Bowlers step up, drop, and roll balls down 20th Century Lanes' 24 modern lanes, ending in an eruption of clanking pins, hoots, and hollers. As the scattered pins are reset, the bowling alley's automatic system calculates the score while visitors lounge in plush purple chairs. Between frames, bowlers can fuel their forethoughts of turkeys with barbecue-beef sandwiches or pizza from the café, grab a cocktail from the Gaslight Lounge, or stroll into the pro shop to purchase a new bowling bag that matches their Sunday's best bowling gown. 20th Century Lanes also hosts events such as bowling tournaments and league play, and resident coaches lead private, couples, and team lessons.
Amid the standard clattering of pins and crunching of nachos found in any bowling alley, Emerald Lanes packs a variety of entertainment to suit the entire family's interests. At the arcade, an assortment of video games churns out tickets that, like America's earliest paper currency, can only be exchanged for prizes such as plush animals and soccer balls. Pool sharks stalk their spherical prey at one of seven billiards tables as they wait for a fresh-made pizza or slake their thirst with a drink from the bar, where three 50-inch flat-screen TVs display live sports games. Of course, bowling remains the main attraction, replete with automatic scoring and optional bumpers to keep balls out of the gutter, much like shoulder angels do for people's minds.
Green, yellow, and red. If lined up correctly, those three colors should cause a gasp of excitement from players at Nampa Bowl. During Monte Carlo, colored pins mean big bucks for players who roll a strike—up to $50 at a time. That's just one of the special events that takes place across Nampa Bowl's 24 lanes. Each weekend, cosmic bowling transforms the alley into a party with laser lights and a live DJ, who is secretly a sentient bowling pin dressed up in a suit.
Tournaments take on a more competitive vibe, while other events have a charitable focus, such as fund raisers for the Special Olympics. An arcade, occasional karaoke, and the onsite 11th Frame Lounge keep the fun going long after the final strike.
At Gameworld, fun materializes in a variety of forms, from bowling to arcade games modeled after sporty endeavors and amusement park rides. Bowlers launch spheres down regulation-size lanes or the abbreviated alleys of a replica of Highway 66, featuring mini lanes striped with a highway median that cater specifically to toddlers, but can entertain competitors of all ages. After lifting bowling balls, gamers can cool down in the arcade, a haven for a veritable timeline of electronic adversaries from yesteryear's Pac-Man to modern Daytona racecars, as well as air hockey and a small climbing wall. The MaxFlight Simulator reigns supreme among its peers, emulating the jolting twists and turns of a rollercoaster ride without the annoyance of picking bugs off of teeth. Players refuel at Perky's Pizza with crispy slices or entire pies made to order, which can also power kids through bowling birthday parties that include bowling, gaming, and goody bags.