Skip to main content

NewFolks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

How to throw the perfect kids’ bowling birthday party

For a cool kids' birthday party, head to a bowling alley

Child bowling at a bowling alley birthday party
Dziurek / Shutterstock

There are so many kids’ birthday parties during the year. When it’s your kiddo’s turn to throw a party, it can be tough to come up with a unique idea. If you’re on the hunt for something different to do with for your child’s upcoming birthday, plan a bowling party at your local lanes. You will definitely roll strike for his or her special day. Putting together a kids’ bowling birthday party won’t impact your spare time since the venue takes care of the majority of the party details. A bowling birthday party is a perfect pick for kids of all ages, from preschoolers to teens. So, let’s get the planning rolling.

Kids having fun at a bowling birthday party
Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock

How to plan a bowling birthday party

If a bowling party is right up your birthday boy or girl’s alley, then the first step is to check out bowling facilities in your area. Find out if they offer party packages and what they include. Many serve up food options as well as an attendant to help organize the bowlers. Ask if the party pack includes shoe rentals. Usually it does, but you don’t want any surprises on your child’s big day.

See if bumpers are available, especially if your kid’s birthday party is for younger children. Bumpers take away those tear-inspiring gutter balls and turn the bowling birthday party into a completely kid-friendly experience. Don’t forget to see what the cancellation policy is in case of illness on the big day to the quest of honor or an emergency. For more pointers on how to roll a perfect game for your child’s birthday, we’ve got all our planning pins lined up to help you.


Once you’ve found a bowling alley to suit your party needs, booked a date and time, it’s time to send out the invitations. Using a bowling-themed invite is always a nice touch and can easily be found online at sites like Esty and Zazzle. Preprinted invitations are a huge time saver for busy parents.


Decorations sometimes come with party packages, but if yours doesn’t, head online to dress up the party area at the alley with bowling-themed festive touches. With a bowling party pack, you can get paper plates, napkins, cups, and cutlery. Top it off with a brightly colored tablecloth or one with a bowling pin displayed on it. Setup and cleanup are quick and no fuss. For younger kids, you may want to glam up the party area with their favorite superheroes, Disney characters, or cartoons.

Cupcakes instead of cake

Cupcakes work best for kids and teen parties, especially when the festivities are away from home. They are a lot easier to deal with than cutting a cake and faster to hand out. A cupcake cake in the shape of a bowling pin or ball will definitely not be a gutter ball.

Bowling shoe sizes

Since it’s a bowling party, the participants will have to rent shoes. This can be a little chaotic, especially since your party will not be the only activity going on at the bowling alley. To make the festivities run a little smoother while saving you some anxiety and time, ask parents to RSVP with their child’s shoe size.

Before the party, write up or print out a list of all the party guests and their shoe sizes. Arrange to have all the needed sizes before the guests arrive. It will get the kids out onto the lanes a lot quicker and make the entire process less stressful for everyone.

Keep shoes organized

Kids and teens tend to leave their shoes anywhere. To avoid lost shoes, bring a container large enough to hold everyone’s shoes just in case the alley doesn’t have a place for bowlers to store their shoes. Bring sticky notes or labels along to write each participant’s name and stick it on the top of one shoe.

At the end of the party, one adult can hand out shoes and collect the bowling shoes to return to the facility. With a little shoe organization before and after the party, you will certainly be rolling a spare.

Party favors

Party favors or goodie bags are final parting gifts kids really enjoy. Bowling pin cookies or a chocolate bowling pin lollipop are deliciously delightful party favors you can order ahead of time from a local bakery or chocolate shop. Have the treats wrapped in clear or colored packaging with a bow for a festive touch. Other bowling party favor ideas include bowling key chains, finger bowling game sets, or bowling socks. Check out Etsy for other adorable party-ready bowling pin favors.

Kids having fun at a bowling alley party
New Africa / Shutterstock

Final bowling party frame

If you’re searching for a different kids’ birthday party idea for your kiddo, think bowling. A bowling birthday party is a perfect pick for multiple ages. Even adults enjoy a bowling outing, as do families. Most bowling alleys offer birthday party packages at different price levels, and booking one takes a lot of the party planning stress off you. Once you locate a family-friendly bowling alley, decide on the date and time along with how many guests.

Many alleys also serve up a party menu kids love, like pizza. That leaves you with just bowling-themed invitations, cake, and favors. Just remember to pack candles and the list of shoe sizes, and this bowling birthday will be a smashing strike.

Editors' Recommendations

Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
5 New Year’s resolution ideas for kids that promote healthy habits
Get healthy with these resolutions as a family
A person making a list of New Year's resolutions

Are New Year's resolutions still relevant in today's tech savvy, social media age? Turns out the practice of setting a goal for yourself to change or start a new habit still has a place with many people setting a New Year's resolution at the start of every year. New Year's resolutions actually have quite a long track record.

The practice of setting goals when welcoming in a new year date all the way back to the ancient Babylonians. Back then, New Year's Day was celebrated in March, not January. The ancient Romans also had the practice of kicking off a new year with resolutions, as did early Christians. Today, New Year's resolutions aren't necessarily based on religion. Instead, New Year's resolutions are more personal and often involve losing weight, getting the finances in order, ditching a bad habit like smoking as well as decluttering, or organizing the house.

Read more
12 amazing tween birthday party ideas your kid (and their friends) will actually enjoy
Tween birthday party ideas they'll love
Pre-teen girl smiling, holding birthday present

Remember, planning birthday parties when your kids were little? Those were always super fun and relatively simple. Times change though when your once little ones become tweens. When kids get older, planning birthday parties becomes a bit more challenging. For tweens, party planning can be difficult because they are in the transitional phase between tween and teen. Tweens have outgrown the typical kid birthday parties, but they also aren't ready for celebrations more geared toward teens.

The tween age is the years from 9 to 12. So, your soon-to-be 12-year-old is almost a teenager and there are many sensational teen birthday party ideas. The problem is your tween isn't quite there yet. That's okay though. There isn't any need to rush the teen angst. It will arrive soon enough, and there are plenty of exciting tween birthday party ideas to make the guest of honor and the invitees happy.

Read more
The best third birthday party ideas for a fun and stress-free celebration
Birthday party ideas to celebrate turning 3
Birthday cake with a number 3 candle on it

All birthdays are special when it comes to your kiddos, but three is a truly monumental birthday. You are ending the toddler phase with the third birthday, and that is certainly something to celebrate. Those terrible two are going bye-bye, and your toddler is about to become a preschooler. A three-year-old birthday party is probably the first one your little guy or gal will be inviting some friends of their own.

Kiddos love birthday parties, especially when all the gifts have their names on them. Of course, you want to throw a party your child and his or her friends will totally enjoy without making you crazy. Don't start stressing already. There are lots of birthday party ideas to make your little one's special day amazing while keeping your stress level to a minimum.

Read more