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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.

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Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
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