The Bay Area has no shortage of kids’ play places, but many of them leave parents hanging out on the sidelines while the little ones have all the fun. Fortunately, a new place in San Jose has just opened that scores a 10 with parents and kiddos alike. Bowlero, formerly Bowlmor, has fun to spare for youngsters and grownups. Pull on your lucky bowling socks, get everyone into the car, and head to Bowlero to get the good times rolling!

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Classic Pastime, Modern Spin

Bowlero lets families enjoy their favorite 10-frame game in an atmosphere that’s anything but ordinary. Brightly colored bowling balls, neon-lit lanes (there are 59 of them!), and glowing white pins make for an unforgettable black light bowling experience. The kitschy chandeliers and 50’s-style pleather lounge seats evoke 50’s nostalgia, while the floor-to-ceiling video screens covering the entire back wall keep you firmly in the 21st century.

TIP: Ask for lane bumpers and lightweight balls.

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Arcade Fun

For a change of pace, head to the arcade section, where everyone can enjoy classics like ping pong, air hockey, pool tables, claw machines and Pac Man, as well as the latest hi tech video games. Race against your friends in a virtual car chase, hunt down dinosaurs, or hop on a roller coaster simulator and experience a larger-than-life drop! If you’ve left your camera at home, don’t worry; you can snap a photo at the selfie booth for a fun memento of your visit.

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Good Eats

Bowlero’s in-house chef serves up a menu that goes one step beyond ordinary diner fare. Think comfort food with a twist: Mac & Cheese served in a bacon bowl, burgers stuffed with bacon and cheese, hummus made with avocado instead of chickpeas, Caesar Salad with tortilla strips, s’mores served in a skillet. It’s guaranteed to be right up everyone’s alley!  TIP: Two people might be able to handle the 2 foot-long Wonder Dog, but you’ll need several large appetites to tackle the Behemoth Burger, a 5-pound, 14-inch wonder with bacon and cheese.

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Piece of Cake Parties

Kids’ birthday party packages start at $26.99 per person and include 2 hours of bowling, party food, and arcade gift cards. Food is served lane-side (on tables) so kids don’t miss one moment of the fun. Lane servers are shared resources so you’ll be sharing an attendant with other parties. You can spring for a dedicated party host or book a private party held in a private bowling suite with 9 private lanes and a private bar. Outside food is not allowed (other than birthday cake).

TIP: Bowlero takes on a decidedly clublike atmosphere by 9 p.m. so schedule your party to end before then.

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Good To Know

  • This place is loud! Be prepared for beeps and whistles from the arcade competing with music blaring from the bowling lanes. Also, be aware that music videos are constantly being played on the massive video screen wall.
  • The smallest kids’ bowling shoe size is 8.
  • Currently, no discounts are available for children.
  • If you have older kids, take advantage of evening specials on Monday nights after 8:00PM ($15.19 for unlimited bowling, shoes included), Tuesday nights after 8:00PM ($2 per game), Friday nights after 8:00PM ($12.89 for unlimited bowling, shoes not included), and Sunday nights after 6:00PM ($3.49 per game and $3.49 shoe rental).
  • A full bar is available for grownups, with an extensive wine, beer, spirits, and mixed drinks menu.
  • Arcade game cards are rechargeable.

Bowlero San Jose
5420 Thornwood Dr
San Jose, CA 95123
408-578-8500
Online: bowlero.com

Have you been to Bowlero San Jose? What was your favorite feature? Tell us in the comments below.

–Ana Picazo

Photos: Bowlero San Jose