Visiting a local play space or children's museum is a surefire bet for cooped-up winter days, but if you want to get all ages in on the action (parents, too), bowling is hard to beat. The great boredom-buster is loads of fun and no experience is necessary.
Long Island is loaded with family-friendly lanes, some that offer bumper lanes, lighter balls for little hands, arcades, and family and teen nights. We've rounded up bowling alleys in Suffolk County, and now we're putting together a list of those in Nassau County. One of the best things about bowling? It's often open on holidays when other fun and sport zones are closed like Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
If your kids take a shine to the sport, many local alleys participate in Kids Bowl Free during the summer months, and also offer youth leagues, so the fun can continue year-round. Of course, many also offer birthday party packages.
AMF — Plainview/Garden City/Wantagh
500 Old Bethpage Rd., Plainview
987 Stewart Ave., Garden City
1300 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh
National chain AMF is known for its large-scale, high-tech bowling experiences—perfect for a memorable family night out. All three LI locations have 40+ all-star lanes, arcades, pro shops, and sports bars, and all offer leagues for kids and adults, as well as adult-child leagues and special-needs bowling. Kids can try their hands at bumper bowling; they can also request lighter balls and ramps to help their aim. AMF specials include late-night and early-bird bowling, $2 Tuesdays, Sunday Funday, and more. Birthday parties, of course, are always a big hit. Hours, leagues, and specials vary by location.
Herrill Lanes — New Hyde Park
465 Herricks Rd.
If you're looking for a non-chain bowling alley, Herrill Lanes is for you: it's family-oriented and has been independently owned for 40 years. Bumpers are available for kids, as well as lightweight balls, and the facility and lanes are wheelchair-accessible. On Saturday nights Herrill hosts Rock-n-Bowl, featuring cosmic lighting, contests, and prizes. The coffee shop and lounge both have windows with a view of the lanes, so you can watch your kids rack up the points while you enjoy a snack or a drink.
Levittown Lanes — Levittown
56 Tanners La.
Levittown offers enough bowling options for the whole family, from bowling camp to adult-child and junior leagues and non-competitive bumper bowling for little ones. Levittown also hosts parties, including the ever-popular Glow Bowl, as well as plenty of family events year-round.
Kids can score an assist from a dragon-tail ramp at RVC Lanes.
RVC Lanes — Rockville Centre
100 Maple Ave.
Give your kids a head start on this classic American sport: RVC offers not only free bowling lessons and youth clinics but also a scholarship instructional program that provides money for school. Friday-night cosmic bowling provides glow-in-the-dark fun for families, and toddlers will be delighted by colorful plastic dragon-tail ramps that help them get the ball down the lane. In addition to leagues, RVC hosts special events throughout the year.
San-Dee Lanes — Malverne
342 Hempstead Ave.
San-Dee offers not only 16 lanes but also an arcade, bar, sports lounge, and kitchen serving homemade pizza. Glow under black lights at laser bowling on weekend nights, and on Friday nights there's a deal that includes bowling, pizza, and shoe rentals on top of the laser fun. Adult and junior leagues are available, and the space can be rented for birthday parties.
AMF offers a sleek, high-tech bowling experience.
Ultra Lanes Bowl & Lounge — Massapequa/Baldwin
4235 Merrick Rd., Massapequa
2407 Grand Ave, Baldwin
Since 1961, this bowling alley has offered patrons 30 classic lanes along with state-of-the-art technology. It hosts after-school youth leagues, as well as adult and an adult-youth league, and school-break and summer programs. Darts, billiards, karaoke, an arcade, cosmic bowling, many different birthday party packages, online booking, and a large menu fill the bill. Hours, leagues, and specials vary by location.
Woodmere Lanes — Woodmere
Woodmere Lanes is a small, family-friendly bowling alley that hosts leagues for both children and adults, but no child-adult league at this time. There's a food counter for snacks. Special events include a Friday late-night special and glow bowling. If you want all the fun without the balls and special shoes, Woodmere offers non-bowling party packages (glow-in-the dark, DJ, and karaoke) and also hosts fundraisers.
Top photo via Shutterstock. Unless otherwise noted, photos are courtesy of the lanes.