Bowling in Second Ward

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For six weeks, groups of 20- and 30-somethings meet to laugh, socialize, and share drinks with old and new friends. Oh, yeah—they also hurl heavy balls toward pins with hopes of winning the game, or something like that. Though Better Off Bowling Houston brings people together for regular bowling games, it doesn't make competition the star of the show. The co-ed league simply wants people to have fun, make new connections, and get out of their homes during winter months. Experts and complete newbies are both welcome, since teams—which can consist of up to 10 people—only count the scores of their top four bowlers. In fact, much of the event doesn't even take place in a bowling alley. After a couple of games, the festivities move to a predetermined bar where all the various teams mix and mingle.

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Houston,
TX
US

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."

5001 Westheimer Road
Houston,
TX
US

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.

3020 Mangum Rd
Houston,
TX
US

True to its eponymous mascot, Armadilla Lanes has burrowed itself into the entertainment scenes of both Houston and Pasadena. Both facilities buzz throughout the week with organized league play, which invites bowlers of all ages to rack up strikes and spares and compete in themed competitions. Outside of league play, the alleys also indulge casual competitors with standard pick-up games, special music nights featuring live DJs, and with optional bumpers outfitted on every lane. And for truly casual guests, each alley’s full-service snack bar dishes out burgers, pizzas, and nachos, all of which give fingers a break from having to hold a ball or point with conviction at unblinking pins.

10055 Fuqua St
Houston,
TX
US

Between bowling, bumper cars, climbing walls, and video games, iT'Z Family Food & Fun has all the favorite indoor activities covered. Varied attractions keep kids and adults entertained all day long, and the bodacious all-you-can-eat buffet means never having to say you’re hungry.

5950 Fairmont Pkwy
Pasadena,
TX
US

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.

925 Bunker Hill Rd
Houston,
TX
US