If not for the occasional clatter of pins, Bowlmor Lanes' bright and modern decor and its full-service dining room could be mistaken for a lively nightclub. The sleek establishment’s gleaming lanes exude a glamorous charm not often found in bowling alleys. Adding to the ambience is a high-end sports bar and glow-in-the-dark lighting that illuminates each bowling pin.
Brunswick Zone has been a trusted name in recreational pin pulverizing for more than a century, providing good times to patrons across the country. Friends and families season afternoons with a pleasant peppering of strikes, spares, and easygoing gutter balls under classic bowling conditions, or take the next bold step in ball-hurling evolution and engage in a round of cosmic bowling, where dancing lights, thumping tunes, and black-lit gear light up the full sensorium. At XL locations, game rooms beckon with nimble joystick workouts on classic and modern arcade games.
Things are a little smaller at Glen Burnie Bowling Center, though the facility itself encompasses 30 lanes and a full-service snack bar, named GB Ducks Cafe. The petite objects in question are the pins and balls themselves. Glen Burnie celebrates the tradition of duckpin bowling, which incorporates lighter pins and smaller, easy-to-throw balls that almost never hatch into dragons. The objects collide during league games and open play. The smaller equipment also accommodates kids, and young bowlers can start playing in leagues as early as four years old. The coaches and instructors who oversee these programs hold certifications from the National Duckpin Youth Association.
Bowl at one of the upscaliest bowleries in the city and feel like Jay-Z or Mason Andrews. Today's Groupon gets you an hour of bowling plus shoe rental at Mustang Alley's Bar Bowling and Bistro for $15 (normally $31.50). Though you won't be able to use this Groupon on Friday or Saturday from 7 p.m. to close, you can still bowl when the alley has its weekday specials, such as half-price wine bottles on Tuesday and half-price burgers on Wednesday. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
With 48 bowling lanes, a comedy club, and a 5,000 square-foot sports bar, Liberty Center presents plenty of space for hurling spheres and howling at comedians. Upon arrival, prospective bowlers trade in their street shoes for a pair of two-tone lace-ups, which offer ample toe protection against clumsy bowling ball dance partners. On Friday and Saturday nights, players may raise up their arms and the automatic bumpers to the live DJ music dispersing throughout the glow-in-the-dark arena. A large soda, guzzled between turns, soothes mouths tired from cheering on teammates and selfishly hiding bowling balls.
Major League Bocce began for many of the same reasons anyone plays bocce ball: the founders were looking for a way to enjoy the social aspect of organized sports, but with less of an athletic component and preferably with a drink in hand. Since forging that modest alliance of close-knit friends in 2004, the company has reached for ever higher goals. Each season, they donate a portion of their registration fees to local charities, and the prize for each winning team is a donation to the charity of their choice. This has added up to more than $100,000 in donations throughout the company's 10-year existence. Like a house spider when your back is turned, the company is swiftly growing—8,000 players now participate not only in Washington D.C., but also Philadelphia, Bethesda, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Boston.