While the scoring may be faster and the tunes louder, Wynnewood Lanes still maintains the laidback atmosphere it had on its opening day in 1962. At the 24-lane alley guests mow down pins and snack on pizza at The Beer Frame Lounge. As weekend evenings fade into night, live DJs start blasting tunes through the sound system, inspiring guests to dance under the alley’s glowing neon lights. Simultaneously, a fog machine fills the room with a haziness that confuses bowlers into thinking karaoke singers are really the ghosts of long-gone rock 'n' rollers.
Playdrome knows that true zen happiness lies within the de-verticalizing of wooden pins using a tri-holed, weighted orb. As such, it offers bowling at a number of clean and modern facilities throughout the Philadelphia area. Both the Cherry Hill and the Rose Bowl alleys sport 36 lanes, while the Devon location has 24 lanes. Playdrome's 10-pin terrains provide automatic scoring, plasma TVs, and comfortable seating, with bumpers available for all lanes. Turkey tossers looking for a new challenge can try Playdrome's Future Bowl, where glow-in-the-dark balls get hurled down a fog-covered lane crisscrossed with laser lights and disco-ball sparkles. This Groupon is not valid for "Back to the Future" bowling, where you attempt to throw the bowling ball hard enough for it to travel back in time, ensuring that your parents kiss at the "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance before you cease to exist.
North bowl is anything but a typical bowling alley. Previously a mechanic's garage, North Bowl Lounge n Lanes was completely overhauled in 2006 before reopening as a swank, 21,000-square-foot retro-style bowling alley and nightclub. With two floors, an upscale comfort food menu, a large bar, and a vast sweep of polished wood lanes, it's become a North Philadelphia gathering place for the 21-and-over crowd.
The food here isn't anything like typical bar fare, either. Upstairs in the cafe, diners munch on Baja-style fish tacos with housemade salsa or Cajun mac n' cheese as they overlook the lanes below through windows. After bowling, there's more fun to be had in the retro arcade, where video games and pinball machines offer a form of competition that requires no heavy lifting and wearing special shoes is optional.
For more than 50 years, Facenda-Whitaker Lanes has trained Pennsylvanian strike and spare forces with 50 lanes of premier rolling grounds. Up to four companions will take to the bowling center’s polished alleys for two hours of uninterrupted spherical dueling, facing off with a staggering mastery of focus, ball english, and pin targeting. Facenda-Whitaker Lanes keeps its doors open 24 hours a day to entertain sleepwalkers tired of boring strolls around the living room and outfits each lane with optional bumpers for bowlers of all ages.
Pinsetter Bar & Bowl's 34 polished lanes reflect their speedy pin-setting machines and the feet of bowlers in soft-soled shoes speeding their balls toward pins. As competition thickens, guests gaze upward to see high-definition monitors broadcasting music videos and bowling stats compiled by the automatic scoring system. After successful rounds, a full bar and lounge wafts the scent of its gourmet fare toward the famished with its barbecue-pork sliders, mussels, and mac 'n' cheese bites. Private events also get special treatment, as guests recline on leather couches in the VIP lounge, which overlooks lanes to be used exclusively by partygoers and the bowling balls that love them.
• For $12, you get two games of bowling for two people (up to a $19 value) and two shoe rentals (up to a $5 value; up to a $24 total value). • For $24, you get two games of bowling for four people (up to a $38 value) and four shoe rentals (up to a $10 value; up to a $48 total value). • For $30, you get five admissions to Rock-N-Bowl (up to a $60 value), which takes place on Fridays from midnight to 3 a.m. and Saturdays from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Rock-N-Bowl is open only to guests 18 and older.