Bowling is a perfect indoor family activity when you find yourself with some spare time (sorry—couldn’t resist). At about age 5, children really start enjoying it, making it an ideal family outing. Bowling birthday parties are a hit for the school-age set and most venues offer special packages and pricing.
There are traditional bowling alleys—think leagues, snack bars, pro shops—in the outer boroughs, but Manhattan’s spots err on the side of grown-ups. Don’t worry though: Kids still can bowl in the borough—you just have to know when to go. Here are 16 places to bowl with kids in New York City, across all five boroughs.
“Our bowling center [Rab’s Country Lanes] has become a destination on Staten Island for people of all ages to relax and have a good time. Our customers have become our family and we take pride in giving back to the community and all the love and support they continue to bring to us.”
– Frank J. Wilkinson, Owner
An American pastime gets a makeover in New York City, where a recent bowling boom has transformed traditional alleys into quirky—and at times unexpectedly chic—entertainment destinations. From upscale dining and VIP lounges to hip rock shows and burlesque performances, NYC bowling alleys offer far more than the familiar 10 frames and nachos. (Don’t worry, Lebowski lovers: there are still plenty of classic, BYO-polyester-shirt spots, as well.) With loads of options throughout the City for all tastes and budgets, it’s time to knock down some pins.
“A local bowling alley (Rab’s Country Lanes) sponsors our softball team. We thought it would be fun to incorporate bowling into our softball game by batting with pins & pitching with bowling balls !…”
Rab’s is home to one of the Nation’s Largest Youth Bowling Programs and provide a safe environment for all! Offering on-lane instruction and recognition while combining the excitement of competition with the fun of bowling with friends and teammates.
Bowling Program options for kids, tweens, and teens ages 3 to 19. Introduce youth child to bowling before making the commitment. Ask about our 4 week introduction program.
STATEN ISLAND N.Y. — Jim Kane, the head mechanic at Rab’s Country Lanes, will tell you that the culture of bowling has changed since he began his career, but the machines he works on every day have not.
“Bowling centers are closing all over the place,” said Kane. “But when you have a high populous area like Staten Island, it’s still pretty good for bowling.”
Staten Island bowlers got an early Christmas gift Wednesday when the Wilkinson family of Rab’s Country Lanes announced it has signed a lease extension with the building’s owner through 2030, ensuring that bowling will continue to be an integral part of the community for years to come.
Country Lanes in Dongan Hills is one of only two bowling centers on the Island. The other is Showplace Entertainment Center in Travis.
Great service! Very helpful. Was bowling with two 2 year-olds. Have shoes to fit everyone. Food is good also. Great family night out.
– Mary C.
DONGAN HILLS — It doesn’t matter your skill level or experience, bowling is one of those sports that appeals to any generation.
Whether you’re bowling for the first time or you’ve lost track of the countless frames you’ve bowled, more and more people are heading to their local bowling alleys.
The bowling alley still lodged in your childhood memories has probably changed a bit over the years, if it even exists at all. Though bowling is still one of America’s favorite non-sport sports, alleys have gotten swankier over the years, doubling as lounges and nightclubs for partiers who prefer to pair their fancy drinking with some sort of athletic activity. Unfortunately, some classic lanes have also been forced to close—longstanding alley Bowlmor Lanes abandoned its University Place spot in July, for instance, and Brooklyn favorite Maple Lanes closed last year. Luckily, there are still a few great alleys left, including old school offerings and newer, shinier installations. Here are our favorites; we know you’ll leave yours in the comments.