Every family game night doesn’t have to include a board game, dice or a stack of cards. And every family game night doesn’t have to be a night either! Having spent numerous hours playing bowling on our Wii, where we all can rack up the strikes, the doubles and the turkeys (three strikes in a row), we decided to don those sinfully ugly shoes and take our virtual game to three-dimensional reality and hit the nearby bowling alley.
To me, bowling reminds me of the Laverne & Shirley reruns I used to watch as a kid, and I half expected to see Lenny and Squiggy emerge from the men’s toilets with their greased hair and bowling shirts. We went bowling in the late afternoon mid-week, and there were no greasers to entertain us, or kids-leagues to take up all the lanes. Aside from one other like-minded family, we basically had the place to ourselves. But, we did have to wear the shoes.
I hate bowling shoes with a passion. I’d rather walk barefoot in the winter in Alaska then don those stiff black and white saddle shoes, but don them I did, for the sake of the adventure, gritting my teeth all the way.
Shoes aside, bowling was fun, though I thoroughly embarrassed my kids every time I got a spare and did the happy-dance. There were no doubles or turkeys this time, though we did get some strikes (a strike is good in this game). I was just happy not to get the ball in the gutter! We were sad when the alley closed and we had to go, but will definitely be back to try it again.
Things to Know Before You Go:
1. Bring socks. You get your shoes and bowling ball from the alley.
2. Bowling balls come in different weights (and colors)5lbs is easier to handle than 10lbs!
3. If your kids are small (little kids can bowl too!) or you are new to bowling, ask them to put the rails up, this way you can avoid gutter balls ruining your games.
4. Call before you go or check out on-line for discounts and league nights to avoid.
5. Of course you can always join those leagues too! Kids usually have leagues on Saturday mornings, just sign up, pay and show up (with your socks).
6. Bowling alleys are LOUD- think balls crashing into pins continuously- and they are not known for their fine-dining cuisine, so be prepared on both fronts, don’t go if you are on the verge of a headache, and eat elsewhere.
7. And have fun!