Stardust Bowl's two locations welcome everyone from casual groups to diehard competitors, keeping lanes open as late as 11 p.m. in Merrillville and as late as 12 a.m. in Dyer. In between frames, patrons can refuel with a quick bite or drink from the snack bar, try their hand at the Merrillville location's billiard tables, or visit the Dyer alley's arcade. The Dyer location ramps up the energy on select evenings with starlight bowling, showering all 48 lanes with laser lights and cranking up the sound system's playlist of spirited mayoral debates.
Castaways Bowl caters to its clients with 32 lanes, a full-service eatery, billiards, and other games while retaining the same family-run charm it’s had since 1950. They host competitive bowling tournaments as well as bowling programs that teach the game to children as young as 2, before they can develop the ability to feel empathy for maltreated pins. To fuel further pin-pummeling exploits, Windy City Pizza—an on-site eatery—cooks up a hefty menu of chicken, pasta, and pizza for famished bowlers.
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 comprise America can unite in common cause and topple 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 (a $3.99 value).
Each alley offers easy scoring, optional bumper lanes, and high-octane levels of pin-smashing jubilance to bowlers of all ages. Corral three friends or a trio of mirrors for a two-hour session of strikes, turkeys, and attempts to defraud the automatic-scoring system. Wanderlusting feet can walk a mile in someone else’s more flamboyantly decorated kicks with a shoe rental, and hole-pinched fingers can cool their prints in a pitcher of soda or domestic beer. Each bowling alley offers league play for competitively minded rollers, along with snacks and special events for the more casual ball-heaver.
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.
A trio of retro bowling alleys lures visitors into their distinctive confines for old-fashioned entertainment. Southport Lanes & Billiards exposes groups to waves of nostalgia with four lanes of hand-set bowling, making it 1 of only 10 remaining of its kind in the country. Outside of the bowling area, sleek wooden floors lead visitors to a line of pool tables, and an outdoor patio gives glimpses of the blooming neighborhood in warmer months.
Seven Ten Lounge, home to a bowling alley, billiard parlor, bar, and restaurant, envelops guests in the trappings of a bygone era. Art-deco motifs, vintage posters, and mahogany furnishings surround revelers as they lob a ball, aim a cue, or pity the defenseless pins. Local microbrews pepper the draft list with homegrown variety, and house-made fare elevates the menu past a typical alley nosh.
Hyde Park's Seven Ten Lanes not only exudes a similarly stylish décor, but also features gutter guards to contain errant throws by children or carnival musclemen with inner-ear imbalance.