Bowling has come a long way since our childhood days of crouching down to push a way-too-heavy ball down a fluorescent-lit alley. Now, bowling alleys rock groovy jams and disco balls, and even the tiniest tots can score that once elusive strike thanks to gutter bumpers and ball ramps. These 7 places to bowl are sure to be up your alley… and most offer fun perks like arcades, billiards, and more. So, all you need to do is get rolling.
photo: Michael Bentley
Tavern and Bowl
Let the good times roll at these uber-hip bowling lanes with colorful lights, pop-up bumpers, and a bowling ramp for beginners. When your mini bowlers work up an appetite trying to get that first strike, you can order a meal off the alley’s full restaurant menu. We love the flatbread pizza and southwest salad, which are a cut above your average bowling alley fare. We recommend making online reservations if you go during a peak time.
Cost: $19-$40/hour (Up to 6 people); $4/shoe rental
200 E. Via Rancho Pkwy
881 Showroom Place
Chula Vista, Ca
Kearny Mesa Bowl & Mira Mesa Lanes
If your kids are early risers on Sunday mornings, then make lemonade out of lemons and take them bowling on the cheap. Deals like $1.50 games and shoe rentals are certainly up every parent’s alley… and you’ll be thankful that wee bowlers will go right down for that afternoon nap.
7585 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, Ca
Cost: $17-$26/lane (per hour); $4/shoe rental
8210 Mira Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, Ca
Cost: $1.50 games/ $1.50 shoe rental. Games must be purchased before 10 a.m. and completed by 11 a.m.
photo: Richard Giles
AMF Eagle Lanes
Kid’s will have a ball when an afternoon bowling session turns into an outright party as the lights go down, and the disco-inspired fun begins. Your whole family will get a kick out of turning a ho-hum weekday afternoon into an impromptu trip to this bowling alley, which has 40 all-star lanes, a mini-arcade, snack bar, smaller-sized balls for kids, and a bowling ramp to ensure scoring that first strike!
Cost: $3-$6.69/game (per person); $4.69/shoes
945 San Marcos Blvd.
San Marcos, Ca
photo: Travis I. via Yelp
There will be fun to spare at this twelve-lane boutique bowling alley in Alpine, which has a friendly staff, stylish couches and an upscale vibe. Kick back and relax while the kids bowl. Order anything from a healthy turkey wrap to pizza or buffalo wings off the tasty menu.
Cost: $3.50-$5/game (per person); Shoes, $3.50/adult, $2.50/child
5005 Willows Rd.
Grab the ramp, put up the bumpers, don those crazy shoes and get ready to roll. This large, reasonably-priced bowling alley with state -of-the-art lanes boasts plenty of good times beyond the wood floors. Hit up their booming arcade and billiards tables once your lane time is up.
Cost: $2.35-$4.60/game (per person); $3.75/shoes
1280 Fletcher Pkwy
El Cajon, Ca
photo: JP G. via Yelp
Looking for an alley that can accommodate a big family or group for a day of bowling? This Chula Vista hot spot has forty-eight lanes and automatic bumpers. Daily specials make Brunswick Zone as affordable as it is amusing. And with ten billiard tables and a pretty killer arcade, this is your one-stop shop for family fun.
Cost: $3.49-$5.59/game (per person); $4.69/shoes
845 Lazo Ct.
Chula Vista, Ca
Where do you take the crew bowling? Let us know in the comments below.