Pool Halls in Massachusetts

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The digital chorus of more than 40 arcade games soars above the rhythmic click of caroming billiard balls on Jillian's of Worcester's emerald expanses of felt. Good-natured competition finds an outlet at air-hockey tables, and a plethora of racing games let friends match wits or join forces against their true enemy: traffic cones. Versions of Deal Or No Deal and Wheel of Fortune and a selection of brand-new high-definition games glow festively near 24 Brunswick billiards tables. Private parties migrate to a lounge, where projection screens and high-definition televisions broadcast sporting events or news. Guests twirl or covertly stomp bubble wrap on the dance floor to the thumping rhythms of live music or follow noses to an array of appetizers, pizzas, paninis, and dinner entrees dispensed from the full-service kitchen.

315 Grove St
Worcester,
MA
US

With an arsenal of informative magazines, elegant photographs, and illuminating documentaries, National Geographic has inspired planetary responsibility and natural wonderment for more than 120 years. Their latest filmed adventure, The Last Lions, ushers viewers into the wetlands of Botswana's Okavango Delta, where a lioness named Ma di Tau and her cubs fight for their survival. From fleeing raging fires and cub-killing rival prides to wading through crocodile-infested rivers and the supermarket at rush hour, this family suffers perils that leave audiences touched and awestruck. Crafted by award-winning filmmakers, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, and narrated by Jeremy Irons, The Last Lions aims to raise awareness of dwindling big-cat populations while sharing a compelling story of hope. The film is rated PG for depictions of the food-chain cycle without the accompaniment of an Elton John song.

1 Kendall Sq
Cambridge,
MA
US

Lucky Strike Lanes' polished, retro-sleek atmosphere and state-of-the-art technology lets sphere-hurlers pitch heavy urethane baseballs down a slick aisle toward precisely placed whitewashed wooden sticks in the high style of a '60s ad executive or a top-hatted cartoon penguin. Each of the alley's colorful, state-of-the-art bowling lanes comes with electronic scoring, customizable presentations, and psychedelic lighting. Diehard sport devotees, meanwhile, can catch up on the day's sporting matches at the bar, where high-definition plasma screens broadcast the heart-pounding action of championship Chinese checkers with flawless clarity. Or retire to one of the 12 pool tables for an evening of hustling and counter-hustling.

145 Ipswich St
Boston,
MA
US

Eight ball in the corner pocket. A pool player announcing this at The Wave Sports Pub could be talking about any of the 124 corner pockets on the bar's 31 Brunswick Gold Crown tables. These share space in the pub with ping-pong tables, dartboards, and large, flat-screen HD televisions that broadcast sports ranging from football and college basketball to races between dads to find the TV clickers buried in their couches.

Games can be scored to the dulcet tones of local bands performing, music from a digital satellite jukebox. During karaoke every Thursday–Saturday, guests belt tunes from more than 10,000 songs that are updated every month. In the middle of all that entertainment, bartenders supply beer by the bottle and tap while the culinary team crafts classic pub food such as fried-shrimp baskets, Angus beef sliders, and mozzarella sticks.

411 Waverley Oaks Rd
Waltham,
MA
US

Wayland Community Pool's 10 lanes remain open for backstrokes, cannonballs, and flip-turns even when summer's heat gives way to winter's frigid temperatures. While the 25-yard lap-pool is typically outside, a temperature-controlled bubble covers grounds during the cold months, which means the swim team doesn't get slowed down by debilitating shivers or bulky chinchilla coats. All of the pool's programs—including swim lessons for children, water fitness classes for adults, and open swims for all swimmers—keep going throughout the year, without regard to seasonal temperature swings.

258 Old Connecticut Path
Wayland,
MA
US

As host to league battles between both the American Poolplayers Association (APA) and the North American Poolshooters Association (NAPA), Ivory Billiards Lounge takes its playing conditions very seriously, and has since 1945. Professional standard Simonis cloth covers keep balls rolling to their intended trajectory, and meticulous leveling ensures fair gameplay. Casual players learning the ropes or a reincarnated Minnesota Fats can rack 'em up on their expansive selection of pool pulpits, including 10 7-foot tables, nine 9-footers, and a rare 5'x10' table that was smuggled down a beanstalk. Gambling fans can get their kicks on Keno and Mass Lottery games, while of-age adults savor more than 30 flavors of vodka and a quintet of draft beers. Ivory Billiards Lounge is open seven days a week, and keeps night owls entertained until 2 a.m. every evening.

151 Chestnut St
Holyoke,
MA
US