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 compose 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 $6.98 value) in its hallowed halls while wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (a $3.25 value).
An old-fashioned pair of comedy and tragedy masks greet drivers pulling up to the marquee of Aut-O-Rama Drive-In. The vintage aesthetic is fitting for an establishment that’s been in business since 1965 and is now in its third generation of being operated by the Sherman family. Although the cinematic lot prides itself on being the first in the area to offer AM-radio sound, today, Dolby FM stereo bathes cars in field-filling acoustics as audiences take in a library of contemporary flicks. From the start of April to the end of September, first-run and well-worn films alike await vehicular cinephiles, who can munch on burgers, subs, and pizza, along with desserts such as ice cream and funnel cake. A food permit grants guests the privilege of toting their own snacks or gnawing on their own steering wheels.
Emerald corridors spiral across a landscape of vibrant flowers, trees, and rocky outcrops to comprise Mulligans Family Fun Center’s 18-hole miniature golf course. A gushing waterfall broadcasts tranquil vibes throughout the circuit, as pale-red bricks keep balls from straying off-path or absconding to audition for position in a juggling act. Mulligans' pavilion adds to the vacation atmosphere, allowing guests to arrange romantic post-golf picnics with snacks and refreshments available at the clubhouse. The center also includes a basketball court, where guests can practice free throws or javelin-tossing putters at the backboard.
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.
In the words of co-owner Joel Spevock, "We really try to promote an inviting family atmosphere here." To that end, he and co-owner Jim Spevock host birthday parties and raise bumpers along all 28 of the alley’s lanes. But that’s not to say that they don’t appeal to more mature audiences as well. Spevock’s Nautical Lanes also offers bowling-league opportunities, a fully stocked bar, and Rock N Bowl, an event which combines unlimited bowling with a sound-and-light show. From 9:30 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, Rock N Bowl seizes control of the alley like a dictator picked last for the school bowling team as a child, flooding lanes with colorful lights and pulsing music.
In business since 1946, Rebman Recreation thunders with the sound of ball-on-pin warfare as bowlers compete on the facility’s 48-lane, wax-bedecked battleground. This all-inclusive atmosphere is ideal for introducing up to eight friends from different social circles and getting them all into coordinating footwear. A fair match is ensured by the Qubica scoring system, which dutifully tracks each strike, spare, and unintended foray into the gutter. Between frames, pinseekers can satiate victory-cry induced thirsts with sips from a party-sized pitcher of soft drinks.