vibe.
Location: 72 Dunlop Street East, Barrie

Giggles Arcade: games, toys, prizes and family fun in the heart of Sauble Beach.
Location: Unit 12 2nd Avenue North, Sauble Beach

The Factory: indoor adventure park with arcade games, a laser maze, a trampoline park, ziplines. 
Location: 100 Kellogg Lane, London

Barnetti’s Arcade: family rates and date night specials are available for hours of classic arcade games.
Location: 425 St Clair Street, Chatham-Kent

The Ottawa Pinball Arcade: over 30 pinball machines and video arcades.
Location: 2559 Baseline Road, Ottawa

Neb’s Fun World: with over 100 old-fashioned arcade games, it’s the largest arcade in Durham Region.
Location: 1300 Wilson Road North, Oshawa

The Tilted Turret Pinball: Thunder Bay’s only pinball club offers a variety of new and classic pinball games, including Gottlieb Sure Shot and Bally World Cup Soccer.
Location: 135 Archibald Street North, Thunder Bay

Roller skating rinks

Roller skates, which are basically shoes on wheels, have a long history.

In the 1700s, early forms were used as a performing arts prop and later as functional equipment for barmaids to zip around in the mid 1800s. By the 1900s, advancements led to the four-wheeled roller skates that became a recreational sensation with roller skating rinks built, the roller disco boom and competitive roller skating sports.

Lace up your roller skates and get ready for fun, fitness and nostalgia at these rinks:

SUSO Skate Co.: pop-up roller-skating rink with retro aesthetics.
Locations:
Downtown Toronto: 250 Fort York Boulevard, Toronto
North York: 22 Marie Labatte Road, Toronto
Cambridge: 355 Hespeler Road, Cambridge
Mississauga: 1330 Eglinton Avenue East, Mississauga

Scooter’s Roller Palace: is a sprawling 24,500 square-foot facility that houses an impressive indoor roller skating rink. Prepare to glide across the smooth terrazzo skating surface and experience pure joy on wheels.
Location: 2105 Royal Windsor Drive, Mississauga

Roller Skating Palace: almost 1500 square metres of roller skating floor open year round.
Location: 4442 Fairgrounds Road, Orillia

Retro Rollers Inc.: skating classes and special events held throughout the year.
Location: 1345 Cheapside Street, London

Retro Fun House: open seven days a week to enjoy nostalgic fun.
Location: 130 Marlborough Street North, Blenheim

Last updated: November 3, 2023

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