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Kids Bowling Party

Updated on January 16, 2015

Bowling Birthday Party

My sister was looking for advice for throwing a bowling birthday party for my niece. She knew I was the best person to ask. We had both started bowling at an early age, I was 5 years old. However I had also worked at a bowling alley for years, while I was in high school and college.

I would be able to tell her what options were available. I could tell her the questions she should ask when booking the party. Working at the bowling alley you also see how guests behave so I could give her tips on arrival times.

There is a wide variety of age groups that book bowling parties. You want to take into consideration the age of the party goers when deciding which type of bowling party you book. A five year old and a fifteen year old do not have the same expectations for a birthday party. There are packages appropriate for each age group.

All Photos By:whatsittoyou

Invitations and Party Favors

When you are having a bowling birthday party you want to think about the arrival time. Do not write the time you are booked to start bowling. You need time to find what lane you will be on.

Then all the kids have to get their shoes and put them on. They do not always get the size right the first time, so this can take longer than you think. Plus there is always at least one kid who never arrives on time. I would put an arrival time about fifteen minutes before you are supposed to start.

Bowling Party Invitations (Set of 8)
Bowling Party Invitations (Set of 8)

These will fit perfectly with the theme.

Bowling Pin Cups with Lids and Straws (12 Pack) Holds 18 oz and great party favors
Bowling Pin Cups with Lids and Straws (12 Pack) Holds 18 oz and great party favors

As a party favor you can give them water bottles in the shape of a bowling pin. They fit the theme and they are actually useful.


Questions To Ask When Booking a Bowling Party

  1. Do they have automatic scoring?

  2. What is included in the package? How much time on the lanes and off the lanes? Are the shoes included in the price?

  3. Do they have a separate party room?

  4. Do they provide the decorations? If not are you allowed to bring some and will you be able to put them up ahead of time?

  5. What types of food are available? Can they be combined? How much is each package? Are the drinks unlimited or one per child?

  6. Is glow in the dark bowling included in the package? Will there be loud music playing?

  7. Is bumper bowling included or does that cost extra? What type of bumpers do you have (remember if it is a blow up style they can take a long time to set up)?

  8. Do you supply the plates and forks for the Birthday cake?

  9. Do they have a Pizza Bowl night? Can you order an extra pizza?

  10. If your party is in the summer you may want to ask if they have air conditioning.

Bowling Birthday Parties for Kids

The traditional set up for this is to have one hour of bowling and one hour off the lanes to eat and open presents. Shoe rental is generally included. Some places have private rooms for the hour off the lanes and others are just at tables on the main floor. If you haven't been there before and you want or expect a private room, you should ask if they have one before booking.

There is usually a few packages to chose from with different price ranges based on the type of food you order. The typical main food choices are hot dogs, grilled cheese, hamburgers, or pizza. Some will come with a side of chips or fries. It might be one drink per child or it could be unlimited.

Some bowling lanes will have glow in the dark (also known as Cosmic) bowling included when you book a birthday party. This is when they turn the lights down and everything around you glows in the dark. generally music is also being played.

Most places do not allow you to bring your own food in for your party guests. The one exception is a birthday cake. They will provide plates and cups for the food that they serve. You may need to supply the plates and forks for the cake. Other things to consider is to bring the candles and a knife to cut the cake.

Another thing you will want to discuss is decorations. If you like having decorations I highly suggest you talk to the bowling alley, well before you arrive. If the hour off the lanes is on the open floor you want to decorate your designated space (not someone else's). They may have restrictions on what you bring so as not to interfere with their other guests. If it is being held in a private room you might not get access to it ahead of time. They may have another party in there right before yours.

Check with your local bowling alley for what they offer and the prices for each package. Before booking clarify what is or isn't included in the package you want. This way the day of the party you will know exactly what you are getting (or not getting). This will avoid any arguments and provide you with peace of mind the day of the party.

Bumper Bowling

You can add bumper bowling to birthday party booking. They will set up something to block the gutters on the side of the lanes. That way the ball will stay on the lane and you can avoid gutter balls. This is great especially for parties with younger children who can become disappointed or frustrated when they don't hit any pins.

Originally when we started offering it where I worked it was basically an inflatable balloon. They took a long time (about a half an hour) to get fully inflated. Sometimes a party had been booked right after a league was finishing. People sometimes got frustrated having to wait.

Now they have switched to a metal grate that is on a hinge to swing out to cover the gutters during bumper bowling . This literally takes seconds. So when booking a bumper bowling party ask what kind they have. If it is the inflatable kind make sure there isn't a league finishing right before your party, to avoid any hassles.

Pizza Bowl or Rock 'N' Bowl

For a birthday party for tweens or teenagers you may want to go with something a little different. Rather than booking a birthday party you can go to a "Pizza Bowl" night. You will get one hour of bowling and pizza. When we first offered this it was called "Rock 'N' Bowl". We didn't have glow in the dark at the time, but we did play music. Now it includes glow in the dark along with the music.

It is still an hour of bowling and includes one large pizza. You pay around $26 dollars per lane. You can have 6 people per lane. That would work out to only $4.34 per person. If you have people who will eat more you can generally request ahead of time to pay extra to get another pizza.

Check with your local bowling alley as they will have different days/times, the prices , and what is offered . Some will just have music playing , or it can include glow in the dark bowling, , some places even have video screens showing the music videos.

Have a Bowling Party at Home

Hold a bowling a tournament. You could have a one on one competitions in a knock out round style to crown a winner. To do this get a large piece of Bristol board and write out a March Madness style chart filling it in with your guests names. Another choice is to set them up into teams and have a best 2 out of 3 match up.

You can get a plastic bowling ball and pin set to use for your party. If you want it to seem more authentic try to set the pins at the end of a narrow hallway in your home. The hallway will look like a bowling lane. When we travelled for an actual bowling tournament we set this up at the hotel we were staying at and everyone had a blast.

Another option for your home tournament is to play Wii bowling. This will make it easier on whoever is hosting the party as the game will keep score for you. The only thing you would have to do is keep track of who won and lost.

Home Tournament Supplies

Fun Express - Bowling Set (12pc) - Toys - Games - Indoor & Mini Game Sets - 1 Piece
Fun Express - Bowling Set (12pc) - Toys - Games - Indoor & Mini Game Sets - 1 Piece

This is the more traditional set that I would recommend using if your guest are over the age of 6. Kids want to seem more mature so the other set with plush characters may seem too immature.tence here about why you love this item.

Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling Game (Plush 6-Pin Bowling Game with Carrying Case, Weighted Bottoms, 7 Pieces, 9” H x 8.5” W x 7” L, Great Gift for Girls and Boys - Best for 2, 3, and 4 Year Olds)
Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling Game (Plush 6-Pin Bowling Game with Carrying Case, Weighted Bottoms, 7 Pieces, 9” H x 8.5” W x 7” L, Great Gift for Girls and Boys - Best for 2, 3, and 4 Year Olds)

These are more bright and colorful then the traditional bowling set. These are perfect if your party guests will be between the ages of 2-6 years old.


Do You Have Any Questions or Suggestions About A Kids Bowling Party?

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    • Whatsittoyou profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Canada

      @Charito1962: Luckily here in Canada we have five pin bowling. The ball is smaller and lighter so it is much easier for kids to enjoy.

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Nice idea for a kids party! But in my culture, not too many kids like playing 10-pin bowling until they reach their teens.

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 

      6 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Love the Monster bowling game for kids!

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Bowling is so fun. I'm pinning this to my party themes board.


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