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).
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.
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.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Centers reverberate year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters, which allowed the teens who had previously been hand-setting the pins to focus on perfecting their jazz hands for upcoming street rumbles.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. They attempt to knock them down during leagues, club play, and events such as birthday parties and fundraisers.
Between frames, AMF keeps players energized at onsite food zones stocked with wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
The deep swell of rolling balls and a cacophony of falling pins punctuate conversations at the family-friendly Amity Bowl. After retrieving shoes and selecting spherical pin-bashing implements, pairs of guests can assume command of a lacquered lane for 10 frames of relaxed collaboration or energetic competition. Partake in traditionally lit pin-thrashing, or revel in the dim splendor of cosmic bowling, which, like most leisure activities and every incident of smearing toothpaste in a friend's hair, occurs during the weekend. Two frosty cups of bubbly beverages help reinvigorate wearied bowlers during the seventh-frame stretch. As an automated mouth at the lane’s end continues restocking its hourglass-shaped teeth, bowlers may also visit the snack bar to sink their own teeth into classic bowling-alley munchies.