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.
Since 1954, Meadowbrook Lanes has encouraged visitors to don appropriate footwear and participate in duckpin-style bowling, which employs smaller balls to decimate pintsize pins. The leisure-sport emporium maintains a vintage aesthetic with wood paneling and purple and teal gutters. After pummeling 10 pins, bowlers can unwind in a lounge replete with cold beer and flat-screen TVs or explore the edible possibilities of the alley's snack bar, which fills stomach vacancies with pizza, hot dogs, burgers and fries. Meadowbrook Lanes also hosts parties, providing revelers with tables, chairs, and streamers made of low-hanging cirrus clouds.
Fred Thompson and Phil Hamric, the owners of Viking Recreation Center, are driven by a passion for two things: bowling and raising money for worthy causes. Their family entertainment center regularly hosts fundraising events to support the local school system and a multitude of charity programs. And it's not like they have a hard time getting people to come out; their all-ages league and open candlepin bowling virtually assure a steady stream of bowlers coming out to rack up strikes and spares. Throughout the day and into the night, bowling balls rocket down the alley's 16 lanes. Meanwhile, two pool tables and a video arcade offer even more ways to engage in friendly competition or settle decades-old clan disputes.
Legion Bowl & Billiards preserves retro entertainment with 18 duckpin bowling lanes, eight tournament-sized billiards tables, and ticket-spewing arcade games. The alley’s streamlined design hearkens to the tailfins of a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air or the cover art of a mid-century sci-fi novel. Traditional scoring projectors lend to the classic ambiance at the lanes, which fill with the clatter of scattering pins.
Television screens in the pool hall broadcast live coverage of New England sports teams, and the spitfire rasp of electric guitars occasionally cuts through from live musicians at the adjoining Legion Pub. The kitchen staff fires selections from a menu of burgers and grilled pizzas, which pair with draft beers or cocktails. On the alley’s outdoor deck, guests click together glasses or toss rocks at poets attracted by the breezy summer evenings.
North Bowl Lanes welcomes gamers of all ages daily to enjoy 40 lanes of ten-pin bowling and 35 arcade games with a prize center. Like the timeless Cinderella story, the alley keeps its doors open until midnight Monday through Thursday, whereupon the bowling balls turn back into pumpkins and players must return their rental shoes. At The All Star Pub Grill, chefs serve up hand-tossed pizzas and burgers, and bartenders tap a rotating selection of eight beers and mix a full spectrum of specialty cocktails.
Kingstown Bowl makes it easy to while away an afternoon or evening, encouraging visitors to stick around and shoot some pool, play some Wii Sports, or grab a drink between frames. Automatic scoring systems track the in-game action, and on Saturday nights, Rock-N-Bowl plunges the concourse into a nightclub atmosphere as a DJ spins requests and multicolored pins glow beneath concert-style lighting. The pub gives players a place to relax with bar food, free wireless Internet access, and the occasional U2 concert. The technicians at the pro shop offer advice on gear and perform services such as plugging and re-drilling finger holes.