Like being a first-time parent, being a first-time bowler requires preparation, patience, and the willingness to swathe all hazards in a bumper. Baby your bowling ball to a perfect game with today's Groupon: for $24, you get one hour of bowling for up to four people, including four shoe rentals, one large cheese pizza, and a pitcher of soda at Westgate Lanes in Brockton (up to a $48.99 value). With 50 10-pin lanes, 12 candlepin lanes, 10 billiards tables, and a 14-game arcade, Westgate Lanes caters to strikers and sparers of all ages with a wealth of pin-persecuting pastimes. Spend a good chunk of your day or night at Westgate Lanes taunting your friends and taking out frustrations on a group of hapless pinheads. Unlike other competitive sports, such as dogsled racing and rap battling, bowling has zero barriers to entry and a shallow learning curve. In addition to automatic scoring and colorful lighting, mouthwatering morsels and full-fledged meals populate Westgate's snack bar and full-service restaurant, which features live music and special events nightly.
Though Westgate Lanes has been open for more than half a century, you'd never know it from just looking at the Brockton institution, which benefited from a pre-Millennium face-lift in 1999. Today, all 62 lanes feature automatic scoring, new furniture, and modern lighting, which casts a celestial aura during prize-packed cosmic bowling on Saturday nights. Open 365 days a year, the facility swings open its doors to challenge sphere-flinging friends, leagues, and parties with frames of tenpin or candlepin, a variation of bowling that uses smaller balls and requires more concentration than teaching a mechanical bull long division. High-definition TVs orbit the center's 13 billiards tables, and, between competitive rounds, players can refuel fatigued fingers at Harry's Pub and Grill.