14 FUN SEATTLE AREA ACTIVITIES FOR SMALL GROUPS
It can often be difficult to find venues that are fun, have great food and accommodate small groups (6 - 15 people) for gatherings, so I decided to start building a list. I expect this article to be dynamic, as I will update it (a second update was made on 3/7/19) as more great places for small groups are discovered. Be sure to check back when you are planning your next outing with friends or family and leave a comment below if there are places you think I should check out for inclusion on this list.
Ok, the kids might think that interactive fun games, like laser tag, belong to them, but they are wrong! Adults can have a ton of fun running around a big space, trying to take out the other team, too. All laser tag facilities are outside of the city, but the fun is well worth the drive if you can swing it. I recommend Virtual Sports in Tukwila because of the cool warehouse-type facility, but there are many of them out there. Most of facilities serve beer, box wine and mediocre pizza.
Somewhat new to the Seattle area, is SPIN, a ping pong bar. Yes! I said ping pong. Make reservations for a table, for up to 10 friends, online. You can also book parties for bigger groups. It is centrally located in downtown Seattle and features a full bar and nice food menu.
Also new to the Seattle area is the activity of axe throwing! There is one in White Center, called Axe Kickers, and you can bring in your own food and drinks; Blade & Timber is located in Capitol Hill and also allows you to bring your own food into the facility; and one outdoor axe-throwing facility in Fremont called Ninja Axe Throwing, complete with outdoor firepits and an outdoor bar.
Go for a laid-back/cozy vibe at family-run Mulleady's Irish Pub in Magnolia. You can rent the entire second floor, which features great service, delicious food, a separate bar, wood-burning fireplace, foosball table and dart board, Note: Mulleady's serves tasty food all day, starting with breakfast, and touts that it has the largest selection of Irish Whiskeys on the West Coast.
Head to Via Tribunali in Capitol Hill for old-world Italian charm, They have a room in the back of the restaurant (near the restrooms) that has a table for 15. Consider pairing Napoli-style pizza and drinks with nearby live music at Neumo's or a puzzle / escape room activity.
Looking for a loft environment and interactive dining? Head to Trove in Capitol Hill for Korean BBQ, created by James Beard Award Nominee Chef Rachael Yang. Ask for the grill tables in the mezzanine, where everyone can grill food tableside. The two cook tables accommodate up to 10 people each. Consider nearby live music or a puzzle/escape room activity (mentioned above) afterwards.
For a festive, industrial atmosphere, head to El Grito Taqueria in South Lake Union. They can accommodate up to 11 people in the front dining room. El Grito has authentic salsas, incredibly delicious food and some of the most personable service I have experienced in Seattle. If your group is feeling lively afterwards, consider heading to the Flat Stick Pub for indoor mini golf and duffleboard in the Allen Institute building next to Lake Union (note: slated to open Summer 2018).
In the mood for a fun, German-themed night? Head to Rhein Haus Beergarden in Capitol Hill for bocce ball, a huge selection of German beers and authentic german sausages. Make advance reservations for the bocce courts.
Interested in bowling or shooting pool? The Garage (based in North Capitol Hill) has something for nearly everyone, with a huge pool hall, bowling alley, food and drinks it's a great pick for a group outing. Advance reservations required. Food at the Garage is of the average bar food variety, but an easy option for group outings.
Looking for a fun activity to entertain your performing-loving group of friends or family? Check out Rock Box and reserve a private singing room at the Japanese-style Karaoke club (they usually book a few months out). Food offerings are appetizer-like for the smaller rooms, but we are told you can also bring your own food into the venue. Consider ordering take-out pizza from nearby Dino's Tomato Pie. The largest party room has a catering menu, which offers more substantial food.
Thinking about an outdoor gathering? Consider a sunset beach fire party. Head out mid-afternoon and claim a Seattle Parks designated fire pit, have people bring Ezell's Chicken, snacks and drinks and have a Beach Party at Golden Gardens or Alki Beach. The fire pits are first-come, first-serve. Don't forget firewood, headlamps, glow-in-the-dark frisbees and sweatshirts to wear after sunset.
Want to get out on the Puget Sound? Consider a Sunset Sail cruise aboard a 70-foot yacht, The Obsession. You can bring coolers with food and drinks onto the sail yacht, but be sure to only bring finger food and drinks that can be held onto easily, as there are times when the yacht will "heel" and you will have to move quickly. Remind your female guests to keep their high heels at home! It's a great adventure and beautiful sunset cruise.
If you want to get out on the water, but take a slower pace consider renting an Electric Boat on Lake Union. Anyone over age 18 can captain one of these easy-to-maneuver vessels that move a mere 10 miles per hour. It might sound sleepy, but it is so much fun! You can cruise along the houseboats, watch for seaplanes and check out the huge ocean ships that are being repaired at marine shops on the Lake. You can bring your own food (Zeek's Pizza or Metropolitan Market in Uptown are easy nearby options for carryout) and drinks on the boat, which is outfitted with a fairly large table, cup holders, garbage cans, blankets and plastic window flaps for inclement weather. You can have up to 10 people on a boat. In the summertime, reservations fill up quickly so make them in advance. Be sure to check Groupon beforehand to see if you can get a deal.
I will keep this list updated as I discover new experiences good for groups. If you have a favorite spot that I haven't featured and you think I should check out, please leave me a comment below.