The independently owned Community Bowling Centers accommodate bowlers of all ages and abilities, featuring bumper-equipped lanes and lightweight balls designed for the hands of pintsize players. At 10 smoke-free locations throughout the region, guests enjoy open hours in addition to league opportunities and special events. The onsite bar serves ice-cold cups of soda or beer, which guests may raise in toasts to friendship and man's ability to hydrate himself. On select evenings, the alley lights turn down and the ethereal illumination of Glow N Bowl takes over with laser-light shows and fog machines. As balls roll down phosphorescent lanes, a sound track of thumping beats and alien distress calls saturates the space.
When designing the play areas and picking out the toys for Tiny Town Play Lounge, founder Jennifer Assaf turned to her four-year-old son for help. The two of them put their minds together and dreamed up a toddler-friendly wonderland with climbing structures, a puppet theater, and a magical bubble tree. They also built a make-believe grocery store, pet hospital, and beauty parlor, putting Jennifer's belief that playtime should stimulate imagination and cognitive development into action. As a mother herself, Jennifer also understands that parents care deeply about the health and safety of their little ones. With this in mind, she added germ-killing ultraviolet lights, antibacterial cleaning stations for the toys, and a special gated crawl section to protect younger babies from their stumbling older playmates. Jennifer also spearheads art-centric classes where children can craft, read books, make music, or confer about Sesame Street's postmodern narrative structure.
She didn't forget about the grown-ups, though—she also included a special parents lounge with TVs, WiFi, and laptop tables, a touch that delighted writers from Oakland County Moms. To keep these parents and their youngsters from getting peckish, Jennifer decided to feature a healthy cafe brimming with freshly baked muffins, coffee, and kid-friendly eats.
Wood-paneled walls and traditional pub décor surround diners and dart tossers in the dining areas of both Ford Lanes and Bel-Mark Lanes. The classic facilities host an array of gleaming, professional lanes that boast automatic scoring and are perfect for a night of cosmic bowling or chucking an ex-girlfriend’s snow-globe collection. Both alleys maintain open hours for groups and practicing individuals, and they also offer leagues for adults, seniors, and children. Each weekend, the pin-crushing arenas host karaoke contests, welcoming the musical talent of community members.
During cosmic bowling hours, Cherry Hill Lanes comes to life in choreographed displays of swirling, neon lights. And when the house lights come back up, the lanes host more traditional offerings such as open bowl sessions and leagues for adults and children. New balls, towels, or shoes from the Strikes & Trophies ProShop improve players games, as do snacks from the on-site Up Your Alley Grill . Beyond bowling, Cherry Hill Lanes keeps competitors entertained with billiards, darts, and an arcade that operates on coins instead of wishes.
The Gameyard's LAN gaming center fuels hours of video vision quests with multiple platforms and custom gaming PCs. Terrorize alien terrorists on gaming consoles loaded with titles for Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. Challenge friends on 11 custom gaming PCs, powered by NVidia graphics cards and boasting 19- to 23-inch LCD monitors crisp enough to make hedgehogs appear dangerously huggable. Digital samurais do battle from comfy chairs beneath bright graffiti murals that span The Gameyard's cyborg-friendly sanctuary.
Zap Zone's eight locations in Michigan and two locations in Canada each feature a unique combination of attractions—anything from bumper cars to the Jump Zone's cushioned obstacle course. In the laser-tag arena, both kids and adults demonstrate their teamwork skills by outscoring opponents in fast-paced games that take place inside black-lit mazes of neon-tinged hallways. Arcades also round out every location's attractions, tempting passersby to drop a few tokens on racing games and skee-ball, or a lot of tokens on the claw game filled with Fabergé eggs.