8 Bowling Alleys for Little Lane Splitters

Bumpers up or bumpers down? Cosmic or classic bowling? No matter how you like to play, bowling is a great indoor activity for the whole family. And since everyone loves the clattering sound of pins falling down, it’s high time you took your little Big Lebowskis to one of these awesome alleys. With special family discounts and plenty of non-bowling options like fast-paced arcade games, your little lane splitters are sure to leave with a smile across their face.

Sunset Lanes
Not to be missed at this bowling alley is their weekend cosmic bowling, when their 36 lanes become a high energy, blacklit out-of-this-world arena complete with glow in the dark balls and bumping music. Cosmic bowling starts on Friday and Saturday nights at 9:30 pm so by the time you’ve played a game your kids will be more than ready for bed. If early morning bowling is more your thing, stop by on Sunday mornings when you can bowl as much as you want with as many as you want from 9:00 am – 11:00 am with their “Rent-A-Lane” program for just $14.95 per lane.

12770 Southwest Walker Road
503-646-1116 (make lane reservations online or by phone)
Online: sunsetlanes.com


Big Al’s 
Big Al’s really lives up to its name–this place is huge! There’s an arcade, a full bar, plenty of tables and TVs for watching sports, and of course, lanes and lanes of bowling. This place is almost always packed on the weekends, so you might want to try avoiding the evening crowds. Expect to see lots of kids running around, especially the under 12 set, who get to bowl for $2 a game and $2 shoe rentals. Even their arcade is packed with kid-friendly games, so you’ve got no reason NOT to give this place a visit. Big Al’s also has a second location in Vancouver.

14950 SW Barrows Road
Online: ilovebigals.com/beaverton


Allen’s Crosley Lanes
With ‘Family Fun Bowling Center’ in the subtitle of their name, Crosley Lanes is well worth driving across the bridge into Washington for a game or two. The prices are reasonable at this bowling alley ($2.75 for kids to bowl on weekends, plus $2.50 for shoes) and they are happy to put bumpers on any lane, rather that making you wait for a bumper lane to become available. Check out their specials on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursday where games are only $1.

2400 E Evergreen Boulevard
Online: crosleylanes.com

AMF Pro 300 Lanes
As a member of the larger family of AMF Bowling Alleys, Portland’s Pro 300 Lanes hardly feels like a chain. The shoes here are on the newer side and the alley is cleaner than most. Check out the family bowling packages that may save you a few bucks. They do have a grill, even with a kid’s menu, but we suggest hopping across the street to super family-friendly Hopworks Brewery.

3031 SE Powell Boulevard
503-234-0237 (call first for lane reservations)
Online: amf.com/pro300lanes 

amf bowling

Grand Central
If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate your little one’s birthday party, Grand Central boasts some very well priced party packages that include everything from shoe rentals to a keepsake bowling pin for the birthday boy or girl. If you want the VIP experience, you can rent their private room right next to the lanes for $50 per hour for groups of 7 or more. Call their party hotline to plan: 503-231-1926.

808 SE Morrison Street
Portland, Or
Online: thegrandcentralbowl.com


Hollywood Bowl
With a Kids Bowl Free program in the summers and $.99 games on Sunday mornings, Hollywood Bowl is certainly a Portland bowling hot spot. Parents will also appreciate that Hollywood Bowl opens at 9:00 am, on the weekends rather than noon, like most Portland area bowling alleys.

4030 NE Halsey Street
Phone: 503-288-9237
Online: hollywoodbowlpdx.com

Milwaukie Bowl
For families on the southeast side of Portland, looking for a simple bowling alley experience, we love Milwaukie Bowl. Portland parents rave about bringing mini-bowlers here – it is clean, the staff is friendly and helpful and the prices are reasonable. Bonus points for throwing awesome birthday parties too! Milwaukie Bowl is also part of the Kids Bowl Free program – call them for details and times.

3056 SE Harrison Street
Phone: 503-654-7719
Online: milwaukiebowl.com


You might have visited this family fun center when it was Rose Bowl, but now this bowling center has added a whole new arcade into its facility. Try taking the kids on a Saturday, where it is just $9.95 for shoes, two games of bowling, and a $5 arcade card. There’s a 3 person minimum to a lane (Adults are $11.95 each) but it’s perfect for families. On Friday nights they have unlimited cosmic bowling for $11.95 (includes shoe rentals and a $5 arcade card).

3800 SE 164th Avenue
Phone: 503-665-2134
Online: pinbusterz.com

Where do you take your little ones to knock over a few pins?

— Katie Kavulla

photos courtesy of Sunset Lanes facebook page, Big Al’s facebook page, AMF Bowling facebook page, Grand Central facebook page, jess2284 via creative commons