The low, steady rumbling of balls rolling across polished wood echoes throughout Andover Lanes, where players line up shots or watch their friends topple pins from a seating area outfitted with retro, three-sided tables. Pulsating dance beats reverberate from the alley’s internet jukebox, mingling with the thunderous sounds of pins crashing to create an air of palpable excitement. This excitement is never more apparent than on Friday evenings, when the 24 lanes take on incandescent hues during rounds of cosmic bowling and the alley’s full bar and grill stays busy all night slinging pizzas, wraps, and burgers. The alley’s arcade similarly lights up with glinting pool balls and video-game consoles that keep fingers loose after hours of hurling balls down lanes or bench-pressing french fries. To complement its all-American food and retro vibe, the bar also hosts a wide projection screen for sports games and a stage for karaoke and live musicians
Ham Lake Lanes champions recreational and league bowlers with 24 glossy lanes replete with automatic scoring and bumpers. Friday Night Lights sets the facility aglow from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. when flashing beams and dazzling black lights set the stage for a cosmic-inspired competition. Between frames or games, groups can nosh on pizza, burgers, hot dogs, and scorecards filled with tasty turkeys or seek out off-lane fun in the full video arcade.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that compose America can unite in the common cause of toppling a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $10 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $4 value).
Early in the spring, when the threat of snow still hovers over the state of Minnesota, the golf course at Sundance Golf Banquet Bowl is open. Later in the fall, when the threat of snow once again looms and golf carts begin to go into hibernation, the course remains open. Over the years, the 18-hole, par 72 course has become reliable place for determined golfers to battle for being the first or last of the year to sneak in a round. Recently, Sundance augmented its links with a bowling alley, inviting visitors to escape the elements and pick up some strikes in the process. Away from all the competition, the facility's bar and grill refuels tanks with popular house-made pizzas, half-pound burgers, and plenty of beer and cocktails.
Medina Entertainment Center fights boredom on several fronts with a host of recreational activities housed in one sprawling complex. The renowned concert stage attracts top-level talent from around the country, and its list of past performers?Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper, and Bret Michaels?reads like a brochure at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If your belly is rumbling so loudly that you can't hear the music, just head to Robert's Restaurant, where a menu of burgers, wraps, and grilled fish awaits. Medina is also home to a 12-lane bowling center where players can let off steam by naming each pin after a different middle-school bully.
Over the last 50 years, The Park Tavern has perfected the convivial trifecta of eating, drinking, and bowling. A menu of gourmet burgers and traditional pub fare mingles with a drink menu of domestic and imported beers and wines for between-frame refueling. On Mondays, the alley fills with high-energy tunes, and bowling balls careen all night during the $5 all-you-can-bowl nights. The Park Tavern rolls out its varied bowling buffets for corporate events, birthday parties, or the anniversary of the end of bowling prohibition during the Nixon administration.