Central Vancouver — which encompasses the large span of city between interstates 5 and 205 — is an odd mix of neighborhoods, urban sprawl, lower-income housing, tourist attractions, multicultural shops and the occasional church.
It’s an area with a rich diversity that in some ways is still looking for an identity. But it’s also a place with a host of options for people to get together for evening fun.
And with the fall rainy season settling in, visitors will be happy to know that many of those options don’t include getting wet.
With bowling, skating, billiards and films, there’s quite a bit to do inside in central Vancouver. And if you want to go outside, well, even the golf driving range has covered launch spots for those who want to whack a few balls.
Want more? We have more.
Here’s our list of six things to do after 6 p.m. in central Vancouver.
Vanco Golf and Driving Range
703 N. Devine Road
Events: With 30 covered mats to shoot from and a lighted range, Vanco Golf is a great way to get a little exercise in the evening.
The facility will even let you borrow a club to shoot with for free. And a bucket of 45 balls is a relatively inexpensive $4.50.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said co-owner Mary Lou Milne. “A lot of families come out together. The kids love it.”
Children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult, but are welcome, she added.
The range has loaner clubs specially sized for children and women.
If the weather is good, visitors can also check out the site’s two putting greens, sand bunker and small grass area for practice shots.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Call to confirm closing time after Oct. 31.
Cost: $4.50 for a small bucket of about 45 balls, $8 for a large bucket of about 90 balls. Visitors can borrow driving clubs for free.
Donn Allen’s Crosley Lanes
2400 E. Evergreen Blvd.
Events: This bowling alley, nestled in a quiet neighborhood, provides a lot of entertainment bang for the evening buck.
With 42 lanes, a restaurant, a kids’ game zone and a lounge, there’s something to grab the attention of just about anyone.
Bowling, the main event, comes in a variety of flavors at Crosley Lanes. Cosmic bowling, which features dark alleys, black lights, laser shows and fog machines, is a huge hit with the younger set on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monte Carlo bowling, every Saturday night at 6:30 p.m., lets adults add a little gambling to their game. And then of course there’s regular open-play bowling every evening, with special rates for folks who come in after 9 p.m.
“Weekend nights are really a zoo, we get a lot of customers in, especially for our Cosmic Bowling,” said Roberta Green, events coordinator. “Monday nights are ladies night in our lounge, too. We have drink specials for them, we have the game on. And guys who come in get a free game of bowling if they wear a football jersey.”
Cost: Cosmic Bowling, $11 per person for three hours; Monte Carlo, $16 per person, must be age 18 or older; Open-play bowling, $20 per hour for lane rental, Sunday through Thursday, 9 p.m. to midnight, $6 per person including shoe rental.
Golden Skate and Laser Tag
4915 E. Fourth Plain Blvd.
Events: Feel like strapping on the roller skates for a test of balance and coordination? Golden Skate and Laser Tag can help you out.
The venue, which opens for free skate hours on Fridays from 7-10 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30-10 p.m., even loans out regular skates as part of the admission cost. Roller blades, however, cost $3 extra.
The facility also has a shop where you can buy your own skates and, if skating isn’t your thing, you can try your wrist and legs out at some laser tag.
Want some time on your own? The place also opens for private parties during the week. Call for details.
Cost: $7 for the evening with free skates; $4 for one game of laser tag, $6 for two.
Fort Vancouver Lantern Tours
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site 1001 E. 5th St.
Event: Lantern Tours are an unusual way to experience Fort Vancouver during the fall and winter months.
Participants each get a lantern and can stroll through the dimly lit historical structures with a ranger. Costumed interpreters, such as blacksmiths and traders, provide information about the history of the site and its buildings.
Hot cider is provided to chase away the evening chill.
The event lasts about an hour and a half.
Hours: Tours will be held Oct. 15, Nov. 5, Nov. 19, Dec. 3, Dec. 17, Jan. 7, Jan. 21, Feb. 4 and Feb. 18. Tours start at 7 p.m., visitors should arrive at 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 for adults and $7 for children under 15. Reservations required.
Billiards Plus Family Arcade
2904 N.E. Burton Road, Suite A1
Events: If you want a more relaxed evening, perhaps with a bottled beer or two, you might want to mosey over to Billiards Plus Family Arcade.
The decidedly blue-collar venue, which is open from noon to midnight every day, has 13 tables, video games, pinball, darts, foosball and air hockey.
It also has a refrigerator with a decent selection of beer and non-alcoholic drinks for customers to buy. There’s a snack machine, too, but other than that the business doesn’t serve food.
Superstitious about getting the 13th table? Don’t be, said Sandy Snyder, Billiards Plus’ owner.
“We marked the 13th table as 14, so nobody would have to worry about that,” Snyder said.
Cost: Two of the tables cost $1 per game and take quarters. Other tables are $10 for the first hour and prorated by the half-hour after that. Arcade game prices vary.
Regal Vancouver Plaza 10
7800 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd.
Vancouver, WA 98662
Events: The best thing about seeing a second-run film is that you don’t have to stretch your paycheck very far to get a good evening’s entertainment.
Regal Vancouver Plaza 10 has an ample supply of films to choose from, all for the low price of $3.
Tucked away in a corner of Vancouver Plaza, the theater still seems to pack people in every evening, especially on weekends.
If you have a horror fan with you during the month of October, you can also send them next door to Scream Vancouver, the largest haunted house the city has ever had. Scream costs $20 per person, with some discounts available on weekdays.
Cost: $3 for movie tickets; $20 for Scream Vancouver.