Boston Bowl Family Fun Center is a modern yet nostalgic bowler’s haven thats open 24/7 all-year round with 30 traditional tenpin lanes as well as 14 ever-tricky candlepin lanes. Fully automated scoring systems keep track of every roll, and optional bumpers prevent balls from appearing in the gutters or into the nightmares of first-time bowlers.
Once 10th frames have come and gone, Boston Bowl keeps players entertained with other forms of hands-on entertainment. In Dorchester, such activities include billiards, outdoor batting cages, and an arcade of more than 80 high-tech interactive video and prize games.
The recently expanded Hanover location now includes state-of-the-art party rooms for private post-bowling soirees as well as a larger game room. In addition to the pizza and handcrafted beer, both locations offer an extensive catering and party menu for private events.
South Boston Candlepin challenges bowlers to take aim at pintsize pins during rounds of a New England–born variation on the traditional lane-based game. On the alley’s hardwood lanes, bowlers roll 2.5-pound candlepin bowling balls that lack the holes and molten centers of their 10-pin counterparts. Developed in 1880 by a Massachusetts bowling-alley owner, candlepin bowling tasks participants with dispersing crowds of pins that are thinner than standard 10-pin targets and weigh just a little more than the balls that hunt them. While honing curves and picking up spares, bowlers compete in 10-frame games until someone usurps victory or starts cooing to the tiny balls like they're infants.
There are all sorts of ways to have a good time at The Charlie Horse of West Bridgewater. In the bowling alley, you can send pins clattering in one of six lanes. Later, head to the arcade to play games such as skee ball, Dance Dance Revolution, and Pop-A-Shot basketball. The sports-themed restauarant onsite serves steaks, burgers, and sandwiches, which you can enjoy while watching sports events on screens scattered throughout the space. A dance floor gets lively on the weekends.
Cape Ann Lanes entices pin topplers into its outer-space-theme environs with 20 sleek lanes and automatic scoring seven days a week. For two action-packed hours, don rental shoes to solo terrorize 10 pins, or bring along up to three friends, family members, or younger siblings dressed as bowling balls as backup. A cheesy pizza melts away competition-induced hunger, and a pitcher of icy soda keeps throats from asking uncomfortable personal questions of fellow lane occupants.
All 20 of Mohegan Bowl's lanes are dedicated to candlepin bowling, the region's famous style of the game that features cylindrical pins and smaller, hole-free balls. Every day of the week, the facility rumbles beneath powerful rolls and marching pins protesting their contracts. Mohegan also provides additional forms of entertainment, including an arcade room stocked with pool tables, more than 35 interactive games, and a prize center stocked with temptingly winnable gifts. No matter how many games they play, guests can always take a pit stop at the alley's new All Star Pub, which features handmade pizzas, sizzling burgers, and a full menu of alcoholic beverages.
Inside Kings, it can be hard to pinpoint the source of clattering sounds and uproarious cheers. The noise might stem from the bowling section, where glowing squares of abstract, retro wall art bookend the alleys. It might also come from ricocheting billiard balls, a well-aimed skee-ball, or a shuffleboard shot in the game room. Maybe someone spotted a celebrity—Bill Murray, Salma Hayek, and Lady Gaga are all on an extensive list of past famous visitors.
Wherever their origins, the telltale echoes of competition and camaraderie beckon to guests throughout the venue. They're accompanied in the air by the scents of comfort food, from staples such as sesame ginger wings to inventive fusions such as cheeseburger spring rolls. Sweeter aromas waft from multiple bars as the staff flavors martinis with gummy bears, pop rocks, and ice cream instead of the traditional fixings, olives or entire lemons on toothpicks.
As for sights, the surroundings blend vintage flair with luminous technology. More than 30 high-definition televisions line the space, broadcasting sports games and bowling scores. The Back Bay location has six Brunswick Gold Crown pool tables and hosts group events, including parties and corporate getaways where you can finally laugh at your boss's ridiculous shoes. Weekly themed nights for the public also encourage dancing, karaoke, and trivia.
In 1958, Ryan Family Amusements founder James A. Ryan opened a simple, eight-lane bowling alley, planting the foundation for a slew of entertainment centers throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. At 10 locations, visitors enjoy a variety of arcade and skill games in addition to traditional candlepin, tenpin, or duckpin bowling. Every Friday and Saturday evening from 9 p.m. until midnight, bowling lanes take on an incandescent glow, allowing bowlers to experience futuristic entertainment without the inconvenience of rising jetpack-fuel prices. Bumper bowling is available for younger players, and an onsite concession stand refreshes responsible adults with glasses of beer and wine.