Family-friendly pool near Boston / Metrowest?
October 31, 2008 8:49 AM   Subscribe

Where’s a good place in the Boston or (preferably) Metrowest area to take my six year old son to shoot some pool?

He’s six and pool is his current obsession. We don’t have our own table, nor will we be getting one, so I’d like to find a place to take him. At six years old by “shoot some pool” I mean “fool around with the balls for an hour.”

I’d prefer a family-friendly place not filled with seedy pool hustlers and guys with neck tattoos*. A place with lots of tables where we don’t have to wait very long. A couple of old-school pinball machines would be a bonus. Does someplace like that exists? I know six isn’t exactly the target demographic for pool halls.

I believe Mr. Billiards in Framingham is now closed. I’ve never been to Jillians but I’d prefer something without too much sensory overload. Fun & Games in Framingham hasn’t had pool since the 1980s and is a depressingly bad arcade now to boot.

*not that there’s anything wrong with that.
posted by bondcliff to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total)
You might want to try bowling alleys. They're more family friendly, usually, and often have pool tables along with a mixture of other arcade games. And bowling.
posted by nitsuj at 8:55 AM on October 31, 2008

saccos bowl haven in davis square pretty much fits the bill.
posted by phil at 9:10 AM on October 31, 2008

if for some reason saccos does not work out, the diesel cafe is close by and has two pool tables.
posted by phil at 9:13 AM on October 31, 2008

Flat Top Johnny's in Kendall Square is a pretty laid back place if you get there in the early evenings or weekend days, though it has a bar and only one pin-ball machine. It's pretty bright, colorful, and friendly. I wouldn't take your six-year old there at night though, not because it's seedy or dangerous - but because you'll see a lot of geeks try to get their freak-on with a lot of meeks - it gets embarrassing.
posted by spoons at 9:37 AM on October 31, 2008

Does Mad Maggie's on Rt. 1 in Norwood still exist? They have a side that's family-friendly and a side that's 21+ (which I've never seen). They have birthday parties for kids of all (most) ages, plus a bunch of video games as well - I think they had at least one old-school pinball machine the last time I was there. It's been a couple years.

It's really big, and as long as you're not there on a Friday/Saturday night, it's not very busy, there's lots of room, lots of tables, well-lit. A good amount of space between the tables. Nothing seedy about it.
posted by giraffe at 9:43 AM on October 31, 2008

I love Saccos...I miss it a lot.
posted by sully75 at 10:16 AM on October 31, 2008

How about Lanes & Games? They're open during the day, and I don't think the pool tables are very popular, so it might be a great spot for your son to just fool around without worrying about it being busy. It's kind of a haul for you, but it's easier for you to get to than Davis/Kendall Squares because it's right on Rte. 2 East, before Alewife.
There's a restaurant there, so you could make a bit of a (half-)day trip out of it. Restaurant has some good beers on tap, which can be a plus.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 11:05 AM on October 31, 2008

N'thing Sacco's in Davis; I've taken my son there many times over the years. They also have a short stick that people use for tight shots, which is perfect size for a 6-year-old.

I've never played pool at Lanes and Games on Rte 2 East near Alewife, but they do have table, and I've been there many times with my kid, bowling.

There's also a pool hall in Waverly Square in Belmont which I've never been to; in spite of me living just up the street, I'd never even known the place existed until a few weeks ago.

Have fun!
posted by not_on_display at 11:19 AM on October 31, 2008

a vote against flat top johnny's. they have table that do not have enough clearance from the wall to take a shot. that sort of thing is acceptable at a bar but not one that sells itself as a pool bar.
posted by phil at 1:35 PM on October 31, 2008

Also think Sacco's fits the bill; no alcohol, smoking, etc, and usually isn't crowded. Nothing but old bowling lanes and a couple pool tables. Nice folks too. But I don't know if it will actually happen, but I'm told it's closing this year, if its not already (haven't been there for a while). I'd call before you go...
posted by jacobbarssbailey at 8:10 AM on November 1, 2008

I'm pretty sure the bowling alley in Waverley Square in Belmont closed nearly twenty years ago (went as a kid, lived around the corner). There's a Wheelworks there now.
Lanes and Games has a few tables that probably aren't crowded in the afternoon, although it's been a couple of years since I was there. I've never been to Sacco's, but I've heard good things about it.
posted by ants at 9:54 AM on November 1, 2008

Forgive my my lack of Boston geographical knowledge but does Worcester count as MetroWest? If so there is a Jillian's there. They along with the other places of of its ilk usually do a good job with having a sizable number of tables that are nicely appointed. It certainly would cover the games and family friendly angle.
posted by mmascolino at 12:07 PM on November 1, 2008

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