Having a blast at your child’s next party without breaking the bank shouldn’t be as tricky as picking up a seven-ten split. Throw a kids bowling party at your local bowling center, which offers a cost-friendly spot for a fun, team-oriented time.
And, even if your young guests aren’t familiar with the game, special kid accommodations will have them rolling in no time.
“There’s a buzz in the air, and people seem to be intrigued by bowling or just want to bowl,” says Jim Lahood, owner of Lake Shore Lanes in St. Clair Shores. “Before, if you wanted to bowl, you had to be in a league, but there’s been a shift. There’s a lot more interest in bowling as a recreational activity.”
Lakeshore is a popular kids bowling party destination, Lahood notes. The economical aspect is what Lahood says also keeps families interested in bowling parties for their kids. Plus, parents can get involved in the party.
“You can leave a clean house and come back to a clean house,” he said. “Bowling is a special treat.”
Jazz it up
Make your kids bowling party a throwback to the days when you were young by having the kiddies don retro bowling shirts. Opt for the uber-bright yellow, blue or pink hues, and encourage high ponytails or even mullet wigs.
Add fun to spare by offering prizes for the kids with the top and bottom scores, and preparing themed foods like candy apples (reminiscent of bowling balls) or a pin-shaped cake.
Many alleys are happy to handle the entertainment. Maplewood Lanes in Saline provides party packages including one game of bowling, shoe rental, pizza, pop, a personalized cake and ice cream. It also offers a magic and balloon show, during which the birthday child actually gets to perform magic tricks for friends and family.
At these popular parties, kids can also opt for lightweight equipment to increase their chances of knocking down pins.
“We offer a fun experience. The kids enjoy it because they don’t throw gutter balls,” says co-owner Jerry Harris.
Community Bowling Centers, which has six bowling centers metro area, boast various twists on bowling. One is “Character Bowl,” where kids roll with friends like Santa, the Easter Bunny or critters reminiscent of TV favorites SpongeBob SquarePants and Barney.
Or, for teens, check into the “Power Parties,” which are customized with music, glow bowl options, food and more – and run a gamut of occasions, from birthdays and graduations to activities for clubs and sports teams.
The guest of honor gets his or her name on a keepsake bowling pin in one of Brighton Bowl‘s birthday packages – plus, of course, all the staples, from free decorations to grub to a game of bowling. It also has fully automated bumpers on all 24 of its lanes.
Most bowling venues allow you to bring your own cake; however, some have special requirements regarding outside food. Be sure to check with the alley of your choice when you book your party.
This post was originally published in 2009 and is updated regularly.