At Fulton Bowling Center, patrons pummel pins across 16 lanes and fuel up with pizza, sandwiches, and drinks at the Ten Pin Cafe. Tournaments and leagues facilitate competitive rivalries or guests can angle cue balls on pool tables and quell a hunger for blinking ghosts at the arcade. The alley welcomes all kinds of people, including herds of field tripping children and bands of adults attending leisurely office get-togethers or bands of adults playing hooky from work.
The music pulses in the air, almost drowning out the crack as bowling balls hit their targets. Colorful lights skitter across the lanes, while guests sit at tables that glow with space-age decals. It?s another weekend at Oasis Lanes, and Cosmic Bowling is on the agenda. During the other five nights of the week, leagues, birthday parties, and groups of friends take turns tossing balls down lanes, all with the aim of knocking down as many pins as possible. Between games, the Palm Court Caf? helps guests refuel with pizzas, sandwiches, and cheeseburgers. For other modes of entertainment, the alley?s Mirage lounge pairs tequila and beer with rounds of karaoke and competitive origami folding.
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 $7.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $3.69 value).
Cave Springs Lanes embraces the universality of one of America's great pastimes. Here, kids can scatter pins alongside league professionals while celebrating birthdays or other events with pizza and soda from the snack bar. Since each of the facility's 32 lanes comes equipped with automated scoring and touchscreen controls, amateur rollers can focus on their technique free of keeping score and settling old tic-tac-toe feuds with pen and paper.
Since 1965, bowling buffs have decimated the pins at West County Lanes. Slip into a pair of piebald loafers ($2.75 for a rental) and practice perfect follow-throughs as you hurl sporty spheroids down any of the 24 lanes ($3.25 per person each game, $3.75 weekends and holidays; $15 per lane each hour, $18 weekends and holidays). Powered by a savvy system, hanging monitors display scores as well as embarrassing childhood photos of any player who rolls a gutter ball. On Fridays from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Saturdays after 10 p.m., the futuristic lights and glow-in-the-dark lanes of cosmic bowling ($19 per lane each hour) comfort homesick time-travelers trapped in the ancient present.
The clatter of pins and rumble of bowling balls echoes across 32 gleaming rollways at St. Charles Lanes, and mingles with the robust aromas of homemade pizzas from the snack bar. During glow-bowl sessions, the glossy alleys drape themselves in the same delightfully disorienting shades of neon that strobe lights flash just after the Supreme Court announces a ruling. Waves of free WiFi and light from the overhead electric-scoring machines cascade over live musicians, whom guests can emulate during karaoke every Friday night.