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Game Room Ideas for Kids 0




Most of the people we talk to in Maryland, Virginia, or DC about putting together a game room have children that will also use the space.  We love the traditional "man cave", but most families have a mixture of adult and children's activities in their basement or bonus room.  Today we are going to break down the most popular and user friendly game room games by age group.  This is a good way to future proof game room purchases and get more years of fun out of your investments.

Under Five Years of Age:  If you have young children at home the game room is often either a place to go to escape for more adult activities while the kids are asleep or a giant toy filled rumpus room.  It is difficult to keep small kids occupied for long but there are a couple of exceptions.  If you don't have one already get a small to mid size flat screen TV on the wall and buy a game system like the Nintendo Wii.  Not only can you and your not so grown up friends have fun playing Video Games, it is a great way to keep the kids occupied if you want to have a poker night or squeeze in a few games of billiards.  At this age most kids will not be able to grasp the "point" of traditional table games, but they still like to be part of the action.

Five to Eight Years:  This is the golden time where you get to influence your children's interests for possible the rest of their lives.  Most kids have developed sufficient motor skills to start participating in games like Table Shuffleboard, Billiards, Air Hockey, or even Darts!  The key at this age is to start them slow, usually on a stool or with help from mom or dad to hold the Puck or Pool Cue.  Shuffleboard Tables are easier for most kids to get the hang of because all they have to do at first is whip the pucks from one end to the other.  A set of Bowling Pins will help this quickly become a favorite activity!  Don't get discouraged if the kids still want to veg out in front of the Video Game System.  If you take the time to show them how to play traditional games correctly and take breaks when they get frustrated you might be surprised how quickly they get hooked.


                                                                                                Every kid loves cracking a puck into these Bowling pins by Legacy Billiards

Nine to Twelve Years of Age (Tweeners):  At a time where we begin to loose our kids undivided attention to the glut of media and outside peer influence there is still a place to go for real family time:  the Game Room!  If you spent time when they were younger including them in games and teaching the basics this can be the most fun you ever have in your recreation space.  Think about it, now they are old enough to play ping pong, shoot a game of pool, even throw darts and even win once in a while.  In a couple of years they will be teenagers and much less interested in hanging out with Mom and Dad on a Saturday night.  This is the period where many parents invest in a real lifetime game room activity like a nice slate pool table or hardwood shuffleboard table if they have not already.  Once kids are hooked on these games the tables will see a ton of use over the next ten years.


Teenage Years:  This can be a tough time to get kids to hang out at home, especially with you!  Parents who always had a game room at the house often find that their teenagers end up spending time with Friends at home, especially if the years have added plenty of fun activities.  You might be left out sometimes, but as one father told me recently, "It is worth every penny knowing exactly where they are, even if I can't use my own Pool Table"!  This is the time to add more skilled games to your space, especially Foosball, Darts, Poker, and Arcade Machines.  The key to keeping the game room fresh over the years is adding more challenging and competitive games.  Remember to invite yourself in once in a while to show those kids that Dad and Mom can still kick some butt in their old age.



                                                                                                    The Worthington Foosball is a great tournament table with a higend

College Age Kids:  This is possibly the easiest time you will have enjoying your game room with the entire family.  College kids home for the holidays or summer are drawn to the parents game room like flies to dung.  Paying a dollar a game to shoot pool at college is a great way to get them to appreciate how good they had it at home all of those years.  Now that they really think they are good at these games you will have some pretty heated competition as well.  This is the result of centering your family activities at home around traditional games and not just video games and movies.  Trust me, you will never keep up with new video games like a college kid will, but the rules of Foosball didn't change over the winter.  In fact, you might want to get some new cloth on your pool table or pick up a new pool cue before they get home, no way are you going to lose on your own table after all these years!


Pool Table vs Shuffleboard Table: What should I get? 1

 The two largest and most expensive games you can add to your game room are either a Pool Table or a Shuffleboard Table.  While many families have both games, for most it is a decision of one or the other.  In Maryland Pool Tables are still king, but Table Shuffleboard is catching up quickly.  In Northern Virginia Shuffleboard Tables have a slight edge in popularity, possibly reflecting a southern influence.  Here is a quick break down of pros and cons of both owning a Pool Table or a Shuffleboard Table.

What kind of space do I need?

A pool table will take up most of even a large room because you need to try and allow 5' or more around the play surface.  The smallest home slate pool table we recomend is 7', or 78" by 39" on the play surface.  This means your room should be at least 16 1/2' by 13' for just the pool table and surrounding area.  For many this means taking up an entire room in the basement or losing other entertainment activities like a big walk behind home bar or full size home theater setup.  Table shuffleboard has a definite advantage in space because nice quality tables can be as little as 12' long and 3' wide.  Unlike a pool table, table shuffleboard can be put right up against a wall, in a hallway, or even up against the back of a sectional couch.  You just need a couple of feet at each end to stand.  The exception to this is a full 22' shuffleboard table.  If that is your desire you had better have a huge room and most importantly, a way to get the thing in! 

What is the family going to be happiest with?

If at least two adults in the house enjoy playing pool then if makes sense to get a pool table because they can introduce the game to everyone else.  The problem with pool is that there is a bit of a learning curve for beginners, so if Dad is a shark and no one else has played before it is not going to be fun for everyone.  One big advantage shuffleboard has over billiards is that almost anyone of any age or ability level can start playing right away.  Unless there is an extreamly skilled player in the house, shuffleboard is a very beginer friendly game.  This fact alone is pushing many buyers into getting a shuffleboard table because not everyone wants to spend time practicing so they can beat "dad" on a regular basis. 

What is going to get the most use over the years?

Both a quality home pool table or a shuffleboard table will be around for decades.  These are extreamly long term purchases, unlike almost anything else you can get for home entertainment.  Most of us are concerned, however, that after we buy one of these games it will just sit around and collect dust because the family has grown tired of it.  The key to avoiding this schenario is setting up our entertainmnet spaces for multiple activities and using the equipment we already have in new and interesting ways.  Shuffleboard tables can be converted easily to shuffle-bowling tables with a simple set of wood bowling pins.  Pool tables have a definite advantage for multiple use because there are so many differnt games that can be played on an American Pocket Billiards Table.  Here in Maryland Billiards is dominated by 8 ball and 9 ball games.  Some players are shooting hybrid games like 7 ball, one pocket, or even straight pool.  There are even special ball sets that can be used to create all new versions of pocket billiards.  Over all, the most popular alternative use of a pool table remains putting a ping pong conversion top on the table and getting two games in one!

 Finally, what is going to be the best value for the money?

This is the big question: should I spend all of this money on a pool table or a shuffleboard table and what is this thing going to cost me up front and in maintanance over the years.  Pool Tables have the advantage in up front cost as a decent quality three peice slate major manufacturer pool table can be purchased new or used for under $2,000.  After that expect to spend around $300 to $500 every ten years in Maryland or Virginia on Pool Table recovers.  Good quality cues, balls, and accessories are only a few hundred dollars and should last at least 15 years.  Shuffleboard Tables are a larger up front investment.  Expect to pay at least $3,000 for a good quality 12' home table, and at least $5,000 for a 20' wide tournament play surface table 16' or larger.  There are cheaper tables out there but the warranties are shady and the manufacturers have no credibility.  After the initial purchase a shuffleboard table requires no maintanance and only a few dollars worth of shuffleboard powder and silicon spray every year.

In the end most people are going to get the game that they played growing up and think friends and family will enjoy the most.  While both of these games represent a major investment in dollars and space, as long as they get used it is always worth it over time.  That is why generation after generation families in Maryland and Virginia have been passing on the tradition of entertaining around home pool tables and shuffleboard tables.

Best Celebrity Game Room Ideas 1

 Over the years, “man cave” is what most people called a spare room in their home. Nowadays, man caves are hugely popular  and are accessorized with comfy couches, giant TVs, sports memorabilia, dart boards, and maybe even a bar. With gas possibly hitting $5 a gallon this summer and the cost of living going through the roof, having a man cave provides the go-to spot for the big game, or simply as a place to relax with all the amenities of a sports pub, without the sports-pub crowd.  Here are some of the best Celebrity man caves to help inspire your dream game room.



When it comes to man caves, Blue Collar Comedy star Dan Whitney, aka “Larry the Cable Guy,” is the master. In building his custom, 3-building compound, he made sure there was a space dedicated to all the stereotypical enjoyments a guy could possibly want in one place. His manly oasis (pictured above) includes a poker table, pool table, bar, flat-screen TV, video machine, bar signs, and turf-like carpet as the finishing touch.

Channeling the atmosphere of a classic sports bar, this man cave has tall bar tables and chairs, a pool table, dark hardwood floors, and — in a nod to the massive scoreboards found in many sports arenas — there is a drop-down bank of four TVs mounted from the ceiling, which offers a 360-degree view of the game (pictured above).  Home to a current NBA superstar and featured on MTV’s Cribs, this home has 7 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, 2 theater rooms, arcade/dance club, bowling alley, pool, fitness room, library, elevator, 6-car garage, and a 55-ft tall atrium.


Noted as “one of the most significant hunting and equestrian estates,” While not currently owned by a Celebrity, Tudor Farms consists of 6,250 acres and an 11-bedroom, 10.5-bathroom lodge-style home.  This game room could require even the ultimate huntsman to take a break from the outdoors and, luckily, Tudor Farms’ residents don’t have to go far. Among the 14,000 sq ft of living space is a cabin-like man cave with log columns, corner-mounted TV, pool table and bar (pictured above).



Hollywood superstar Nicholas Cage is another of the glitterati who likes to close the doors and lock himself away in his games room. His illustrious house out in Beverley Hills boasts an expensive pool table, and it sort of carries on a tradition because Cage’s house used to be owned by crooner Dean Martin who also had a good eye for the game. Pool, it bridges generations and class alike.



The Orson Welles Luxury View Estate was originally owned by one of Hollywood's golden boys, Orson Welles. Sitting just atop Sunset Blvd, this 3,000 sq ft. luxury 4 bedroom estate features a luxury pool with jacuzzi and a dry sauna, overlooking the stunning views of Hollywood and beyond below. This estate, originally built in 1928, and recently remodeled in several different sections, sits on top of its own roughly 15,000 square foot private knoll.



“We never in our lives would have intended to own a (vacation) house this big, but it was such a deal,” Clark Howard said on recent Sunday in the north Georgia home.  The nationally syndicated radio host known for helping consumers “save more, spend less and avoid rip-offs” has had extensive work done on the house, which is 65 miles from the Howards' Atlanta home.  The fully finished basement features a pool table, keeping with the comfortable and kid-friendly setting that the Howard home provides.


NBA superstar Amar’e Stoudamire's custom home in Florida is the ultimate "man cave".  The home has the kind of smart taste fit for a fashionable 28-year old: Expansive foyer entry, private office, a movie theater, game room with wet bar, plus an additional wet bar. Best of all, in addition to the sumptuous indoor kitchen, there’s a second kitchen to make poolside munching happen in a snap.  There are marble floors throughout, custom coffered ceilings and built-ins, and a huge vacation retreat-style outdoor pool with connecting hot tub that’s surrounded by palm trees, a huge pool deck, and covered outdoor eating space.