For more than 35 years, the sound of crashing pins has echoed from the lanes at Stonehedge Family Fun Center. During open hours, bowlers can catch the latest scores on the lounge's 55-inch flat-screen TV, share a pitcher or soda or freshly baked pizza from the kitchen, or head to the arcade to keep their wrists and fingers from atrophying between games. Starting at 10 p.m. every night, 16-foot screens display music videos amid the glowing light show of Lunar Bowling.
Inside Legend Lanes, pins scatter across 24 bowling lanes that pave synthetic avenues to legendary scores and equally impressive celebratory high-fives. Leagues, tournaments, families, and friends gather weekly to participate in the pin-pulverizing action, including on Friday and Saturday evenings, when cosmic bowling morphs each frame into an intergalactic experience. Bumpers barricade gutters upon request and, perched throughout the facility, 35 flat-screen TVs flicker with off-the-lane entertainment, ensuring players don’t get stuck talking to a retired ball about its oddly shaped scuffs in between turns. After games, competitors can celebrate real victories or moral victories inside the new Legend Lounge.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates 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.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
Beach volleyball and bowling lanes seldom come in the same package—unless you happen to be at Kent Lanes. The indoor and outdoor facility pairs two regulation-size silica-sand beach-volleyball courts with an expansive arena of polished lanes, letting competitors hammer spikes and orchestrate strikes like 19th century railroad workers.
A full-service tiki bar stands beside the sandy courts, setting the tone with cold drinks and tropical tunes as spectators kick back at picnic tables and enjoy the live action of a game on a 50-inch flatscreen TV. Inside, guests can unwind at the 11th Frame, which serves pizza, traditional grill fare, and daily drink specials. Kent Lanes also hosts volleyball and bowling leagues for those looking for team camaraderie without having to endure a series of trust falls.
After 25 years as a loyal employee at North Woods Lanes, Mike Trachsel joined forces with his wife, Sandy, to buy the lanes he’d come to love. Together, they work hard to ensure that the place maintains the timeless charm it has cultivated over its 50-year-plus history. The years have not been without modern upgrades, however; these include automatic scoring, flat-screen TVs, and cosmic bowling. The alley also features a snack bar and a pro shop where players can purchase a new ball or a bowling bag.
In 1961, Peter Scimone and his wife Rosalie converted a humble patch of farmland into an epicenter for recreation, starting small with only 16 bowling lanes. Over the years, Roseland Lanes—which was named after Rosalie—was enhanced with a café and grill, pizza parlor, and pub all named for Pete. Today their daughter carries on the family tradition, warmly welcoming guests into a modern, 50-lane alley that features a game room, automatic scoring, 36-inch LCD TVs above every lane, and behemoth 47-inch screens scattered intermittently throughout the space. Roseland Lanes acts as home base for leagues and summer camps, and really flares to life during cosmic bowling on weekend and Wednesday evenings, when a DJ from Rock the House Entertainment steals the spotlight playing requested tunes through a 10,000-watt sound system.
When bowlers have exhausted themselves out on the lanes, they invade Papa Pete's Pizza for slices and wings or Pete's Cafe for burgers and ice cream. At Pete's Pub, liquor, beer, and wine quench thirsts and patrons compete for glory or the final seat on city council at the pool table, dartboards, or karaoke mike. Nearby, the Rose Room hosts up to 70 partygoers and the adjacent La Casa Bella Party Center sets the stage for fancy affairs.