18 Places Gen X Hung Out at That Gen Z Would Never Go To

It’s possible that no group of Americans spent more time with friends during their teen years than Generation X did. Now, Gen Z is choosing a digital lifestyle over a physical one. These 18 places were huge Gen X hangouts that Gen Z probably hasn’t stepped foot in.


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In the 1980s and 1990s, arcades were the go-to spot for Gen X to play video games and socialize. The rise of home gaming consoles and online gaming platforms has made arcades less relevant for Gen Z. Now, they are something Gen Z may hit while on a forced family vacation to the beach.


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Malls were not just for shopping for Gen X; they were central social scenes. Gen Z’s shopping habits have shifted online, and socializing happens digitally, though some Gen Zers have meandered back into malls to use them as the backdrop for their latest TikTok video, says Fortune.

Record Stores

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Browsing through bins of vinyl records, cassettes, and CDs was a favorite pastime for Gen X music enthusiasts. With the advent of digital music and streaming services, Gen Z has little need to visit physical record stores.

Roller Skating Rinks

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Roller skating rinks were popular social hubs for Gen X, offering a place to meet friends and enjoy music, with the couples’ skate being the ideal time to make a move on your crush. The popularity of roller skating has waned with Gen Z, replaced by virtual forms of entertainment.

Video Rental Stores

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Friday nights for Gen X often involved browsing video rental stores for movies. Afterward, they would go pick up pizza for a night in with friends or family. Streaming services have eliminated the need for physical rentals for Gen Z, and meal delivery services can deliver any type of food they can dream of with the touch of a button.


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Gen X readers would spend hours in bookstores browsing and reading. While still visited by some, the convenience of e-books and online ordering has changed Gen Z’s relationship with bookstores. The switch toward digital reading may end the paperback for good, even though many Gen Xers still love the feel of a book in their hands.

Concert Venues

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Live music venues were essential for Gen X to see their favorite bands. They had a preference for smaller club-like concert venues over huge stadium events but would go anywhere to see their favorite band live. Gen Z still attends concerts but has a broader array of entertainment options available. Virtual concerts and movie documentaries about their favorite performer’s latest tour are huge hits among the younger crowd.

Fast Food Joints

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Fast food restaurants were common hangout spots for Gen X to grab a bite and socialize. While Gen Z eats more fast food than previous generations, they are choosing to have it to go or at home instead of staying to hang out.


Outdoor bike autumn
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Parks were a free space for Gen X to play and hang out. They would get on their bikes, meet up with friends, and play until the street lights came on—when they would know it was time to go home for family dinner. Increased screen time has now changed how often outdoor spaces are utilized.

Newspaper Stands

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Gen X would gather at newspaper stands to catch up on news and comics. They could flip through the latest magazines to find out what was on trend or what their celebrity crush was up to. Digital news and social media have largely replaced the need for physical newspapers for Gen Z.

Skate Parks

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Skate parks were iconic for Gen X skaters and BMX riders. While skateboarding remains popular, Gen Z has a wider range of extreme sports and e-sports interests. GoSkate says there has been an increase in scooters littering skate parks. “Skaters of the late 1990s saw the death of rollerblading, and many thought the same demise would return to scootering.”


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Late-night diners were a staple for Gen X to congregate after events. With the rise of 24/7 food delivery apps, Gen Z has more options for late-night eating at home. Now the 24-hour diner seems to be a place people only go to film fight videos for their social media.

Chain Restaurants

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Fer Magazine says, “Casual dining (ex. Chili’s and Olive Garden) and contemporary casual (ex. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Fogo De Chao) restaurants receive far fewer annual visits from Gen Z consumers. In fact, one-third report they ‘never’ go to contemporary casual restaurants.” This could be due to Gen Z’s preference for fast and cheap, healthier food options or just ordering food at home. Gone are the days of meeting at TGI Fridays.

After-work Happy Hour

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Gen X loves a good after-work Happy Hour to unwind after a day in the office. Young Millenials and Gen Z are declining to join because they prefer a work-life separation. “I enjoy my private life and enjoy to not hang out with coworkers when I’m trying to relax and not think about work,” Michael Nicosia, 27, told the NY Post.

Block Parties

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Neighborhood block parties were social highlights for Gen X, fostering community engagement. Social media events and virtual gatherings have changed how Gen Z interacts with their communities. The pandemic also put a hamper on how this generation interacts with each other, as many felt they hit a factory reset on learning how to be social in the real world.

Drive-In Theaters

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Drive-in theaters offered a unique movie-going experience for Gen X. The convenience of home streaming services and high-quality home theaters has overshadowed getting in the car with friends or a crush, turning on the radio, and enjoying a film in the starlight. Gen Z is also getting their first cars later in life, making the drive-in not appealing.

Youth Centers

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Youth centers provided a safe space for Gen X to engage in activities and socialize. The role of these centers has evolved, with Gen Z finding community and engagement in online spaces.


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In their younger years, you could find Gen X in the club on a Friday or Saturday night. Going out in the ’90s primarily meant going to one of the city’s megaclubs, huge places with an ever-changing carousel of costumes, faces, themed parties and rooms, and the latest, most addictive music. “Today’s twentysomethings are rejecting the noisy anonymity of the nightclub and embracing sobriety, fitness, and old-fashioned hobbies,” says The Telegraph.

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