While the scoring may be faster and the tunes louder, Wynnewood Lanes still maintains the laidback atmosphere it had on its opening day in 1962. At the 24-lane alley guests mow down pins and snack on pizza at The Beer Frame Lounge. As weekend evenings fade into night, live DJs start blasting tunes through the sound system, inspiring guests to dance under the alley’s glowing neon lights. Simultaneously, a fog machine fills the room with a haziness that confuses bowlers into thinking karaoke singers are really the ghosts of long-gone rock 'n' rollers.
At Thunderbird's four modern bowling arenas, families and friends demolish pins arranged at the end of up to 36 slick lanes. Boulder chuckers slip on chic rental sneakers, pirouette, and send the 12-pound sphere trundling past gutters into a smug stand of pins. The option of bumpers aids little ones in nudging smaller orbs down the timber avenue. Thunderbird's lanes are programmed with AMF automatic scoring, freeing hands from cramp-inducing feats of addition.
A combination bowling alley, lounge and restaurant, Philadelphia’s North Bowl bills itself as being “strikingly different.” It’s an apt description given its modern, geometric exterior and space-agey retro interior. This bi-level Northern Liberties hot spot lets bowlers fuel up on appetizers, salads – including the Bowlympian, a mix of romaine, tomatoes, red onions, olives and feta – burgers and sliders, as well as eleven flavors of tater tots, including the Mazel Tots, which are topped with apple sauce and sour cream. Downstairs, the hip patrons pull on their bowling shoes and aim for strikes amid the orange and beige 1950s furniture, while upstairs, a glowing royal-blue bar awaits. There are even four private lanes that can be rented out for private events, as well as a perch from which to watch the action below.
Forty-eight bowling balls can roll down the 48 lanes at once, sending pins flying in a heath-thumping clatter. Erie Lanes? size accommodates hordes of bowling parties at once. And it isn?t just bowling that entertains crowds. Balls clatter atop pool tables in the game room, and a toy crane snaps at stuffed animals. And on select nights, the bowling lanes glow under black lights and disco balls, and a fog machine turns on full blast during cosmic bowling games. The on-site caf? refuels bowlers with pizzas, nachos, and burgers drowning in bleu cheese and bacon bits.
Pinsetter Bar & Bowl's 34 polished lanes reflect their speedy pin-setting machines and the feet of bowlers in soft-soled shoes speeding their balls toward pins. As competition thickens, guests gaze upward to see high-definition monitors broadcasting music videos and bowling stats compiled by the automatic scoring system. After successful rounds, a full bar and lounge wafts the scent of its gourmet fare toward the famished with its barbecue-pork sliders, mussels, and mac 'n' cheese bites. Private events also get special treatment, as guests recline on leather couches in the VIP lounge, which overlooks lanes to be used exclusively by partygoers and the bowling balls that love them.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, as party songs thump in the background, lasers beam over a row of 24 lanes—each home to a rack of glowing pins—and reflect off their thin layer of oil into the fog. Of course, Playdrome Devon Lanes hosts regular open-bowling hours throughout the rest of the week, when it echoes with the sound of crashing pins and celebratory sirens from the on-site arcade. Though unseen, heard, or smelled, the signal from complimentary WiFi streams through the air as well, allowing players to post their high scores online or to look up the cheat codes that enable the bowling balls' rocket boosters. Playdrome Devon Lanes also allows customers to bring their own food and beverages.