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Each week, KCUR's Adventure! newsletter brings you a new way to explore the Kansas City region.

For a fun Kansas City day, here's where to play pool, race go-karts, throw axes and more

Steve Porter uses a chalk cube to prepare his cue for a match at Chartreuse Saloon, a neighborhood bar, billiard, and game room in the Crossroads Art District in Kansas City, Missouri.
Julie Denesha
KCUR 89.3
A pool player prepares for a match at Chartreuse Saloon, a neighborhood bar, billiard, and game room in the Crossroads Art District in Kansas City, Missouri.

Want to let loose? Try something new? Kansas City is filled with places for adults to unleash their inner kid or get competitive, from smashing things in a rage room to playing board games.

This story was first published in KCUR's Adventure newsletter. You can sign up to receive stories like this in your inbox every Tuesday.

Last month, Adventure! brought you to places where adults get to channel their inner kid, engage in some friendly competition, and have some fun. But we had so many delightful suggestions that we decided this needed a Part Two.

Want to show off your hand-eye coordination? Try out some of Kansas City’s pool halls or blow off steam by throwing an ax. Live a little dangerously by breaking plates in a rage room, or maxing out at top speed in a go-kart.

Or if those all sound too intense for you, there are also a lot of places around the metro where you can bring some friends to try out a new board game and enjoy a pint of craft beer.

Here are some more places where adults can “play” around Kansas City.

Pool and billiards around Kansas City

Two pool tables inside a bar
Chartreuse Saloon
Whether you're a pool shark or just looking to enjoy a game with a friend, there are plenty of places where patrons can play pool in and around Kansas City.

Pool may be a classic barroom activity, but this game of skill never gets old. You don’t need to be a pool shark to enjoy a game at most of these local establishments, but Kansas City also has places where you can join a league or a competition if you fine-tune your skills.

You can play pool for free at Chartreuse Saloon in the Crossroads if you are drinking or eating there. To reduce food waste, they prioritize serving select food items like nachos. In addition to pool, they also offer other classic games like darts, chess, checkers, and cards.

If you take your pool seriously enough, you can enter yourself into a pool tournament at Chartreuse Saloon on the second and fourth Thursday of every month for $10.

Around the corner at 15th and Grand, you can also book a table at Gerard’s Pool Hall at the Belfry. Their five pool tables are first-come-first-serve, and the menu comes courtesy of chef Celina Tio, who is recognized for both her food and craft cocktails. Right now you can enjoy “The Mure the Better” with vodka, blackberry liqueur, lemon, and egg white. Food includes high-end items like scallops, and comfort food like mac n’ cheese with bacon and breadcrumbs.

Shark’s Beyond Billiards in Shawnee has over 20 pool tables that can be rented by the hour, with half price rentals from 11–5. They also have other recreation options like darts, bags (aka cornhole), and foosball. Their menu includes Tex-Mex bar food like mini burritos and tacos, or you can grab a fried shrimp basket or chicken fries.

Side Pockets is a local franchise with locations in Lenexa, North Kansas City, Lenexa, and Blue Springs. Each location has at least 20 pool tables (the North Kansas City location has the most, with 33). These sports bars have TVs for watching games, darts, and an expansive bar menu with burgers, entrees like chicken-fried chicken, and your other favorite fried and breaded appetizers.

If you frequent these places enough and feel ready to play competitively, one of the most serious pool establishments in town is Shooter’s Pool Hall in Olathe. You have to be a club member to play on one of their over 30 tables. If you join a league at Shooters, you can play for free on Sundays and enjoy other membership benefits.

Throwing axes and smashing things

A man in a helmet prepares to smash an old piece of technology equipment with a metal baseball bat.
Super Smash KC
Blow off some steam or show your strength at a local "rage room," where you can don protective equipment and smash things.

To show off your strength and agility, try axe throwing. It’s sort of like darts — but with a big blade. It became really popular several years ago, so there are a lot of places where you try your hand around Kansas City.

Blade and Timber has locations in Power and Light, Leawood, and Lawrence. You can book a lane for up to six players, and you can order bar food like flatbreads and sliders and enjoy a craft beer.

Bury the Hatchet in Overland Park is a no-frills axe-throwing establishment. You are free to bring your own food, beer, and wine, but there’s no liquor allowed — we are dealing with axes here, after all. If you enjoy the sport, you can join their league for $120. Just bring your enthusiasm, you don’t need any particular skill level.

WoodChux in Liberty is another option where you can bring your own food. Here, they serve beer, cider, and other nonalcoholic drinks. If you play a round and decide axe throwing is not for you, they also have regular darts, cornhole, and foosball.

If you like the spirit of wielding an axe but do not want to mess with all of that hand-eye coordination business, maybe you should go to a rage room. These are places where you can pop on some protective equipment and pay to smash things like ceramics and glass bottles.

Rage Room KC is near the Crossroads and Super Smash KC is in Overland Park. Head there angry, and leave satisfied.

Racing Go-Karts

K1 Speed in Lee's Summit has an indoor track where you can race all-electric go-karts with friends and competitors.
K1 Speed
K1 Speed in Lee's Summit has an indoor track where you can race all-electric go-karts with friends and competitors.

Go-karts are a great way to get that adrenaline rush you’re looking for, without having to go too far.

K1 Speed in Lee’s Summit has an indoor track and all-electric go-karts that don’t produce emissions like the gas-fueled ones. They serve food onsite like pizzas and burgers, and they have nonalcoholic drinks and, for those who have finished driving, beer and wine.

PowerPlay in North Kansas City has an outdoor go-kart track that is open year-round, weather permitting. They offer a standard adult GT5 go-kart and junior go-karts, as well as “high-performance” karts you can drive if you are qualified — you must be at least 58 inches tall and have completed “three separate GT5 Go-Kart races with at least one lap under 33 seconds in each race.” They also have about every other activity you can imagine, like an arcade, bowling, axe-throwing, and even a small roller coaster.

The Rush Funplex, also in North Kansas City, has indoor go-karts. If “funplex” is an indicator, this is another sprawling entertainment center with an unending list of activities such as laser tag, bowling, miniature golf, and an arcade. They serve food there, so you might make an entire day of it to touch on even a fraction of their activities.

Cool Crest in Independence is known for their miniature golf, but they also have go-karts. This outdoor track only allows drivers aged 18 and over with a valid driver’s license. They have single-seat go-karts, and also a double-seat option if you want to take a passenger.

Board games

Three men around a table playing a board game in a busy café.
Zach Perez
Three regulars of Cardboard Café enjoy some drinks while play a game of Ticket To Ride.

For those of us who would rather not do a physical activity for fun, there are a lot of places to play board games.

At ReRoll Tavern in North Kansas City, you can play over 500 board games, attend a cosplay workshop, learn Dungeons and Dragons or another role-playing game. You can also get a game-themed dinner and cocktail, like a Sonic Screwdriver and the Demogorgon Burger.

ReRoll hosts a lot of events like trivia and adult craft nights, or you can head next door to Vignette’s pop-up destination (there is currently an “The Office” themed pop-up). Check out our previous Adventure for more on playing D&D and other RPGs around Kansas City.

Like ReRoll, Cardboard Corner is also a space for self-identified geeks to hang out and play RPGs. They also have board games, like a large collection of strategy games made by the locally-headquartered game company Allplay. Cardboard Corner is in Overland Park, and recently opened a second location at the Lenexa Public Market. For food, waffles are their specialty.

Pawn and Pint in downtown Kansas City boasts over 1,000 board games. If you want to try a particular game, check out their online list — they probably have it. They host a weekly trivia night on Wednesdays from 7–9. Although Pawn and Pint doesn’t serve food, it does have a coffee bar and a beer and cocktail menu with drinks like the Pink Ranger and Baby YoYo.

Hannah Bailey is a cultural studies scholar and a freelance writer for KCUR. You can email her at hannah@coneflower.org.
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