Time travel might not be possible yet. But that doesn?t mean you can?t turn back the clocks at Harvard Bowling Lanes, an old-fashioned alley offering 14 candlepin lanes, vintage decor, and the tactile joys of paper-and-pencil scoring. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the old-school facility does a complete 180, transforming itself into a futuristic cosmic bowling alley saturated in colorful lights and music. After any cosmic or traditional bowling session, the alley invites guests to continue the competition in a vibrant onsite arcade that, unfortunately, does not feature old-timey games such as hoop-and-stick and stick-without-hoop.
Boredom meets its demise at Acton Bowladrome, a multifaceted complex owned by a family that has been entertaining other families for more than 40 years. There, 16 synthetic candlepin-bowling lanes speed balls toward rattling glory as friends, leagues, and parties rack up high scores. Away from the smashing pins, the Bowladrome's onsite, ?50s-style restaurant, Burgerdrome, takes taste buds on a ride through time with burgers, shakes, pizzas, and views of the alley from its polished counter, bright-red booths, and checkered floor. Those vintage vibes continue into the arcade, filled with titles such as Guitar Hero and Bed Monsters, and the Retrocade, where gamers swap quarters for classic-game play and the chance to beat the Fonz?s high scores.
Sacco’s Bowl Haven
Sacco’s Bowl Haven was one of many candlepin bowling alleys the Sacco family opened in the first half of the twentieth century. Not much has changed since that day in 1939 when the alley first opened its doors: the lanes are still smooth and polished, and the pins are still neatly poised in clusters of ten.
The only difference today is the presence of Flatbread Somerville, who took over the alley to ensure that the only rumbling in Sacco’s comes from pins, not stomachs. Their flatbread pizzas are made from 100% organically grown dough and then baked to a crisp in wood-fired ovens. Between frames, bowlers can feast on pies topped with smoked free-range pork shoulder, fresh organic rosemary, and organic tomato sauce made in a wood-fired cauldron, all the while toasting local draft beers to high-scores, good times, and shared shoe sizes.
In 1880, Justin P. White created candlepin bowling because he felt that traditional bowling wasn't challenging enough. Today, Leda Lanes continues this East Coast tradition, where bowlers clutch softball-sized balls before sending them down the lane toward tall, thin pins. Though the game is a throwback, the staff keeps things modern with state-of-the-art scoring systems at each lane. A concession stand provides snacks, while Kegler's Den Lounge provides libations to keep bowlers going till the next string.
Perfect for a casual night out with friends, Jillian's offers traditional American fare in a laid-back setting.
Dieters beware — Jillian's does not offer low-fat cuisine.
Drinks all around! Pair your dinner with a beverage from Jillian's' full bar.
Perfect for parties on the larger side, Jillian's also has a private area available for use.
Outdoor seating is ready for diners on those warm summer days.
Music lovers will appreciate Jillian's' freshly mixed tunes spun by live DJs.
A relatively loud restaurant, this is not the place for a quiet night out.
If you plan to hit the restaurant on a Friday or Saturday, it's best to fend off the crowds by calling ahead for a reservation.
No need to dress up for a trip to Jillian's — the casual restaurant encourages laid-back attire.
If you're in a hurry, place an order for pickup instead.
Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — Jillian's offers catering.
For diners who choose to drive to the restaurant, parking is readily available — the nearby lot offers optional valet, and street parking is also accessible.
If you're too tired to drive, public transportation will also suffice; right around the corner are stops at Kenmore Station (Green), Yawkey (Framingham/Worcester), and Blandford St. (Green).
The menu at Jillian's is reasonably priced, with most items costing less than $30.