Victorian bowlers wore hats with just enough space above the head to store a regulation-size bowling ball, enabling them to line up rows of pinstripe-clad town criers for impromptu street matches. Embrace late-empire ingenuity with today’s Groupon: for $7, you get four games of candlepin bowling (a $2.85/game value) with shoe rental (a $1.70/rental value) at Harvard Bowling Lanes (up to an $18.20 total value). This Groupon is valid for groups of two or four bowlers.
Eschewing out-of-shape duckpins for their more elegant counterparts, Harvard Lanes illuminates the path to family fun with classic candlepin bowling on 14 lustrous runways. Pin-pummeling pairs or quartets can grab a paper scoring card and some fashionable tri-tone kicks to experience a style of bowling invented in Worcester that still carries the proud torch of local tradition. A brightly colored interior bedecked with classic décor transports bowlers back to a time when families spent quality time together and red-striped candles were properly chastised for their Communist sympathies.
With outside food welcome in the alley’s friendly confines, groups can bring their own turkeys to baste with well-placed strikes in the lanes. Bowlers can also socialize with their fellow pin-smashers in four decorated party rooms, check out the slew of snack machines, or challenge each other to grudge matches in the arcade.
Harvard Bowling Lanes
Time travel might not be possible yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t turn back the clocks at Harvard Bowling Lanes, an old-fashioned alley offering 14 candlepin lanes, vintage decor, and the tactile joys of paper-and-pencil scoring. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the old-school facility does a complete 180, transforming itself into a futuristic cosmic bowling alley saturated in colorful lights and music. After any cosmic or traditional bowling session, the alley invites guests to continue the competition in a vibrant onsite arcade that, unfortunately, does not feature old-timey games such as hoop-and-stick and stick-without-hoop.
204 Ayer Rd.
Harvard, Massachusetts 01451