How to Throw a Bowling Birthday Party
By Maggie McCormick
, last updated February 4, 2011
If you're tired of throwing parties in your home or hosting with the same old themes, you may want to consider a birthday party at a bowling alley. A bowling birthday party is a classic idea and fun for kids of all ages. Most bowling alleys offer birthday party packages, but even if yours doesn't, you can design your own. Hold a party at the bowling alley, and you won't have to worry about the prep or clean up.
- Call the local bowling alley and ask about birthday parties. In particular, you'll want to know how much it will cost and what the cost includes. Some packages will include everything, from a special room for cake and presents to food and drinks for your guests. Others have an a la carte menu that allows you to choose only what you want.
- Book your party. Pay a deposit if necessary. You should allow for around 2 hours of bowling time and an additional hour for food and presents.
- Make a guest list. You'll probably have to pay a fee for each guest to include the use of a bowling ball and bowling shoes.
- Send invitations. Create or purchase invitations with a bowling theme, such as those in the shape of a bowling ball or bowling pin. This sets the tone for your party and helps everyone to understand that they will be bowling at the party.
- Greet guests at the door. It's helpful to have an additional adult or helpful teenager at the birthday party. One person can greet guests as they come in and show them to the official party area where the other adult is waiting.
- Help guests get the items that they need. Guests will need to change into a pair of bowling shoes that fit comfortably. They'll also need to find a bowling ball that's the right size. If you have young guests, it's smart to gather light bowling balls ahead of time, as these are hard to find at some bowling alleys.
- Enter the names into the bowling computer or score card. Most bowling alleys have a computerized system to track points. You'll need to set this up by entering each guests name.
- Enjoy the party! Everyone should take turns bowling. Challenge invitees to bowling games. Rather than traditional bowling, you can play a round or two in an interesting way, such as bowling backwards or doing a funny walk up to the lane. Allot time to enjoy the food and open presents. Once you've finished bowling your games, go to a separate area to have food. Your bowling alley probably serves pizza or hot dogs, and you can order these for your party. The alley might allow you to bring your own food for the party. After eating, open the presents.
Tip: Set the starting time on the invitation for 15 minutes before you are supposed to start bowling. This allows everyone to find their shoes and balls without cutting into your actual bowling time. It also ensures that any latecomers are ready to start the first game from the beginning.