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Six Spots Where You Can Channel Your Inner Child in Sydney

For those weeks when you've had enough of adulting.
By Tamar Cranswick
April 11, 2018
By Tamar Cranswick
April 11, 2018


in partnership with

For those weeks when you've had enough of adulting.

Sometimes getting through the day without spilling coffee all over yourself or throwing a major tantrum at work is a real challenge. Let's face it, adulting is tough — what with the bills, the responsibility, the expectations. No wonder you sometimes want to get off the grown-up roundabout.

When it all gets too much and the kid in you wants to bust out and forget about your worries for a while, we've got you covered. With the help of our pals at American Express, we've put together a list of the best places to head to shake off the shackles and do as young you would do — except this time with your grown-up American Express® Card paying your way. Whether it's slamming down bowling pins and beers, hitting up old-school arcade games or belting out karaoke, you're guaranteed to forget about the 'real' world for a while.

Got yourself in another dining situation and need some guidance? Whatever it is, we know a place. Visit The Shortlist and we'll sort you out.
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    Let your guard down at Frankies, where the pizza comes by the slice, frozen margaritas by the cupful and the good times by the truckload. If you’ve had a day you’d rather forget or you just want to check out from the serious adult world for a little while, this is the place to be. This dive-bar-meets-pizza-joint has a lived-in feel that’s perfect for letting your hair down and pretending you’re in a hair band from the 80s.

    You can catch live music most nights of the week, or better yet, make your own on Tuesdays, at the bar’s live band rock ‘n’ roll karaoke where you can belt out your best Acca Dacca rendition.

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  • 5

    Nothing says nostalgia like bowling. At The Standard Bowl you can let your inner child run free, trying to knock down those pins, while the grown up part of you enjoys a few drinks. And if you have a (justified) fear of those weird clown shoes, or even just sharing someone sharing else’s foot germs, never fear, no special footwear is required.

    You can keep score if you want to, but that’s not the main game here — sorry, pinheads. It’s more about coming together with friends to do something a bit silly while catching some live music. The venue rotates local, young, up-and-coming acts on its lineup. And the best part? The bowling is free.

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  • 4

    Remember going to theme parks as a kid? Getting a sugar high on fairy floss and then hitting up the amusements? Well, now you can do that all as a not-quite-grown-up at Archie Brothers Electric Circus.

    This newly converted warehouse in Alexandria is a carnival of delights, with arcade games, bowling lanes, laser-tag and even old-school dodgem cars. And if you were ever heartbroken by not winning that big prize at whack-a-mole when you were younger, you can rewrite history here — credits can be redeemed for merchandise.

    The food reflects the theme: hotdogs, burgers and good old potato gems. Top it all off with a caloric, alcoholic shake topped with whipped cream.

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  • 3

    Underground you can be whoever you want to be. And if that person doesn’t want to act like a grown up, then all the better. While not technically underground, Goros and its dark izakaya vibes will make you feel as if you’ve entered another dimension — all neon and Japanese kitsch.

    This bar is well equipped to entertain that kid in all of us, bursting to belt out karaoke hits late into the night. Head to the bar and limber up your vocal chords with a sake, or if you want to be more clear-eyed for that power ballad, go for one of the Japanese beers on tap.

    The karaoke booths can be booked in advance, which is a good insurance policy if you’re heading there on a busy night. If things are crowded, hit up some pool, arcade games or even air hockey instead.

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  • 2

    Head to this cafe-bar when the sun goes down and throw off the weight of worldly responsibility at this local favourite. Channel your Stranger Things 80s vibe (mullet optional) at the pinball machines and retro arcade games that line one side of the wall, and let your only worry be beating your top score.

    If you’d rather laze, head out the back and nab a booth in the dining room. The casual space is adorned with hanging greenery and bright murals. It’s the perfect place to escape reality when it all gets too much.

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  • 1

    Remember when your parents used to tell you to stop playing video games and go outside? Good news; you now don’t have to answer to anyone when it comes to your time spent staring at screens — especially not at Spawn Point. This subterranean bar on Clarence Street is a mecca for game boys and girls nostalgic for those simpler times when beating your highest score on Mario Kart was your biggest worry in the world. There are arcade games, as well as all the classics on Nintendo 64, Wii and PlayStation. Plus, the venue taps into the ultimate childhood dream — you’ll be able to smash a few pizzas as you play. And a pretty sweet happy hour takes place from Tuesday to Thursday, 5–8pm to enhance any midweek gaming sessions.

    You don’t have to be a gamer to feel welcome, this is an all-inclusive space — although you might not quite get the name unless you’re in the know (hint: it’s not actually something rude).

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As you drink and dine with your American Express, reap all the sweet rewards of being a Card Member. Explore the many ways American Express has your back here.

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