Bowling: Activity Number 372 You Shouldn't Do With Your Kids

Big Kid 27

bowling alleyWhen my eldest was invited to a birthday party at the bowling alley last weekend, I had two thoughts: 1) It's awkward to take your kids to a place you haven't been since you were a rebellious teenager, and 2) OOOH! I can take the small ones. The third thought was "Damn, I want a cheeseburger and a nap," and was entirely unrelated to the first two.

Saturday rolled around, bright and bleary, and my youngest two were nearly bouncing off the walls with glee. "We're going BOWLING, Mama!" they hollered in my uncaffeinated face. Since they had no idea what this newfangled bowling thing was, I was sorta taken aback. Maybe they'd seen bowling on television or something (although I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to voluntarily watch bowling on TV).

You'd think that we'd have had a great time by the way they were carrying on. You'd think that, but you'd be wrong. Dead wrong.

Disaster isn't a big enough word.

We arrived at the bowling alley, a migraine pulsing just behind my eyes, appalled to discover it was actually DISCO bowling day. Blacklights, thumping music, strobe lights, and all. It was sorta like being in a club, except it was 2 in the afternoon and no one was wearing a mini-skirt or grinding on each other.

I died a little bit as my children looked around, a mixture of dawning horror and excitement on their faces. The same look I get when I get on the scale after a particularly good week of dieting.

We successfully got shoes on our feet as the small ones tried to wriggle their way out of my arms and onto the lane. It was too loud for me to really yell, and hell, they didn't know better. Instead, I chased after them, nearly falling on my ample ass as I dragged them back to our wee corner of the bowling alley.

Finally my husband, The Daver, got our names properly entered onto the screen and we began our first and only foray into bowling.

Up first, I showed my proficiency for bowling by squatting down and rolling that ball between my legs, scoring a record high of four pins. Second shot, zip. Bowling Wizard, I am not. And I'd like to defend my granny bowling technique by saying, if I had not, I would have probably clocked one of my children in the head by flinging my ball BACKWARDS.

Graceful, I am not.

Alex, my 4-year-old, was up next. He marched up to the bowling alley where I showed him how to roll the ball down toward the pins, and considering how well I'd done, it was a miracle that he hit two pins. Second shot, the ball just ... stopped rolling.



Daver popped away to get someone to unstick the ball as the two toddlers began to wiggle and wraggle in my arms desperate to get back to their game. The bowling ball remover-guy took like 25 minutes to unstick our ball. In that time, the "I'm exhausted and this is waaaaayyyy overstimulating" took over my normally well-behaved children and they were rolling around on the floor, pitifully wailing about their game.

Next up, Amelia managed a whopping seven pins in her first shot. She added two more her second. It's clear she's the Bowling Wizard in the family. Maybe she can bowl on television someday and be furious that I do not watch her.

The kids became increasingly impatient with each subsequent turn. Three more times, our ball got stuck. Three more times, the irritated ball-fetcher came and removed our ball.

Blissfully, somewhere in the fifth inning, the machine died. We'd officially killed the bowling lane.

Rather than wait or switch to a new lane, I looked at my weeping children and made an executive decision.

"We're done, guys."

They cheered. Happily, they peeled their bowling shoes off, threw their shoes back on, and off we went, promising to pick up the eldest in a couple of hours.

Turns out? Kids and bowling don't mix.

Have you been bowling with your kids? Tell me your experience was better than mine.

a mom's life, fun & games, play, safety, siblings, toddler activities


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easun... easunshine

I dunno. My 4 and 6 year old had a blast when we went bowling for the first time last week.

lalas... lalasmama2007

My 4 year old daughter has been bowling a few times and we had a great time.

cassi... cassie_kellison

I hate bowling. I hate having to go to the B-Day parties at the bowling alley, but DS, 4, has always loved bowling. Our alley has the cheater ramp thing for kids that rolls the ball down so it wont get stuck. But at the bday parties its always the disco lights and loud teen music, from Kids Wow Ugh. And for some reason I am the only parent who doesnt think it is acceptable to drop my child off at a party and run for it (they are so smart) So I end up getting roped into being co-kid wrangler. It's really not worth the stress. Kids 8 and under arent too keen on the whole taking turns idea, and theres always a meltdown/fight of some kind. If it's just me, hubs and our 1 child, it isnt that bad. But b-day parties are a nightmare.

LOVE_... LOVE_mygirls58

my daughter went to one last winter and it was amazing =)

we love bowling as a family the kids 6 and 3 love it


nonmember avatar YoMomma

It sounds like you're just a miserable mom who was bored by the entire day and it rubbed off on your bratty kids

mellynnf mellynnf

Our local bowling alley has partnered with the DARE program and offers free bowling in the summer time.  My kids love it, every single day if we want to they can bowl two free games.  We usually go once or twice a week during the summer time.  But it's regular bowling, no loud music no flashing lights.

GlowW... GlowWorm889

I like bowling with kids. It gives me an excuse to put up the bumpers so my own bowling game doesn't look so terribly pitiful. The range I go to will only put them up for kids under 12. Jeesh. Oh, and the kids have fun, too. ;)

nmmama09 nmmama09

We had a bowling party for my son when he turned 6 and he loved it. All my kids love bowling.

Troys... TroysMommy1220

Well I've been bowling since I was three. I bowl on a Sunday night league with my boyfriend, mom, step dad, aunts, uncles, and friends. My five year old LOVES bowling. I'll admit, most people don't have fun with things that they aren't good at and bowling is a heck of a lot harder than it looks. You need to know where to stand, what arrow (NOT THE PINS, PEOPLE, NOT THE PINS) to aim your ball at, how to keep your wrist straight, how to slide your foot, etc etc etc. Most people think you just fling your ball down the lane and BAM pins will fall down...not so much.

There is no such thing as a fifth inning, it's a frame. This is bowling not baseball. haha. ;)

Personally I LOVE bowling and I go frequently, but fortunately I have my own equipment and I don't have to wear those disgusting house shoes.

mizkr... mizkriz73

I was a league bowler. My kids loved bowling. We had a great time. I would totally take them all the time if I could.

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