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 $10.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $4.79 value).
Oak Tree Lanes pulls in pin snipers with three-dozen lanes and a full slate of bowler-friendly amenities. Take aim at a clustered quarry and send your spheroid down the lane, leaving the alley's electronic scoring system to deal with the arcane rules and complex logarithms that govern the tallying of each frame. Bumpers are available to help kids and adults with childlike motor skills keep pin torpedoes on the right track, and a playroom is also on hand to cater to children (ages 2–7) too frightened by alternative footwear to take part in the lane games. Because bowling, like most rock-throwing activities, is better in the dark, Oak Tree Lanes also offers Thunder Alley, a Friday- and Saturday-night bowling experience filled with black lights, lasers, satellite radio, and fog machines, giving adults a fun alternative to conventional bowling and helping kids prepare for renting DVDs of Pink Floyd laser light shows. Oak Tree Lanes also offers weary lane warriors and pin pacifists a number of options for refueling, including a snack bar and sports bar.
Bowlers on a quest for either recreation or league glory can soak up the retro vibe at La Habra 300 Bowl until at least midnight every night. On Friday and Saturday, cosmic effects add a festive glow to nocturnal bowling (extra fee), evoking the excitement of outer space without the danger posed by reckless spaceship drivers. The center also offers party packages that furnish groups with lane space and shoes but require partygoers to bring their own cakes.
Forty gleaming hardwood lanes sprawl the length of Concourse Bowling Center's 42,000-square-foot bowling gallery. Overhead screens keep score, and lane-illuminating lights lie in wait until 10 p.m. on weekend nights, when the audio-visual spectacle of cosmic tenpin induces squirrels to temporarily suspend hibernation and just dance. Larger parties can rent out one of the alley's VIP suites, which sequester lanes and lounge areas behind giant curtains to create fortresses of bowling solitude that can accommodate up to 320 simultaneous bowlers. When not immediately engrossed in clobbering pins, bowlers can seek out snippets of a sports game on 1 of the alley's 25 sports-tuned plasma screens, or scarf a slice of house-made pizza and an amber pint at Kingpin's Bar & Grill, located just aft of the bowling action.
Upscale bowling, casual dining, and a local hangout roll into one at 300 Pasadena, where boulder-launching revelers can rock the pins on 32 sleek, mood-lit lanes in the main concourse area. Video screens spanning floor to ceiling tower over plush tableside seating, flashing video tutorials on removing stuck fingers from bowling balls without resorting to chainsaws and dynamite. Club 300’s private suite surrounds VIPs with seven private lanes, kaleidoscopic lighting, and comfortable leather seating, making it an ideal place to host special gatherings or corporate events. Click here for the center's shoe rental and game rates.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Centers reverberate 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, which allowed the teens who had previously been hand-setting the pins to focus on perfecting their jazz hands for upcoming street rumbles.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. They attempt to knock them down during leagues, club play, and events such as birthday parties and fundraisers.
Between frames, AMF keeps players energized at onsite food zones stocked with wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.