Under the umbrella of The Bowling Proprietors' Association of North Jersey, an eclectic group of alleys work together to fill the region with the thunder of scattering pins. At most of Bowling Proprietors' bowling centers, bowlers keep track of pummeled pins with automatic scoring, and bumpers, which arrive at the call of a button, keep balls on course without filling the gutters with retired VCRs. Snack bars at some locations bolster ravenous bowlers, and game rooms in select centers keep hand-eye coordination in peak condition. Free WiFi is available in some centers so that winners can exercise bragging rights.
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 comprise 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 $10.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $4.49 value).
Nationwide Bowling orchestrates a cacophonous symphony of clanking pins and cheering bowlers at 11 modern bowling centers located throughout New Jersey. Center size varies from the Hudson location where 60 lanes with automatic scoring, a grill, sports bar, and arcade games accommodate armadas of bowlers to Garden Palace, which houses 16 lanes, a bar, and a snack shop. At all locations, staffers host birthday parties and corporate events and organize leagues for competitive bowlers or people who just like to chuck heavy objects as hard as they can.
Visitors love to get inside the fun at iPlay America, enjoying the racing go-karts and glowing laser battles that simultaneously challenge and entertain guests inside the 115,000-square-foot amusement facility. That's why it was named best kids destination in Central New Jersey by New Jersey Monthly. Like its outdoor cousins, the indoor fun park houses more than 200 arcade games, attractions and carnival-style games for the whole family. Interactive amusements, such as the iPA Speedway, place patrons in the driver's seat of a real vehicle, and the 4D Motion Theater tantalizes visual senses with video images and sound effects. Five nourishment purveyors?Game Time Bar and Grill, Sonny's Boardwalk Grill, Mixx Frozen Yogurt, Boardwalk Bites, and Broadway Sweets Candy Store?sate visitors' hunger.
At Van Houten Lanes, bowling balls thunder down the waxed stretches of 16 AMF synthetic lanes—and crash through the neat rows of AMF pins waiting at the end. All the while, an AMF automatic scoring system keeps an up-to-the-minute record of each player's successes and struggles. And yet bowling isn't all that this modern alley has to offer—a large-screen TV, pool table, and an internet-connected jukebox render the cocktail lounge comfortable enough to pass for "the new apartment" when parents come to visit. The bowling facility's café fuels play with cheesy calzones and signature Hoboken-style 32-inch pizzas—all of which can be washed down with craft beer from Flying Dog Brewing. Thanks to these ample amenities, including family-friendly touches such as lane bumpers, Van Houten Lanes frequently hosts events ranging from children's parties to fundraisers.
When combined, the thunderous rolling of balls, clattering of pins, and whip-like clashing of high-fives form the soundtrack for Maple Family Centers' string of family-owned alleys. Open seven days per week, each emporium's array of slicked lanes host everything from youth programs and leagues to birthday parties as competitors of all ages duel with or without bumpers. During cosmic bowling on weekend nights, Maple Family Centers honors the sport's discothèque origins with glowing lanes and thumping tunes. A full menu of pub fare re-energizes fatigued fingers, and on-site pro shops help improve players' games by providing the latest equipment or fitting older balls with new prescription glasses.