BY MATTHEW CAHILL
8:53 AM EDT, October 15, 2008
1. Bowling alley -- The sound of falling pins is so satisfying. AMF York Lanes on Route 17 in Yorktown is a good, well-kept place that also has a separate bar/lounge, pool, air hockey, and video arcade games.
2. Darts bars -- Nothing says healthy competition like throwing sharp objects in close quarters. The humble "thump" sound of steel-tipped darts is more satisfying than the ingratious "thwack" of plastic-tipped darts. Hat Trix at 24 N. Mallory St. in Hampton has a nice, clean atmosphere and a separate room housing several dartboards.
3. Billiards/pool halls -- Can offer an engaging and interactive social experience. Obelisk Billiards Club at 14346 Warwick Blvd. in Newport News has 21 well-maintained tables and keeps a peaceful atmosphere with a casual dress code. In addition, it has rules against offensive language.
4. Indoor go-kart tracks -- Go-karting is not just a summer activity. The sound, speed and smells of small engine racing are available at American Indoor Karting in Portsmouth at 2884 Airline Blvd.
5. Ice skating rinks -- Offer indoor recreation that is active and at times exhausting. Also, ice skating is relatively inexpensive at $6.50 - $8.50 per person at Hampton Roads IcePlex at 401 Village Ave. in Yorktown.
6. Roller skating rinks -- Can be a family-oriented activity that gets kids and parents off of the couch. Rinks are few and far between, but Haygood Roller Skating Center at 1036 Ferry Plantation Road in Virginia Beach offers a quality experience.
7. Video arcades -- The general excitement, noise, colors and flashing lights cannot be duplicated by an Xbox or Playstation 3. The Tilt Arcade at Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News has many games, but it can be a dark, cave-like experience. For a less claustrophobic atmosphere, Jillian's at 333 Waterside Dr. in Norfolk and the area Chucky Cheese's also have much to offer.
8. Gyms -- Have always been a staple for fitness, but also offer many other indoor activities. The Peninsula YMCA at 101 Long Green Blvd. in Yorktown is a relatively new facility and has an indoor pool and basketball court in addition to a number of other programs.
9. Indoor tennis courts -- Tennis is both mentally and physically demanding and at times highly competitive. The Folkes-Stevens Indoor Tennis Center at Old Dominion University is a good-sized facility, but annual memberships are pricey at $400 and scheduling priorities are given to ODU students and faculty.
10. Indoor miniature golf courses -- Yes, this is also an indoor activity. The best indoor place is Birdie's Mini-Golf at 1457 Mt. Pleasant Rd. in Chesapeake.
What do you think?
Matt Cahill's Daily Top 10 comes out every weekday. Coming Thursday: Top 10 foods for grilling.