On Saturday nights at Channahon Lanes and Riverfront Lanes, the lights turn down and the music turns up as colored lights flash on the lanes. This weekly event is called Rock It Bowl and lends both bowling alleys the lively feel of a nightclub or the bedroom of a kid who's really afraid of the dark. Bumpers can be called into action on any lane, and even during the day, the clatter of pins is backdropped by music. Between frames, grownups can escape to the bar for a brew and kids can make their way to the video games in the arcade.
If you've been bowling in Chicago, chances are pretty good you've been to a Chicagoland Bowling establishment. With member centers from 3700 N. Western to 12345 S. Halsted, the organization connects pin destroyers all over the city. The advantages of this network include tournaments that span the entire region, scholarship programs for talented youth bowlers, and a cornucopia of options for clowns who juggle bowling pins.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
The designers of Funway Ultimate Entertainment Center built the interactive, 5-acre playground to give friends and family access to engaging activities any time of the year. During warmer months, kids and energetic adults transform into watery pinballs at the bumper boats and pilot speedy go-karts on a 700-foot outdoor course. Batting cages let guests knock the covers off balls and the rust off their swings, and soccer cages give footy fans the chance to test their kicking and trapping skills. Guests can also soak in rays while putting around a wagon-trail-themed mini-golf course sporting 16 tricky holes, and the trampoline-enhanced game of Jump Shot creates a whole new way to enjoy basketball. When the weather is not as favorable, guests can head to the indoor area at Funway, which is packed with a plethora of activities for family daycations, including a modern 20-lane bowling alley and an old-fashioned roller rink with a choice of quads or inline skates. Bumper cars provide a dry alternative to the wet-and-wild bumper boats, and Rock & Roll indoor mini golf glows under black lights. Rounding out the rollicking activities is the arcade, boasting more than 75 video games and pinball machines, along with the laser maze and hunger-quenching Big R Corner Bar.
While bowlers have become accustomed to playing under fluorescent lighting and perching on vinyl seats, Jillian's updates the experience with a nightclub atmosphere and modern decor. Each lane in the black-light bowling lounge holds up to eight people in a luminous glow that?s harmless to the eyes of baby bats. Between bowling frames, three Brunswick Black Stallion billiard tables engage those with the urge for further friendly competition. Alternately, patrons can turn to the game room where they can get their adrenaline racing. Players sate between-set hunger pangs with the dining room's menu of American eats such as hot wings, burgers, and pizzas.
Thunder Bowl's 24 slick Brunswick Pro Anvilane lanes echo with the cacophony of wooden pins knocked askew. Behind automatic ball returns dispensing massive marbles, bar tables host groups as they taunt each other over the totals displayed across television scoreboards. Optional bumpers level the playing field for young kids and wiffle-ball pitchers who have trouble hurling things in a straight line, and cosmic bowling eschews traditional lights for a blacklit atmosphere. As families, friends, and league teams sling smooth boulders across polished wooden surfaces, Morgan's, the bar next door, hosts billiards, darts, and a menu of pizza, wings, and burgers.