There are few sounds as satisfying as the thunder of a bowling ball knocking down those ten pins. The sense of accomplishment that washes over you as you crane your neck to see how many pins went down due to your expertly rolled bowling ball is a moment to savor. Depending on how many pins remain standing, you either slink back to your seat when your turn is up, or you positively strut. Or maybe that’s just me.
Either way, there’s no denying that bowling is a fun daytime or late-night group activity. It’s relatively inexpensive, anyone can participate and it’s appropriate for all skill levels. In a vibrant city like Atlanta, we are lucky to have several variations on this activity, located in neighborhoods across the city.
- Metro Fun Center – This entertainment complex is huge – more than 120,000 square feet – and bowling is but one of the activities here. In addition to a 38-lane bowling alley, there are: a sports bar, billiards, skating rink, arcade games, pedal go-kart track, laser tag, fitness center with full-court basketball, inflatables and a kids’ area with eight lanes of bowling. Open daily until midnight, late night Fridays and Saturdays.
- Midtown Bowl – A longtime favorite in Midtown Atlanta, Midtown Bowl is a fun, old-school bowling alley with a full bar and large food menu. The 32 lanes make it easy to bring a group of friends or host a party or have a date night. Extra late hours Thursday through Saturday (3 a.m. closing) mean that the party just doesn't stop. Price is per hour and varies depending on what night you go. This alley is popular with leagues, so if they’re there, try not to compare your score to theirs.
- Funtime Bowl Atlanta – Whether it's food, shopping, karaoke or more, Buford Highway is an entertaining area of Atlanta, and the same holds true for the bowling. If you want a different bowling experience, give Cosmic Bowling a try. Funtime features 24 lanes of black lights, glow lanes and dancing lights sure to put a new spin on a regular bowling night. Open daily noon until late night.
- The Painted Pin – An upscale bar, bowling and entertainment venue primarily for those 21 and older, The Painted Pin offers a swanky, après-work experience, where every element of the bowling experience is upgraded: the couches are custom Chesterfield, the full menu includes a wood fire oven for fresh pizzas, the cocktail bar is staffed by mixologists, the music is provided by musicians or DJs on the weekends and the typical arcade games are replaced with indoor bocce ball, table shuffleboard, ping pong, skee-ball, darts, Southern skittles and oversized basketball pop a shots. Valet parking is available for $2. Be sure not to park in surrounding lots. Open daily until midnight and late night on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Bowlmor – From corporate team-building events to parties and family reunions, this upscale, family-friendly bowling alley knows how to handle large groups, and even has seven private bowling suites available for extra special occasions. Be sure to check out promotions like College Night and Sunday Funday for an affordable bowl. Or visit Tavern '45 at Brunswick's Norcross and Brunswick Zone XL Kennesaw for similarly awesome experiences within the Bowlmor AMF family. As the largest operator of bowling centers and with locations all over the world, Bowlmor AMF must be doing something right.
- Stars and Strikes – If you prefer the classics, Stars and Strikes offers a good mix of the old and the new. As one of the newer bowling centers in Sandy Springs, Stars and Strikes offers laser tag and an arcade, as well as an upscale and private Blue Room featuring 8 private bowling lanes.
Whether you want to bowl with a league, plan a fun corporate event, have a trendy date night or experience bowling, roller skating and laser tag all under one roof, you've got options for bowling in Atlanta. Those pins are already shaking.
Beth Clark is a writer and foodie who loves to roam around Atlanta, uncovering the city's quirky, glam, upscale and down-home character. Curiosity is her compass, and you'll find her writing on www.thecitydweller.me