Bowling isn’t just a hobby at 300 New York—it’s a vibrant social experience worthy of luxurious flourishes. That’s why cushioned lounge seats flank each of the 32 mood-lit lanes in the main concourse area. Each of these lanes faces a large screen that flashes music videos and tutorials on how to remove stuck fingers from bowling balls. Up in The Loft, bowlers can lounge and take in views of the concourse while sipping cocktails from the full-service bar. A dedicated wait staff connects them to offerings from the onsite bar and restaurant—an eatery known for serving dishes from executive chef Chad Bowser’s menu. Some of Chad’s creations include two-bite chicken or beef sliders and hand-battered fried calamari that can be paired with anything from beer to specialty martinis.
Del-Mar Lanes is set up for bowlers of all abilities: If you want to take your game to the next level, you can sign up for their league-bowling competitions, which meet five nights a week. Alternatively, players can also choose to plug the gutters with optional bumpers, which help level the playing field for younger players or those who prefer to bowl with footballs. As guests chase strikes and spares, Del-Mar Lanes? snack bar keeps appetites at bay with fried mushrooms and hot dogs, which can be washed down with soft drinks or beer.
Get Active! Get Social! helps singles and couples bust out of ruts to discover fun activities throughout the city, designing outings so that members make new friends as they go. "We like to think of ourselves as a downtown social club," says the event leader. She's in charge of organizing an itinerary of three or more activities per week that range from private cocktail parties and theater outings to skydiving and weekly social dance classes. Here, members connect through genres of Latin, swing, and country/western, which rotate on a monthly basis. "We strongly believe in the 'Live, Work and Play' motto," she says, "And it's fabulous when you can do it all in the same general area, and build friendships with those in your neighborhood."
It's not everywhere that a full speed collision results in peals of laughter—and it's kind of rare to see an amusement park ride rise and fall under a roof—but at It'z Family Food and Fun expectations tend to shatter. The muffled crashes of bumper cars swell and dissipate as youngsters scale a nearby 20-foot rock-climbing wall and grip the controls of more than 150 blinking, buzzing video-game consoles. But this utopic play land isn't for children alone. Adults can tap into their inner kid during a ride on the Disk-O, a whirling and twirling roller coaster or regret never having equipped their sedan with a nitrous booster. One of the most popular features, though, is bowling. The location spreads out regulation-size Brunswick lanes equipped with black lights, automatic scoring, and lounge areas brimming with comfort couches.
To keep their guests fueled, the staff also operates a buffet, where visitors choose from more than 40 salad fixings, al-dente pasta in an assortment of signature sauces, and oven-baked pizzas topped with italian sausage, basil, and jalapenos. Four dining rooms enhance meals with different themes: the vintage diner with cosmic black and silver chrome, as well as a stage and film screen, or the cartoon-themed cafeteria with checkered floors, Technicolor walls, and red benches.
Despite its humble appearance, Houston’s Emerald Bowl hasn’t lost its long-held charm. The nondescript building out in Alief sports a giant bowling pin out front, along with a large sign stamped with the word “BOWL,” lest there be any confusion about the space’s intended use. Some 40 lanes are held inside, along with shoe rentals and plenty of bowling balls for use by kids and adults alike. The big kids can join one of the annual leagues, while little ones show up for birthday parties or just to roll through a few frames. Bumper bowling is available, as are lessons from a Professional Bowling Association Hall of Famer, for anyone looking to really compete.
At Funplex, a pair of roller skates can take you across the country—or at least a smaller version of it. Gigantic murals of iconic American skylines surround the Roller City USA Skating Rink, while fog, lasers, and music add to the excitement and accurately recreate the feeling of teleportation. But this five-acre fun park isn't rooted to the rink. The indoor go-kart car track launches kids and adults alike into dreams of being a race-car driver as they accelerate to up to 22 miles per hour. And the rest of Funplex brims with attractions both fast and slow: bumper cars, a ferris wheel, and a full-size bowling alley with 40 lanes.