For the last 55 years, Kenmore Lanes has given locals a safe, family-friendly place to celebrate birthdays, engage in friendly competition, or just drop by for some pancakes and pin-demolition. Besides containing a whopping 50-lanes, and on-site pro shop, and a 20-game arcade, the alley also boasts a full-service restaurant serving everything from early bird breakfast specials to bleu cheese burgers. Meanwhile, in the 11th frame lounge, adults will find plenty of excuses to hang around well-after the last strike, including nightly bartender specials, dart boards, and a juke box. And, if they stick around, players can enjoy free games of pool every night from 10 p.m. to closing or until their mom comes to pick them up.
As avid golfers themselves, Pro Golf Discount’s staff members boast a wealth of experience and professional equipment advice. They are eager to direct shoppers through stores full of golfing merchandise from brands such as TaylorMade, Nike, and Callaway, pointing out the differences between the quality products. They lead lefties to their expansive selection of left-handed equipment, and discuss the advantages of their specialty women's gear with ladies. The master club fitters evaluate clients’ swings with advanced Launch Monitors and the Foresight Sports GC2 golf-simulation system, enabling them to recommend equipment that is suited to the customer's specific needs.
Most of the locations host golf lessons within their onsite golf theater hitting cages, where top golfers dish out expert tips and techniques. The Tacoma, Bellevue, Lynnwood and Bellingham locations feature repair centers, where technicians can spruce up clubs in preparation for upcoming tournaments or a golf vacation.
Since 1989, Play It Again Sports has been keeping sports green, recycling gently used athletic equipment into new-to-you gear. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Wilson make up each store's enormous selection of new and recycled gear, which is replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that range from baseball and football to snowboarding, skiing, and ice skating. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. Knowledgeable staffers man each location, ready to answer questions, arrange gear deliveries or pickups, and even sharpen skates or wax snowboards. To ensure their stock remains robust, they also encourage athletes to collect their lightly used gear—including bicycles—and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
For more than 15 years, the company’s Seattle outpost has fused the best aspects of a family-owned business and a national franchise. The friendly staffers can pinpoint the best gear for hitting nearby ski slopes, but they're also able to tap into a nationwide stock of new and gently used sporting goods.
Owned and operated by veteran competitive swimmer David Tait, Evo Swim School leads fun, structured classes that tutor young pupils in the watery arts. The classes start swimmers at a young age, introducing babes as young as 9 months to the water, and range up to lessons in advanced strokes that prep 12-year-olds for competitive swimming. The school sets parents' minds at ease with low student-to-teacher ratios; entry level and intermediate classes have one instructor in the pool for every four students.
During classes, parents are free to relax in the WiFi-enabled waiting room, where pool-overlooking windows provide an easy way to keep an eye on paddling young'uns. A kids' play area is also on hand to keep water-shy siblings and rust-prone sibling bots occupied while their amphibious brethren frolic in the water.
Todd Welter learned to surf before he learned to drive, and to this day the board seems to be his preferred mode of transportation. A native of the Oregon coast, he hasn't been able to shake his longtime lust for the sport; in turn, he opened up Wave Hounds, which helps surfers of all stripes acquire a board, find their footing, and set out into the blue.
Wave Hounds carries new and used boards from brands such as Bing, Webber, and Aloha, as well as wetsuits, surf wax, and other accessories that let everybody know you’re not a skateboarder that didn’t see the end of the pier. The store also rents out surfboards and paddle boards. Todd himself holds lessons at Short Sands Beach in Oswald West State Park, where students can practice their skills on land before venturing into the water to surf the way the Pilgrims intended.