Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Schedule a PlayDate

The latest trend in nightlife doesn't involve specialty cocktails, LED-lighted bars or VIP bottle service. Instead, a new monthly event is focusing on the simpler times in our lives, when a fun party consisted of musical chairs, Twister and Connect 4.

It's called PlayDate and it starts next month in Charlotte.

PlayDate started in Atlanta in 2005 and has since spread to 14 cities nationwide, including Austin, Seattle and Nashville, attracting as many as 800 partygoers each month.

Charlotte organizers Shenan Robinson and Latrina Harris are hoping that success translates here as well.

How it works: A mix of games is set up around the venue (Robinson and Harris are looking at area hotels and spaces like The Big Chill for their first event), including throwbacks like Operation and Monopoly and more modern games like Wii bowling. If there's a line for a game, those waiting hold on to a sign that says “I got next.”

After partygoers have warmed up with low-key games of Uno, Jenga and Sorry, the hula hoops, limbo poles and Twister mats are brought out around 11 p.m.

Harris says the added element of fun makes for great icebreakers among the singles crowd and allows more opportunities to connect than the typical bar scene.

“A lot of people have outgrown the club scene,” she says. “We want to draw those people back out.”

The Crowd: Harris and Robinson are seeking a crowd of diverse ages, races and income levels. Harris says it's not just for singles looking to mingle either. Plenty of married couples attend events in sister cities after retiring from the 20-something nightlife scene. “You're likely to see a little bit of everyone,” Harris says.

The Details: $10 cover. Cash bar. Harris expects to announce the exact date of Charlotte's first PlayDate soon, but look for it late next month.

Other places to channel your inner-child:
  • SoulBowl Lounge: A monthly event where partygoers can bowl, play card games, shoot pool and dance to live music and a DJ. Next event: March 28 at AMF Carolina Lanes in Matthews.

  • Skee-Ball: There aren't any plastic prizes to win (a la Chuck E. Cheese), but the skee-ball machines at Murphy's Tavern are just as fun. 131 E. Woodlawn Road.

  • Ping Pong: When the weather's warm, lines form for the two ping pong tables outside Plaza Midwood's Thomas Street Tavern. No cost to play – just your reputation as partygoers watch the action. 1228 Thomas Ave.


Anonymous said...

PlayDate?... with what money?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you won't be there...Sounds like fun actually.

Anonymous said...

I moved to Charlotte from Atlanta, went to one of these events down there, and can attest this is a really good time. Something different and fun. Great way to meet people, and not just single people (although great for them too). Glad to see this starting here.

Anonymous said...

This is something up my alley. The promotors should really check out ALoft hotels. Their lobby already is set up with board games and other fun games including operation. I stayed at this hotel in Chicago and sat in the lobby with friends while playing a rousing game of Connect4

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful concept! Exactly what Charlotte needs --some social diversity. Sounds like a fun way for the more mature crowd to connect with their inner child in a grown & sexy way! I would pay $10 for a fun time like this! I eagerly await Playdate!

Anonymous said...

great to see new diverse events here in the city but let's be honest, charlotte's AA (african american) market does not live up to the atlanta's of the world. People are so quick to discount Charlotte nightlife! It's grown significantly! Don't get new...LMAO

Shaft said...

I am new to the Charlotte area and I think Play Date is a great way to meet interesting people and to find out what the city has to offer. How can I get information about the next events coming up?