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How to throw the perfect kids’ bowling birthday party

Roll a strike for your kiddo’s special day with a bowling birthday. Organizing a kids’ bowling party is low-stress and super fun. The great thing about hosting a bowling party is that the venue takes care of most of the details, and it works for all ages, from preschoolers to teens. All you have to do to find the ideal bowling alley is to Google bowling birthday parties in your locale. Then, check out what the different venues offer in terms of party packages.

Always keep the number of participants in mind, and be sure to check about cancellation terms, how much of a deposit you’ll need to put down, and what is included in the package. With a few other tips in mind, you are certain to roll out the perfect party.

boy having fun at a bowling birthday party
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Invites

Once you’ve found a bowling alley to suit your party needs and booked a date and time, sending out bowling-themed birthday invitations is a nice touch. Instead of handwriting the details on each one, sites like Zazzle and Etsy let you design your own bowling invitations, including all the pertinent details. If you prefer, go digital and use one of Evite’s bowling invitations or customize your own email invites.

Decorations

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 a bowling-pin one. Setup and cleanup are quick and no fuss.

Cupcake cake

Cupcakes work best for kids and teen parties. 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.

kids having fun at a bowling birthday party
New Africa/Shutterstock

Bowling shoe sizes

Since it is 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 party run a little smoother while saving you some anxiety, ask parents to RSVP with their child’s shoe size on the invitation. 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 begin to arrive.

It will get the kids out onto the lanes a whole lot quicker and makes the entire process less stressful.

Keep shoes organized

Kids and teens will 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 does not 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.

To bumper or not

If you choose lanes that use bumpers, it takes away the chance of those nasty gutter balls and makes bowling a more kid-friendly activity for all, especially younger children. Chances are, most of the guests are novices and not avid bowlers — bumpers even the bowling field. If parents are staying for the party, have one lane free of bumpers for the adults.

Party favors

Party favors or goodie bags are a final parting gift 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, a mini-bowling set, or a pair of bowling socks. Check out Etsy for other adorable bowling-pin party favors that would be delivered right to your home and are party-ready.

If your birthday boy or girl is a bowler, a bowling 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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