Written by Kate Amos with contributions by Sara Keller
Family game night is popular among many Indianapolis families. We’ve been looking for the best places to play board or card games with kids. Maybe you like a good board game but don’t have a great collection at home, or need new games but don’t know what to choose. We know people who can help! Even if you just need to get out of the house and try something new, let us guide you to all the hot spots for board games Indianapolis families love.
There are several opportunities in the area. These locations will supply the games, the atmosphere, and sometimes even some expert advice. All you have to bring are the players.
Restaurants & Cafés with Board Games Indianapolis Area
Books and Brews
Books and Brews has two Indiana locations and they’re super family-friendly! In fact, we decided that they’re one of the best family-friendly breweries in Indiana. Their board game collection is only second to their beer and book collection. Books and Brews currently has a location in Brownsburg, along with their “mothership” location in the Casteton area. Stop in for delicious food, play a round of Catan, try out a game system, or listen to live music.
Porter Books and Bread
Another local business has embraced the books/board games/delicious cafe eats concept. Find Porter Books and Bread in the Lawrence area and downtown Indy. Cozy up in the dining area lined with bookshelves, order from the literature-inspired menu, and get competitive with a game from the restaurant’s collection. If you plan ahead, you can order a freshly baked loaf of bread to pick up while you’re there and take home.
Hitherto Coffee + Gaming Parlour
At Hitherto Coffee and Gaming Parlour, there’s a collection of over 450 game titles available for purchase and many available to play in the cafe. You’re sure to find the perfect game for your family. Hitherto brews specialty coffees and teas and serves up delicious pastries. Grab a table, pull up some chairs, and play your next favorite board game.
MashCraft currently has three locations around the Indy area. Find them in Fishers, Greenwood, and on Delaware Street. This brewery offers delicious food and a kid-friendly atmosphere, supported by the stash of board games they keep on hand. Your family can engage in some friendly competition while you wait for your meal and drinks. You’ll have to look elsewhere for your serious strategy games, but there are plenty of classics to choose from.
Stores Where You Can Test Board Games Indianapolis Area
Moonshot is located on Noblesville’s picturesque town square. It’s a great place to browse for new games, test play something new in their game room, or join one of the group events held almost daily at the shop. Some drinks are available for purchase and guests are welcome to bring in food to enjoy while they play.
The Game Preserve
The Game Preserve store has a huge selection of board games, card games, electronic games, puzzles, and more. With a location in Greenwood, one in Castleton, and another in Bloomington, this retail store is a great spot to try before you buy.
Good Games is Indianapolis’ downtown game store. Drop in to play a game, participate in a game event, and purchase or try new games. Good Games has events and gaming activities daily.
Family Time Games
Family Time Games specializes in role-playing games like DND and teaching families how to play new games. Their mission is to get children and their parents interested and involved in playing games together. This north-side spot offers D&D nights, Star Wars gaming nights, and Ladies’ Nights! Games are also available for purchase.
Game Time Indy
Game Time Indy in Castleton is a popular spot for Pokemon, MTG Magic: The Gathering, chess, and Dungeons and Dragons. Their activities and events calendar is full of fun and games. Buy, sell, or play games here.
Saltire Games is a family and kid-focused gaming spot. Saltire Games offers games to try in-store and even allows you to rent games to try at home. Try a tournament, game night, or game party at this hobby and game store.
Local Libraries with Board Game Collections
We love seeing more and more libraries adding board games to their collections! See if your local hub for books and media also offers games. Just remind your kids to be nice to these shared resources once you have them in your home and send them back in the condition you got them.
- Avon Public Library
- Bartholomew County Public Library
- Carmel Clay Public Library
- Greenwood Public Library
- Hamilton East Public Library
- Plainfield Public Library
- Johnson County Public Library
Venues That Host Board Game Events and Clubs
While they aren’t necessarily game stores or gaming-specific locations, these area haunts offer community game nights.
Comic Book University
If you have family members who love Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon, there are plenty of opportunities to join a group at Comic Book University.
Check out the game nights, demos, and other cool events at this comic book shop in Carmel’s Clay Terrace.
Indy Reads Books
Check the calendar of this Fountain Square bookstore-for-a-cause for Chess Club and other board game-related events. At the time of this article’s publishing, free family game nights are scheduled for every Thursday from 5-7 pm.
The Indianapolis Public Library and others around Central Indiana offer tons of fantastic, family-friendly events. You should always keep an eye on your local library’s calendar. In Indy, you’ll frequently spot family game nights, D&D groups, and chess tournaments on the schedule.
Other Family Game Spots
While these spots aren’t board game-related, they are great places to get competitive with the family. All have some arcade game options but also offer additional family fun activities.
The Bottleworks District near Mass Ave is a great place to spend the day as a family. Pins Mechanical is best known for its duckpin bowling lanes and extensive pinball machine collection. Throughout the building, you’ll find free lawn games like giant Jenga and table games like foosball to play while you wait for your lane.
This north side venue offers a huge assortment of arcade games, the cleanest bowling alley in town, air hockey, and lots of (my personal favorite) ski ball!
This is the only place around where you can do an INDOOR ZIPLINE! I shouldn’t need to say more, but I will. Zip City also has a trampoline park, rock wall, soccer field, laser tag, Knocker Soccer, and a toddler area. Whew!
GenCon is the event of the year for board game fans.
Indianapolis is packed full of cool places to play arcade games.