If the family is itching to get out of the house, but it’s too chilly to kick it outdoors, might we suggest bowling as your family activity of choice? These kids’ bowling venues offer family-friendly features like bumpers, kid-sized bowling balls and glow-in-the-dark lanes. Some even have arcade games if anyone needs a break from the strikes. A few bowling spots transform into party venues once the sun goes down so we suggest checking age restrictions before you go; you’ll find that most offer family times when all ages can lace up those bowling shoes.
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These kids’ bowling spots are also great ideas when it comes time to planning your child’s next birthday party with packages including bowling time, shoe rentals, food and drinks. Looking for more ideas for family fun? Then check out our list of indoor playgrounds, cheap playdate ideas and NYC play spaces.
The best kids' bowling in NYC
This old school Brooklyn stalwart is totally kid-friendly, almost all the time. A popular spot for kid birthday parties, the kitchen serves basic grilled/fried fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with the added bonus of “glow bowling” Friday and Saturday nights at 7pm. 461 37th St, Brooklyn (718-832-BOWL, melodylanesny.com).
Forty glow-in-the-dark lanes (with bumpers), banquette seating and decent music (and beer for parents) make this a bustling spot for a rainy-day afternoon outing with the kiddos. Hungry? Wait-service delivers decent food right to your lane. Walk-in or reserve for large groups—it’s a hot spot for kid birthday parties. When you’re all bowled over, the adjacent full arcade, laser tag, bocce ball and indoor ropes course cannot be denied. Pier 60 and 23rd St and West Side Hwy (212-835-2695, bowlmor.com).
This funky, neon bowling mecca holds much appeal for grown-ups (cocktails, a lounge and dance club), but also offers packages for families. For $29.95 per person (4 person minimum), you and your kin can bowl for two hours, drink soda or juice and feast on pizza and a chicken-tenders —shoe rental is included, too. Monday through Saturday before 5pm and all day Sunday. A kids' birthday parties package is also available. 550 Ninth Ave (212-268-6909, framesnyc.com).
This concert venue/bowling alley is strictly 21+ after 6pm when it hosts amazing parties with top-tier DJs at the helm, but during Family Bowl, on weekend afternoons from 12pm–5pm, it’s all about the pins on those 16 lanes. Snack on delicious fare like mac & cheese balls and cinnamon toast pizza from Blue Ribbon restaurant. 61 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn (718-963-3369, brooklynbowl.com).
This NYC-themed bowling spot features 48 lanes in seven private bowling lounges inspired by different times and places in New York history. Example: In the "Chinatown Lounge," young players can hit a giant gong when they bowl a spare or strike; there's also a three-dimensional dragon that pops off the wall. Lightweight balls and bumpers are available for tykes. If you work up an appetite, next-level pub fare can be delivered straight to your lane. 222 W 44th St (212-835-2695, bowlmor.com).
Lucky Strike is a hip hangout spot for the 21 and older crew after 8pm, but this is still a great bowling venue for families and their kiddos. Lace up your bowling shoes during the day and roll to your heart’s content while tummies are satisfied with grilled cheese sandwiches, mini corn dogs and burgers. 624–660 W 42nd St (646-829-0170, bowlluckystrike.com).
With 28 glow-in-the-dark lanes, light balls, bumpers and arcade games, this spot fully qualifies as kid-friendly. What’s more, it’s got a decent drink menu and plenty of food for everyone. Got an avid kid bowler? Their Youth League is open to kids aged 5–18. 19-45 49th St, Queens (718-274-1910, astoriabowl.com).
Open seven days a week, this 32-lane bowling hotspot offers plenty of cool stuff to enjoy, including black light bowling 8pm–3am on Fridays and Saturdays (though we expect you won't have your kiddos out that late)! On Saturdays and Sundays, there's also unlimited bowling from 9am–1pm for $18 per person if you're in a group of three or more. 2417 Hollers Ave, Bronx (718-994-8700, bowlerlandbowling.com).
Hardcore bowling families rejoice: This alley caters to early risers, opening at 9am every day. It offers 48 lanes (all with bumpers), touch-screen computers and your basic bowling fun. Purchase a fun pack and get an hour and a half of bowling, shoe rentals, a pizza pie and a pitcher of soda for up to four people ($75 until 6pm, $80 after 6pm). 1600 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island (718-979-1600, bowlatrabs.com).
If bowling is more about the game than the frills, this Gravesend spot keeps the good times rolling while keeping costs down. With 32 lanes there’s plenty of space, plus youth leagues for the dedicated young bowler. What’s more, they host kid birthday parties at very decent prices. 1 Bouck Court, Brooklyn (718-336-6700, shelllanes.com).
With jumbo screens lording over lanes, a laser light show, the hottest arcade games (Fast & Furious), 5 Skee-Ball lanes and air-hockey, this spot is like a one-stop kid wonderland. Chow down on pizza, wraps, burgers and subs while you game the day away. Here’s a deal: Monday through Friday from noon to 5pm, enjoy one hour of bowling, four shoe rentals and a pizza pie for only $28—just mention the deal at check-in. 141 E Service Rd, Staten Island (718-477-2695, showplacebowling.net).
Whitestone Lanes is open 24/7 for those serious bowlers, but we’d suggest visiting on Monday and Tuesday nights and on Saturday and Sunday mornings for all-you-can-bowl specials ($19.50 and $19.00 per person). The venue also offers amazing party packages for kids: an hour of bowling, pizza, soda, goody bags, game coupons, shoe rentals and party supplies for $16.95 per child (minimum 10 children). The birthday kid even gets to go home with a happy birthday bowling pin. 30-05 Whitestone Expy, Queens (718-353-6300, whitestonelanes.net).