Within its newly modernized facility, Astoria Bowl entreats visitors to spend days and nights spinning bowling balls down 28 synthetic maple-finished lanes and helping to domesticate the escaped penguins posing as pins. Black lights and lasers illuminate the lanes during glow-in-the-dark bowling, and new touchscreen automatic scoring monitors save bowlers the hassle of tabulating scores. Chef Vesna serves up burgers, meatloaf, and pub specialties that can be enjoyed while sipping refreshing libations at the sports lounge or alongside each family friendly lane.
Nationwide Bowling orchestrates a cacophonous symphony of clanking pins and cheering bowlers at 11 modern bowling centers located throughout New Jersey. Center size varies from the Hudson-Bayonne location where 60 lanes with automatic scoring, a grill, sports bar, and arcade games accommodate armadas of bowlers to Garden Palace, which houses 16 lanes, a bar, and a snack shop. At all locations, staffers host birthday parties and corporate events and organize leagues for competitive bowlers or people who just like to chuck heavy objects as hard as they can.
At Van Houten Lanes, bowling balls thunder down the waxed stretches of 16 AMF synthetic lanes—and crash through the neat rows of AMF pins waiting at the end. All the while, an AMF automatic scoring system keeps an up-to-the-minute record of each player's successes and struggles. And yet bowling isn't all that this modern alley has to offer—a large-screen TV, pool table, and an internet-connected jukebox render the cocktail lounge comfortable enough to pass for "the new apartment" when parents come to visit. The bowling facility's café fuels play with cheesy calzones and signature Hoboken-style 32-inch pizzas—all of which can be washed down with craft beer from Flying Dog Brewing. Thanks to these ample amenities, including family-friendly touches such as lane bumpers, Van Houten Lanes frequently hosts events ranging from children's parties to fundraisers.
Inside Whitestone Lanes, patrons engage in a never-ending pin barrage with bowling accommodations available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Forty-eight lanes span the facility, providing ample room for groups to bowl comfortably while serious strikers concentrate on gutter-hugging curves. Large, flat-screen televisions display scores and endearments for trusty spheres high above each lane, and a full café, bar, and lounge area keeps pin snipers stocked with hearty concessions and fast refreshments.
When combined, the thunderous rolling of balls, clattering of pins, and whip-like clashing of high-fives form the soundtrack for Maple Family Centers' string of family-owned alleys. Open seven days per week, each emporium's array of slicked lanes host everything from youth programs and leagues to birthday parties as competitors of all ages duel with or without bumpers. During cosmic bowling on weekend nights, Maple Family Centers honors the sport's discothèque origins with glowing lanes and thumping tunes. A full menu of pub fare re-energizes fatigued fingers, and on-site pro shops help improve players' games by providing the latest equipment or fitting older balls with new prescription glasses.
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 $4.49 value).