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.
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).
Planet 301 plunges families into a world of friendly competition with two floors and 32,000 square feet of hands-on games and activities. Each three-hour pass turns gamers loose in Planet 301’s fully stocked funplex, unlocking complete access to its bowling and laser-tag arenas as well as acres of classic and state-of-the-art arcade games. After stealthily zapping foes with focused beams and busting piles of pins, patrons can hone real-world skills with a trip to the arcade, working on hand-eye coordination with a game of skee-ball, cataloging new breeds of waterfowl in a round of Wacky Ducks, and helping Donkey Kong register for community-college classes.
Space Odyssey USA is dedicated to curing chronic boredom among children, teens, and adults with the use of its expansive event space. Rockstar children are given name tags and wristbands emblazoned with their group’s name and, just like actual rock stars, are supervised for the duration of the party by staff members. The perks of the party package begin with a personalized menu and a posh VIP room adorned with sleek white leather couches. Fun-finders can divide their time between Space’s myriad activities. A heavenly host of black lights and LED disco flickers flank lanes in the glow-in-the-dark bowling alley, turning white pins into a tapestry of about-to-supernova cosmos. An arcade features an array of fresh titles to tire out hyperactive thumbs, and obstacle-laden laser tag and paint-free paintball arenas offer unfettered exhilaration for kids 12 and up. Traditional sports are also offered to sweat-seeking partiers, in addition to a three-level indoor playground.
Surrounding its 24 oil-slicked lanes with exposed-brick walls, an arcade, and private VIP lounges, Harlem Lanes complements the thrill of striking down pins with the relaxed atmosphere of a swanky nightclub. Anchoring the two-story space, a sports bar serves drinks and food under the glow of flat-screen TVs, and couches throughout the facility allow bowlers to kick up their feet after celebrating strikes with mock tap dances. The ambience gets funky on Friday and Saturday, when live DJs and glow-in-the-dark bowling loosening up straitlaced pins.