At Boardman Lanes, bowling balls thunder down 24 gleaming, waxed lanes. Automatic pin setters and scoring computers allow customers to focus on their games, with little downtime between throws. On Friday and Saturday nights, black lights cast an otherworldly glow during cosmic bowling. The facility also features video games to provide breaks from bowling action and a snack bar to keep players fueled throughout the day.
At each of its Cleveland-area locations, Freeway Lanes allows bowlers to hone gutter-hugging curves. In addition to traditional, tenpin lanes, the alleys host indoor bocce ball courts and pool tables for players tired of breaking cues on 16-pound balls. Their expansive facilities also feature modern bowling amenities along with HD television screens and full-service restaurants. League opportunities are available for children, adults, and seniors and live bands frequent the alleys, filling the air with original melodies and providing just enough bass to knock down wobbling pins.
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.
Sto-Kent has been wearing the CityVoter Best Bowling Facility badge of honor in Akron-Canton for the last three years. Today's Groupon grants fun-seekers full access to the facility's lanes and any other attractions. Strap on a pair of freshly sanitized bowling stilettos for pinsploding action ($4/person per game, $2/pair of shoes), or head outside for a round of mini golf ($5/person before 5 p.m. on weekdays, $6 after 5 p.m. and on weekends) and test the AstroTurf's resistance to hot, steamy tears. Outdoor sand volleyball courts rent at $20 per hour, and the Beach Club bar serves up drinks, pool, and TVs tuned to the latest synchronized-swimming competitions.
Originally constructed in the 1940s, Sheffield Lanes has seen its interior evolve as the decades have changed. The original owner's son and his wife now head the bowling alley's staff, overseeing numerous renovations and quelling occasional bowling-pin uprisings. Over the years, the 20 lanes have been outfitted with contemporary accouterments: digital scoring systems and walls swathed in vibrant purples, blues, and pinks. Players have embraced the changes, convening upon the modern digs for cosmic bowling, weekly league matches, and frequent tournaments, and working to hone their skills enough to garner immortality via Sheffield Lanes' Honor Roll of high scores.
Elsewhere in the two-story edifice, chefs at Ricky Dee's Pizza—a Sheffield Lanes mainstay during the '90s that reopened in 2007—refuel bowlers with pies and oven-baked sandwiches cushioned by fresh, daily-made dough. After using their taste buds to decipher the pizzas' secret sauce recipe, guests mosey over to the Sheffield Lounge, where candles embedded into repurposed bowling balls illuminate tabletops, and walls dappled with bowling trinkets and photos provide revelers with a crash course in the bar's 50-plus-year history. Live music from onsite concert venue The Fallout Shelter enhances the cacophony of crashing pins and rowdy coasters.
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.