For nearly 40 years, First State Lanes has kept pastimers and ardent tenpin enthusiasts furnished with waxed lanes, snack-bar provender, and accouterments from a fully stocked pro shop. Amateurs hurl spheroids at lanes alongside semi-pros doing battle in colorful league uniforms or impressive gladiator outfits. During rounds, the full-service snack bar slings pizzas, plates of signature chicken tenders, and a selection of beers. During the evenings, bouts of cosmic red-pin bowling cast pins in crimson and black-light glow, and any bowler who throws a strike that houses le pin rouge wins a dollar. For less alley-based diversions, guests can saunter over to the game room to play pool and arcade games.
• For $12, you get two games of bowling for two people (up to a $19 value) and two shoe rentals (up to a $5 value; up to a $24 total value). • For $24, you get two games of bowling for four people (up to a $38 value) and four shoe rentals (up to a $10 value; up to a $48 total value). • For $30, you get five admissions to Rock-N-Bowl (up to a $60 value), which takes place on Fridays from midnight to 3 a.m. and Saturdays from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Rock-N-Bowl is open only to guests 18 and older.
While the scoring may be faster and the tunes louder, Wynnewood Lanes still maintains the laidback atmosphere it had on its opening day in 1962. At the 24-lane alley guests mow down pins and snack on pizza at The Beer Frame Lounge. As weekend evenings fade into night, live DJs start blasting tunes through the sound system, inspiring guests to dance under the alley’s glowing neon lights. Simultaneously, a fog machine fills the room with a haziness that confuses bowlers into thinking karaoke singers are really the ghosts of long-gone rock 'n' rollers.
At Thunderbird's four modern bowling arenas, families and friends demolish pins arranged at the end of up to 36 slick lanes. Boulder chuckers slip on chic rental sneakers, pirouette, and send the 12-pound sphere trundling past gutters into a smug stand of pins. The option of bumpers aids little ones in nudging smaller orbs down the timber avenue. Thunderbird's lanes are programmed with AMF automatic scoring, freeing hands from cramp-inducing feats of addition.
A combination bowling alley, lounge and restaurant, Philadelphia’s North Bowl bills itself as being “strikingly different.” It’s an apt description given its modern, geometric exterior and space-agey retro interior. This bi-level Northern Liberties hot spot lets bowlers fuel up on appetizers, salads – including the Bowlympian, a mix of romaine, tomatoes, red onions, olives and feta – burgers and sliders, as well as eleven flavors of tater tots, including the Mazel Tots, which are topped with apple sauce and sour cream. Downstairs, the hip patrons pull on their bowling shoes and aim for strikes amid the orange and beige 1950s furniture, while upstairs, a glowing royal-blue bar awaits. There are even four private lanes that can be rented out for private events, as well as a perch from which to watch the action below.