Bowling isn’t just a hobby at 300 New York—it’s a vibrant social experience worthy of luxurious flourishes. That’s why cushioned lounge seats flank each of the 32 mood-lit lanes in the main concourse area. Each of these lanes faces a large screen that flashes music videos and tutorials on how to remove stuck fingers from bowling balls. Up in The Loft, bowlers can lounge and take in views of the concourse while sipping cocktails from the full-service bar. A dedicated wait staff connects them to offerings from the onsite bar and restaurant—an eatery known for serving dishes from executive chef Chad Bowser’s menu. Some of Chad’s creations include two-bite chicken or beef sliders and hand-battered fried calamari that can be paired with anything from beer to specialty martinis.
If not for the occasional clatter of pins, Bowlmor Lanes' bright and modern decor and its full-service dining room could be mistaken for a lively nightclub. The sleek establishment’s gleaming lanes exude a glamorous charm not often found in bowling alleys. Adding to the ambience is a high-end sports bar and glow-in-the-dark lighting that illuminates each bowling pin.
Brunswick Zone has been a trusted name in recreational pin pulverizing for more than a century, providing good times to patrons across the country. Friends and families season afternoons with a pleasant peppering of strikes, spares, and easygoing gutter balls under classic bowling conditions, or take the next bold step in ball-hurling evolution and engage in a round of cosmic bowling, where dancing lights, thumping tunes, and black-lit gear light up the full sensorium. At XL locations, game rooms beckon with nimble joystick workouts on classic and modern arcade games.
There's something for bowlers of all striped shoes at Crofton Bowling Centre. Visitors target pins on 48 shiny waxed lanes beneath bright lights—except during Millennium Bowling, when a DJ playing rock, punk, soul, and funk keeps the black-lit party going. But bowling's not the only thing the alley has got going for it. The arcade bleeps and bloops with digital fun, while The Roost serves beer and cocktails under the glow of high-definition TVs broadcasting all manner of sports. An onsite kitchen also dishes out a full day's worth of meals in addition to the expected snacks, offering everything from ham and egg breakfast sandwiches to bacon cheeseburgers to fried fish and fries.
Things are a little smaller at Glen Burnie Bowling Center, though the facility itself encompasses 30 lanes and a full-service snack bar, named GB Ducks Cafe. The petite objects in question are the pins and balls themselves. Glen Burnie celebrates the tradition of duckpin bowling, which incorporates lighter pins and smaller, easy-to-throw balls that almost never hatch into dragons. The objects collide during league games and open play. The smaller equipment also accommodates kids, and young bowlers can start playing in leagues as early as four years old. The coaches and instructors who oversee these programs hold certifications from the National Duckpin Youth Association.
DC Bocce League began for many of the same reasons anyone plays bocce ball: the founders were looking for a way to enjoy the social aspect of organized sports, but with less of an athletic component and preferably with a drink in hand. Since forging that modest alliance of close-knit friends in 2004, the company has reached for ever higher goals. Each season, they donate a portion of their registration fees to local charities, and the prize for each winning team is a donation to the charity of their choice. This has added up to more than $100,000 in donations throughout the company's 10-year existence. Like a house spider when your back is turned, the company is swiftly growing—8,000 players now participate not only in Washington D.C., but also Philadelphia, Bethesda, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Boston.