Inside St. Albert Bowling Centre, pins clatter across 24 hardwood lanes, mixing with the sounds of celebration as bowlers compete in 5-pin or 10-pin bowling. The centre's string pin-setting machine dutifully places toppled pins upright, saving guests from having to exercise their powers of telekinesis. Bumpers are available to help bowlers age 8 and younger, and on weekend evenings, neon and disco lights illuminate the centre as the sound system is cranked up.
On the outdoor 18-hole mini-golf course, putters manoeuvre around obstacles such as the spinning blades of a windmill and the tapping feet of impatient golf partners. The game room offers similar hand-eye challenges, with video games, skee-ball, and air hockey. Players can take a break to sip slushies or nosh on pizza at the snack bar.
At Sherwood Bowl, families and friends join in friendly competition, sending balls down one of 16 lanes in games of five-pin bowling. Computerized scoring keeps the math easy while boosting the computer’s sense of superiority, and a snack bar keeps bowlers’ energy levels high. Adults can also maintain hops levels with a Big Rock beer, such as the Grasshopper or Traditional Ale. In between bouts of bowling, guests keep the competition going at pool tables or while away the hours at challenging arcade games. The alley also welcomes bowlers of all ages to join a league and compete, or drop in during regular Glow Bowl sessions to experience the game as the ancient Martians intended it.
Gateway Entertainment Centre encompasses 65,000 square feet of family-approved fun and games. Vigorous rolls or carefully placed firecrackers send skittish pins scattering across 30 league-sanctioned bowling lanes, 12 of which are capable of barricading gutters with bumpers. Glowing beacons bounce off black-lit bulwarks and vests within the laser-tag arena while pool balls and darts sail toward their respective targets inside upper and lower billiards rooms. For a break from competitive action, stop inside The Rec Room, where pizzas, calzones, and burgers fill empty hands, and where virtual golf challenges putters to sink shots in an environment unaffected by weather or feral caddies, unlike actual courses. The Comedy Factory, an on-site comedy club, also splits sides of guests aged 18 and older on a weekly basis.
In and amongst the shopping and family-friendly attractions of West Edmonton Mall at Entrance 5, Ed's Rec Room invites leagues, layman bowlers, kids, and adults alike to engage in friendly rounds of bowling. Underneath the glow of neon lights or the cosmic-bowl black light, guests can bowl on one of the 28 tenpin bowling lanes as modern flat-screens overhead keep track of scores. Birthday partiers and kids celebrate with pizzas and pop, while adults entertain themselves with more grown-up pastimes such as sipping beers and cocktails. Each lane also features automated bumpers, so kids can bowl away to their heart's content without worrying about the gutter.
Clusters of five pins taunt bowlers from the end of Bonnie Doon’s 48 lanes, all outfitted with automatic scoring and motorized bumpers. Though serious competitors face off during evening leagues, recreational bowlers can strap into rental shoes and practice their rolls almost any day of the week. Between frames, a menu of burgers, pizza, beer, and wine refuels players' resolve, and an on-site pro shop stocks everything from shiny new balls and shoes to travel bags for storing replacement wooden planks.