Bowling balls spin down 24 alleys at Chillibowl Lanes, where customers gather for youth programs, league tournaments, or drop-in fun. Once bowlers have worked up a thirst, they can head to the onsite lounge for refreshments. The five-pin bowling centre is also great for birthday parties, with disco bowling nights where guests all receive glow bracelets and can hang out in the party room.
The next generation of professional bowlers could very well be lacing up their small, adorable shoes at Sandcastle Bowl Bar & Grill. The alley hosts a youth league for bowlers as young as five, which is the earliest age Santa accepts requests for bowling gloves. Luckily, strikes and spares don't end once players reach adulthood. Adult leagues let grownups compete across the alley's 20 lanes, which accommodate both five- and tenpin bowling.
While competitive, Sandcastle Bowl Bar & Grill's leagues are primarily social gatherings, with plenty of opportunities to make new friends (bowlers can join teams or sign up as individuals). This spirit of friendly sportsmanship also extends to casual events. The alley hosts after-school bowling on weekdays, and on Saturdays, the staff cranks up music and turns on special effects lighting during an all-you-can-bowl party called Strike FX.
Visits often spill over into the onsite restaurant, Zachary's Grill. The menu puts standard snack bar food to shame with dozens of options such as handmade burgers and shareable baskets of dry ribs.
Since 1983, three-time Canadian bowling champion Richard Grubb has owned and operated North Shore Bowl and ensured that the lanes live up to his elite standards. The alley itself has welcomed bowlers since 1961 and offers 16 lanes of traditional five-pin bowling with open hours seven days a week. The lanes, which host men's, women's, and seniors' leagues, welcome luminescent bowlers each weekend for glow bowling. North Shore Bowl also hosts a collection of classic arcade games and a party room so that groups can sing privately to cakes before eating them.
Rolling strikes is in the Marino family’s blood. The family has presided over Grandview Lanes for three generations, ever since Louis Marino established the alley back in 1947. In those days, the pins had to be set by hand, a task Louis's son, George, remembers all too well. As he told Westender reporter Mary Frances Hill, "You'd have 40 women bowling during the day (in the 1950s), and only two pin setters […]. So we'd run around like crazy."
Today, machines act as the alley’s pin setters, but the Marinos are still around and running the show. George's daughter, Tammy, manages the modernized alley, where automatic scoring makes things easier for a younger generation that has never seen a real wooden pencil. Some things haven't changed though. Bowlers can still visit the lunch counter once run by George's mother, fuelling up between frames with burgers or pizzas laden with a dozen different toppings. And, of course, the game remains relatively unchanged. Downstairs, guests choose between 5-pin or 10-pin bowling, and upstairs, black lights and neon wall murals set the psychedelic stage for the sport's most modern update—glow bowling.
Aside from providing a hub for clean, family-friendly fun, Grandview Lanes actively supports the community by helping the fundraising efforts of organizations such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and The Kensington Foundation for Animals in Crisis.
It’s a Friday night at Xcalibur Bowling, and the lights have gone out. As a vibrant glow overtakes the space, with balls and pins blushing in the dark and laser lights dancing across the centre’s 36 lanes, it becomes clear: tonight is Xtreme Bowling. A DJ begins to spin chart-topping hits of yesterday and today—from Nicki Minaj to John Philip Sousa—and, as if on cue, the glowing orbs fly from bowlers’ hands and crash against their targets. The glow-in-the-dark party is a regular occurrence at Xcalibur, taking place every Friday and Saturday night. Yet, the rest of the week is no snooze fest: “Old Skool” music blasts from the speakers on Sundays, and a video arcade waits for antsy hands every single day.
The centre's The Edge Sports Bar tempts bowlers with LCD TVs, draft beers, and a pool table and dartboards. After a few frames, underage gamers can retreat to The Grill Restaurant to quell postgame hunger with salads, pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches.
Deemed one of the top places to hold a birthday party by readers of the Richmond News, The Zone Bowling Centre and its gleaming lanes host several leagues and themed parties at each of two locations. For an added element of mystique, cosmic bowling takes place on Fridays, featuring dimmed lights, atmospheric music, and bowling balls that form various constellations at will.