Bowling alleys have come a long way since our childhood. These days, most alleys are extremely family-friendly and accommodating to the tiniest of bowlers who hardly weigh more than the bowling balls themselves. And most boast cool extras like arcade games, groovy jams, gourmet grub and even ginormous screens playing your favorite sports teams. From souped-up hipster havens to totally traditional lanes, these bowling alleys will have your kids shouting for strikes, spares and gutter balls!
photo: Kristina Moy
Families in Seattle’s south-end love bowling at ACME Bowling, Billiards and Events, located in Tukwila. Even if you’re not on that side of town, the drive is worth it to this family-friendly alley. ACME is like bowling at your favorite alley from when you were a kid, but with a major upgrade. It’s clean, the food from the grill is delicious and the shoes are fresh. ACME is also a great birthday party location.
In addition to bowling: ACME Bowl’s Arcade features 30 of the latest and greatest games as well as old school favorites like Air Hockey, Pop-A-Shot and Skee-Ball. There are a variety of games that will test you kids’ abilities and will even reward them with awesome prizes. That giant stuffed animal is just waiting to hitch a ride home with you. The Arcade is open during all hours of operation and runs on quarters. There are two change machines and an ATM on site in case you forgot to raid the piggy bank before you left the house.
100 Andover Park W.
Tukwila, Wa 98188
photo: DeAnne E. via Yelp
Round 1 Bowling & Amusement
Also located in the south-end, at Westfield Southcenter, is Round 1 Bowling & Amusement. This 40,000-square-foot state-of-the-art entertainment and amusement facility has 14 bowling lanes equipped with electronic bumpers (that raise and lower automatically for selected players), dinosaur ramps and kid-sized bowling balls. Gutter balls are so last year. If you’re one of the lucky ones to have the Moon Light Strikes game land on your turn, get ready to show your stuff. With the lights down, everyone bowls at once for the chance to win prizes. Guys need a strike and girls and kids 12 & under need to knock down more than nine pins to win. With the chance to win prizes and ginormous lane screens playing your family’s favorite sports teams, you won’t strike out here.
In addition to bowling: This entertainment mecca offers private karaoke rooms (with more than 100,000 songs), four tournament size billiards tables and one of the biggest arcades in the state. Your kids will love playing some of the most popular arcade games on the market along with driving games like Mario Kart DX, rhythm games, sports games, exclusive arcade games and brand new games including the popular Star Wars Battle Pod game. If your kids are into redemption games (where tickets can be exchanged for prizes), there are plenty to choose from including skill games like basketball tossing and ball throwing as well as carnival classics. And for families who want to round off their bowling experience with a thrill, the Typhoon Motion Theater comes with six different simulated rides. Hold on!
Round 1 Bowling & Amusement
2351 Southcenter Mall
Seattle, Wa 98188
photo: Kristina Moy
Tukwila Family Fun Center & Bullwinkle’s Restaurant
The newest bowling alley on the block just happens to be a bowling ball’s throw away from Round 1 Bowling & Amusement and ACME Bowl in Tukwila. Located inside the Family Fun Center—the popular kid hangout off I-405— Bowlwinkle Lanes is a 16-lane, high-tech bowling alley that has all the latest bells and whistles like lighting that moves with the music, ginormous screens at the end of each lane, automatic bumpers for pint-sized bowlers and bowling balls that look like billiard balls.
In addition to bowling: The Family Fun Center has a large indoor playground called Kidopolis (where kids climb up a labyrinth of ladders and passageways and slide down an extravagant play structure) as well as small indoor rides, rows (and rows) of arcade games, carnival-style games and interactive games as well as bumper cars and an entire floor dedicated to Laser Tag. Outside is equally as entertaining with two miniature golf courses, batting cages, kiddie rides, bumper boats, bumper cars and go-karts to keep everyone in your brood happy and amused.
Family Fun Center & Bullwinkle’s Restaurant
300 Fun Center Way
Tukwila, Wa 98188
photo: Tukwila Family Fun Center & Bullwinkle’s Restaurant via Yelp
Imagine what would happen if a nightclub and a bowling alley had a baby – you’d get something pretty similar to Lucky Strike. Located in Bellevue’s Lincoln Square, Lucky Strike is, by far, the fanciest bowling you’ll ever do. Whether you head to Lucky Strike on a date night or make a reservation during the day with the kiddos, a trip to this bowling alley is always a fun experience.
In addition to bowling: This 23,000 square foot facility boats two tournament-level billiards tables, a private party lounge with four lanes and a separate bar, plus a world-renown arcade room with games like Air Hockey, Skee-Ball and popular driving games, live DJs and kids’ birthday party packages.
Lucky Strike Lanes
Lincoln Square, 2nd Floor
700 Bellevue Way, Suite 250
Bellevue, Wa 98004
photo: Denise W. via Yelp
Lynnwood Bowl & Skate
First a bowling alley and a nightclub had a baby, and now a bowling alley and a roller skating rink? Wow! Lynnwood Bowl and Skate, north of the Seattle, deserves an entire day of fun – start with bowling, have some lunch, then put on your skates for a few rounds. Lynnwood Bowl and Skate isn’t the fanciest bowling alley you’ve ever seen, but the 24 wooden lane alley is clean, it doesn’t cost too much to bowl and the environment is always kid-friendly.
In addition to bowling: Lynnwood Bowl & Skate offers all ages skate times for only $8.50 as well as Learn to Skate lessons on Saturday mornings for $15. If your kiddo prefers blades to wheels, for $3.25 you can purchase the inline upgrade. And if a birthday bash is in your future, the facility offers bowling, skating and extreme bowling party packages (think lights out, black lights on and flashing lights on the lanes) to really put your crew in the mood to p-a-r-t-y.
Lynwood Bowl and Skate
6210 200th St. S.W.
Lynnwood, Wa 98036
photo: Patty G. via Yelp
One of the only alleys in the Seattle-area where kids can participate in Cosmic X-Bowl, TechCity Bowl is a family-friendly bowling alley on the Eastside. Jump online to make reservations – this fun bowling experience costs $20 per person (and is designed for ages 5 & up), which is well worth it for bowling with a fog machine, colored light shows, live DJ music and more. Or book a babysitter and make Cosmic X-Bowl at TechCity a fun date night!
In addition to bowling: TechCity has two pool tables for those who want to get in a round of pool either before or after their bowling. The TechCity Arcade is where you will find over 30 different games including Skee-Ball, pinball-style games and Nascar racing as well as sports games, Air Hockey and Dance Dance Revolution. Psst! The skill games are redeemable for prizes and most games take 1-2 tokens to play.
13033 N.E. 70th Pl.
Kirkland, Wa 98033
photo: Carrie M. via Yelp
West Seattle Bowl
Seattle’s beloved bowling alley, West Seattle Bowl, has been family-friendly since it opened, over 60 years ago! But don’t worry, West Seattle Bowl has done some updating – in fact, they have some of the coolest, most kid-friendly bowling alley tech available. When you are assigned to your lane, they enter all your names in the computer at the desk, allowing them to assign bumpers to only those bowlers who need them. So, mom and dad can bowl normally, and then the bumpers automatically lower when it’s a child’s turn. Bowling brilliance!
In addition to bowling: West Seattle Bowl knows how to throw a memorable birthday party. The facility offers two different party packages for kids ages 4-8 and 9 & older. Both come with two private bowling lanes, pizza, soda and a birthday bowling pin for the special guest of honor. In addition to birthday parties, West Seattle Bowl hosts Breakfast & Bowl Sundays. You heard us right! Roll out of your jammies and into West Seattle bowl on Sunday mornings from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. to throw a few strikes with your eggs and bacon. Each person in your crew will receive two free games of bowling with the purchase of a breakfast entrée from the High Strike Grill. Psst! Breakfast can be enjoyed on the lanes or in the restaurant.
West Seattle Bowl
4505 39th Ave. S.W.
Seattle, Wa 98116
Does your family have a favorite bowling alley? Tell us in the Comments below.
— Kristina Moy & Katie Kavulla