Birthday parties: Bowling Bash

by AmandaY A few weeks before his birthday J and I were discussing what kind of party he would like to have.  He started by saying he wanted his grandparents and aunt and uncle to come over for supper.  I told him we would do that too, but I was really asking what kind of kids party he would like to have.  His eyes nearly popped out of his head, such was his surprise.

"A kids party?  I can have my friends at a party?"  He was so happy about that simple fact that he really had no clue what kind of party he should have.  So I gave him a few choices (based on my cost analysis research) and he ended up picking a Bowling Party at Merivale Bowling Lanes.

First of all, bowling is a great activity for kids.  It is active, fun, and really not all that hard to do.  They put bumpers on the lanes for kids so there are no gutter balls to discourage them.  This way, they hit the pins a lot more making it more fun for everyone.

The bowling balls are smaller, not as heavy so the kids can handle them fairly easily.  I don't recommend it for kids under 3-4.  There is music blasting, lights are low and the shoes glow in the dark!  Such simple things to enhance the experience. (Young or very sensitive children may be a bit scared or overwhelmed by the music, lights and noise of the bowling alley.)

My son invited six of his friends, 3 boys from school and 3 kids he's known since he was very little through my friends and daycare.  The kids dove into bowling with lots of enthusiasm, they picked up quickly when it was their turn and how to keep track of their scores, and at one point we had a mini mosh pit of little boys rolling around on top of each other.  Birthday boy was at the bottom, of course.  His friends were all so excited that they just piled on top of him to wish him happy birthday!

Merivale Bowling lanes did a really great job with my son's birthday party.  They were well organized, had a hostess assigned specifically to our party to facilitate our experience there.  We had one hour to bowl and one hour in the restaurant for lunch and cake.  Our hostess organized all the kids with their shoes, programmed all the lanes with names and such and checked in with us regularly to make sure things were going smoothly.  When we were done with bowling we went to the restaurant and the table was set with all the gifts at one end, and the food was ready so the kids didn't have to wait for anything.  They could dive into their pizza, bash open their bags of chips (yes, there were chips everywhere!), and they were all thirsty and so there was apple juice for all sitting at their places.  Presents were opened and cake was served.  Overall, the food was really good and they did a great job on the cake.

We would definitely go back again, both for just family bowling and likely for another birthday.  The cost was really very reasonable, it saved me a whole lot of work, all we had to do was bring the loot bags for our guests.  We bought gift bags in bright colours and filled them with fun items from our local Dollarama.  At the end of the party everyone seemed happy and the birthday boy was thrilled with it, which was, above all, the whole point.

Have you taken your kids bowling?

Amanda was born and raised in Ottawa where she continues to live with her husband and son “J”. Amanda is bilingual and interests include reading, blogging, socializing, and advocacy on children and teen issues.

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