6 Bowling Alleys With Cool Kid Perks

Leave it to Portland to take even bowling alleys to the next level. With dinosaur-shaped ramps, fire pits and glow-in-the-dark cosmic bowling nights, along with bumpers, munchie food and arcade games for all ages, bowling in Portland is definitely a full-body, sensory experience. Read on to discover the best lanes across the metro area.

BA3 Bowling 2

photo: Big Al’s

Big Al’s
With locations in Beaverton and Vancouver, Big Al’s has set their sights on being THE family-friendly bowling destination. A Family FUN Pack is the way to go if you’re looking for a great deal for all players. For $12.50 per person (minimum 4 players), guests receive 8 total games of bowling, 4 shoe rentals, and a $20 FUN card for games. Kids 12 and under can also benefit from Eat2Play, where any purchase of an entrée or Kid’s Meal will earn them $5 of free arcade play (and on Tuesdays, it’s offered to ALL ages). There are also plenty of screens in the bowling alley and family dining area, so no one has to miss a moment of the big game.

14950 SW Barrows Rd

16615 SE 18th St
Online: ilovebigals.com

Park Lanes
This Hillsboro location isn’t just a bowling alley – they’re called a Family Entertainment Center for a reason! In addition to bowling (which features summer leagues, a Birthday Club, dinosaur-shaped ramps, and Cosmic Bowling on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays), they have tons more to offer. 9 batting cages are available for your baseball or softball player, 4,000 square feet of arcade games (and a redemption center) will keep kids of all ages happy, and you must check out the Jungle Maze: 2400 square feet and 3 stories tall, this play structure offers twin spiral slides, four side-by-side speed slides, a tube crawl, and two sky bridges. Plan to spend the whole day there!

6360 SE Alexander St
Online: parklanes.net



photo: Sunset Lanes

Sunset Lanes
Head to Sunset Lanes on the weekend for their “Bowling, Family Style” special for $29.95. Up to 5 guests can bowl (shoe rentals included) from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Just make sure to call ahead and make your reservation. Kids are more than welcomed by the friendly staff at Sunset, and their automatic bumpers, lightweight bowling balls, and ramps make it easier than ever to include the youngest members of the family. Lane-side service for your food is a nice bonus, and their kids’ meals are a great deal. Don’t forget about their party packages, which are a huge hit if you’re looking for birthday ideas.

12770 SW Walker Rd
Online: sunsetlanes.com

Nicoli’s Grill and Sports Bar
Looking to hang out with a crowd? Nicoli’s can accommodate you and your friends with 16 lanes (4 of which can be rented as private clubhouse lanes), an outdoor patio with fire pits, plenty of parking, and enough TVs showing sports to please the masses. Bowling runs anywhere from $2/game to $10/unlimited games, so check their prices online before deciding when to go to get the most for your money. Insider’s tip: If you’re going to be playing arcade games, ask about checking in via social media to score free games!

17880 SW McEwan Rd.
Lake Oswego
Online: sportsatnicolis.com


photo: Grand Central

Grand Central
Grand Central is known as Portland’s prime spot for luxury lanes, but they’re also great for families looking for a high-quality, ultimate entertainment experience. Their children’s menu offers favorites like sliders and pasta plates in addition to the standard pizza and grilled cheese options, and there are arcade games for the littles, too. Check out their party packages for birthdays, which range from “Lucky Strike,” which is a one-hour party including shoe rentals, $3 in game tokens per guest, pizza and drinks, a party host and balloons, all the way up to their “Incredibowl” package, which adds an extra hour to the party, mini sliders and cookies in addition to your pizza, and a whopping $10 in game tokens per guest. Check their website for all party package prices.

808 SE Morrison St
Online: thegrandcentralbowl.com


photo: Crosley Lanes by Robert L. via Yelp 

Crosley Lanes
Folks in Vancouver have a budget-friendly option at Crosley Lanes, where Sunday bowling is as little as $1.00 per game with $1.00 shoe rentals (or $1.50 after noon). Their $1.00 specials also apply to Tuesday and Thursdays before 3pm and there are late-night deals as well, so check their website to make sure you’re hitting the lanes with the entire fam at the best times! Cosmic bowling takes place on Saturdays from 1-4pm for $4 per game plus shoe rentals, and the whole family is welcome at Crosley, where bumpers are available at every lane and there are special kids’ cosmic days during school breaks.

2400 E Evergreen Blvd
Online: crosleylanes.com

Insider Tip: Kids Bowl Free Program
Many of the bowling alleys in this article are participating in a summer program called Kids Bowl Free, which is just as good as it sounds! Bowlers 15 years and younger can register to participate at their favorite bowling alley for 2 free games of bowling every single day from May through September. Shoe rentals are not included, but some alleys have a special discount or package for shoe rentals that will make them a great deal as well. Family Passes are another option through this program, with a $29.95 fee for up to 4 adults to be included for the entire summer. You can sign up by searching the program’s website or by visiting your favorite bowling alley’s website and looking for details there!

Online: kidsbowlfree.com

Where does your family like to bowl? Let us know in the comments below!

—Marianne Walters