As a millennial, socialising offline is a trial. However, there is one place that puts us in the frame for a good night out. Dietary concerns and all.

Is it just me or is getting harder to socialise offline? It’s easy enough to organise coffee with a friend, but keeping everyone else happy in a group for a night out is almost impossible.

We always need a place to hang out where someone isn’t bored. Or hungry, or wanting to just leave wherever we are and go drink cocktails. For other people just drinking cocktails isn’t what’s called “a good night out”. They want to DO something. And they want the pics to prove it. Yeah, a lot of my social life boils down to other people’s Instagram feed.
What a time to be alive.

The other week, Madison, you know the group’s funster, that person who makes everyone go out and books the birthdays, decided we should all go bowling. We hadn’t done much in a while because everyone’s apparently so busy all the time. And it’s hard to say no to Madison. She’s one of those super organised people, and she’d booked a combo bowling/laser tag deal for ten people before we’d even registered interest on the event she created on Facebook. Sigh.

The laser tag part got everyone interested, though. That had not been a part of the bowling place I knew growing up. And it turned out there were lots of other plusses.

This venue was Kingpin, and it had everything all in the one place. It took care of the whole “What does everyone want to do tonight?” question, as well as the “How are we going to get there?” one too.

When we got there, we could stay. Instead of moving a group of people around after dinner, we settled in, sat back and did what we wanted when we wanted.

We had to keep Madison happy, so everyone bowled. It had been a while for me, a few years, and it was weird how you remember going as a kid. Bowling’s fun and well, let’s just say, we’re all good friends, but we do like competition.

So by then eaters were super hungry and the drinkers were thirsty. So, we did both. Half of us are at uni and not used to the sizes of those burgers. Seriously, next time I go, I’m going just for that New York Cheeseburger, bowling or not. There was a potato bar where you add your own toppings, and salads, a shroom burger and other veg options. So no one could object.

And there was also a full wine, beer and cocktail list which made us happy. And relaxed. And ready for laser tag.

And that was the best part. Not having to send a million texts to each other while we usually try to move from venue to venue. We’ve done a lot of pubs and clubs and it’s even harder to agree on going out after everyone’s full from a big meal. Pubs are loud, so you can’t always actually socialise. They smell and let’s admit it, the pics are all the same after a while.

So we just got up after dinner and went to the laser tag. To be honest, we did tease Madison a bit for mixing our lives up so much when we’re used to Netflix and chill. It was actually pretty good, and she thought it was funny, I think…

Some of the others hit up the karaoke room which we found out can be ordered to your playlist requests. Apart from the basic joy of the sound of your own voice, you can watch your friends listen to theirs. All the true talent was coming out at Kingpin.

Some of the venues have Escape Rooms. They put you in teams and you have to achieve the mission to escape the room. We have plans for Madison’s birthday there. See if she can organise her way out of that. Plus, they do all these packages for birthdays and other combos, so we figure we’ll get it within budget this year.

So my confession is, I went to a bowling venue and I had a good time. That’s because bowling has changed and it’s not your old cigar-smoking uncle in brown trousers anymore.

It was, to be honest, a perfect night out. No parking dramas, no traffic, no arguing, no running out of phone battery and losing the group. Just a place where their motto is ‘eat, eat, eat’. We added ‘drink’ to the end of it.

Sounds like a great motto for all of us.

Even for Madison and her gluten-free demands.