An opening in the rock face slides open, and the warriors pour into the bizarre archaeological site. Rough-hewn blocks, cool to the touch, form close tunnels that let fast breaths echo. Light trickles in through a hole in the ceiling, as though something else had gotten here first. Suddenly, the warriors scatter, and adrenaline-tinged shouts drift up through the constant fire of up to 60 laser guns as the explorers tear through the 20,000-square-foot, newly expanded space. As they sprint past shrouded aliens and desiccated palm trees, their suits transmit stats to the outside world, where real-time scoreboards track their prowess and battle-cry harmonies, and plasma monitors display shootouts taking place in the fog-filled arena.
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.
Yorktown Lanes boasts 40 lanes, each of which is equipped with automatic scoring systems. Just beyond the lanes' edge, a lineup of colorful vinyl chairs adds a touch of vintage class. And inside the newly renovated bar onsite, bartenders liberally pour spirits, draft brews, and other fine beverages. The alley also hosts birthday bowling parties in one of two private rooms, including a banquet hall that can host wedding receptions or graduate seminars on the difference between duckpins and regular bowling pins.
At each of its Cleveland-area locations, Freeway Lanes allows bowlers to hone gutter-hugging curves. In addition to traditional, tenpin lanes, the alleys host indoor bocce ball courts and pool tables for players tired of breaking cues on 16-pound balls. Their expansive facilities also feature modern bowling amenities along with HD television screens and full-service restaurants. League opportunities are available for children, adults, and seniors and live bands frequent the alleys, filling the air with original melodies and providing just enough bass to knock down wobbling pins.
At Fairview Lanes, balls thunder toward targets along 20 contemporary lanes, buffeting between bumpers or freewheeling by gutters during open bowling hours. At MoonRock bowling, pulsing music and radiance from lasers, disco balls, and black lights slice through darkness like the DJ's night vision goggles. On Friday and Saturday nights the music borders on edgy, but special glow bowling hours held during the day on Saturday and Sunday feature family-friendly music and videos. Café 220 stokes athleticism with fuel in the form of beer-battered cheese fries and fried pickle spears, and Mac's Pro Shop supplies essential bowling gear. The alley also hosts leagues for all ages and parties for any occasion.
Happy shouts float across Swings-N-Things Family Fun Park, whipping out of the mouths of drivers racing around go-kart tracks and captains ricocheting off one another in bumper boats. The satisfying clunk of colorful spheres falling into holes on the mini-golf course perks up ears in the sprawling complex of indoor and outdoor attractions. Go-kart drivers whiten their knuckles behind the wheel of 9-horsepower Honda engines, tearing through a quarter mile of twists and turns on the Grand Prix track as if it were a high-school principal’s lawn. Alternatively, patrons frolic across the park’s two outdoor mini-golf courses before practicing their aim in a laser shootout game, and children ages 10 and younger scramble their socked feet over slides and rides inside the Kids Korner indoor play area. Swings-N-Things Family Fun Park is easily accessible from the area's major highways.
Crisp, juicy apples dangle from trees on Heavenly Hill Farm's rustic orchard, ripening until the moment they're plucked by visitors. The farm's owners also harvest the apples and bake them into pies or press them into cider. At certain times, they may sell other seasonal offerings such as pears or honey from the farm's beehives. Guests may also clamber onto hayrides or wander through a cornfield maze.