Family-Friendly Bowling in Los Angeles for Birthday Parties or a Spare Afternoon
Take your kids bowling in Los Angeles—it's fun for kids of all ages, is indoors and blissfully cool, and is even a great option for birthday parties. A recent bowling alley birthday party sparked an obsession with the game in my family, and opened all of our eyes to what a great family sport this is. The ingrained turn-taking structure, team camaraderie, and relaxed competitiveness offer kiddos a dose of sportsmanship at a fun pace. Accommodations like gutter bumpers and starting ramps guarantee success for even the youngest bowlers. Seriously, bowling is the unsung hero of children's athletics.
While bowling alleys are a dime a dozen in the Valleys, it can be a little harder to find family-friendly bowling alleys on the Westside and in the heart of the city. But we've tried out every lane to search out the very best ones for kids from Mar Vista to Glendale, and here they are. Check out our Indoor Fun and Play Spaces Guide for LA Kids for more sporty indoor fun, like trampoline parks and rock climbing gyms.
Best Bowling in Los Angeles from DTLA to Mid-City
Lucky Strike Hollywood — Hollywood
The Lucky Strike name is synonymous with trendy, modern bowling alleys. This one, at the Hollywood and Highland complex, started it all. Good food and artwork by local artists help raise the bar here.
Lucky Strike Downtown — Downtown LA
A virtual duplicate of the Hollywood location, it's situated across from the Crypto.com Arena (it still pains me to write this!) at LA Live.
XLanes LA — Little Tokyo
Housed on the third floor of a mall in Little Tokyo, this modern alley gives Lucky Strike a run for its money, boasting a large arcade, virtual darts, karaoke, and gluten-free pizza on the Italian menu.
Shatto 39 Lanes — Koreatown
Koreatown's place to bowl serves a melting pot of mid-city patrons. It's worn and weathered, and possibly the cheapest bowling in LA.
Come for the bowling, stay for the ping-pong, air hockey, and other games. Photo courtesy of Bowlero Montebello
Awesome Eastside Bowling Alleys for Kids
Bowlero Montebello — Montebello
Along with ping-pong, an arcade, pool tables, and air hockey, this 36-lane bowling alley also has summer specials. It was formerly known as Beverly Lanes.
Gage Bowl — Huntington Park
This weathered, inexpensive center is open for bowling as late as 1:30am and houses several pool tables as well.
Best Westside Bowling Alley for Kids (Yep, Just the One!)
Bowlero Mar Vista — Mar Vista
If you want to bowl on the Westside with kids, this is pretty much our only pick. A large, free parking lot is a bonus, and specials are listed on the website.
Try candlepin (AKA duckpin) bowling; it's awesome for kids. MB2 Entertainment photo by Kylie Williams
Bowling Alleys in the Valleys
MB2 Entertainment — Santa Clarita
The newest spot for bowling in LA is one of the best. Here not only can you try duckpin bowling (no shoe rentals required and the smaller balls are way better for little hands), but you can also distract your kids with bumper boats, go karts, VR, arcade games, laser tag, axe throwing, mini golf, and more.
Corbin Bowling Center — Tarzana
This bowling alley in the West Valley is very kid-friendly and old school, with a decent redemption arcade. It participates in the Kids Bowl Free program in the summer.
Harley's Simi Bowl — Simi Valley
Also offering the Kids Bowl Free plan, Harley's also features Cosmic Bowling, as well as Family Bowling nights, College Nights, and Dollar Nights—making it worth the drive even for those who don't live near Simi Valley.
Winnetka Bowl — Canoga Park
You'll find comfort food in the cafe of this traditional alley, offering cheap bowling made cheaper by Kids Bowl Free.
After bowling, leave time to play in the arcade! Photo courtesy of Pinz Bowling Center
Pinz Bowling Center — Studio City
A family favorite in the Valley with 32 lanes, a full arcade, and free parking. This is a great spot for a birthday party.
Bowlero Arcadia — Arcadia
The 35-lane bowling alley offers a sports bar and an arcade as well as specials you can check on the website.
Pickwick Bowl — Burbank
This is a clean, well-kept establishment within Pickwick Gardens (which is also home to an ice skating rink). Expect inexpensive, traditional bowling, easy parking, and a pleasant walk around the gardens. Cosmic Bowling is available on Friday and Saturday, and the alley is closed Monday and Tuesday.
Back Alley Bowling / Jewel City Bowl— Glendale
This location was formerly Jewel City Bowl. Families seeking old-school bowling with some of the latest amenities will appreciate the recent renovation done to this classic bowling alley. The service is great, and it's a popular children's party spot for local folk.
Bowlmor Pasadena — Pasadena
The electro-hip bowling alley offers 31 lanes, an all-new interactive arcade, a discounted summer pass, and frequently updated specials on the website.
Bowlero Torrance is huge, modern, clean, and a great place for parties. Photo courtesy of the alley
South Bay Bowling Alleys
Bowlero Torrance — Torrance
The huge, 40-lane bowling alley offers traditional ambiance at a low price, as well as a discounted summer pass and specials listed on the website.
Gable House Bowl — Torrance
Solar panels help power LA's only green bowling alley, and the area's fanciest. The establishment offers laser tag as well, so be prepared to spend the whole day.
Bowlero Los Angeles — LAX
Located near LAX, this alley has a decent diner attached. As with the other Bowlero locations, visitors can take advantage of specials that are listed on the website.
Orange County Bowling Alleys
Concourse Entertainment Center — Anaheim
This up-to-date alley offers walk-ins and takes reservations, where you can pay per game or per hour. It also offers Cosmic Bowling and a live DJ on Friday and Saturday nights.
Fountain Bowl — Fountain Valley
The 60-lane (!) bowling alley in Fountain Valley boasts a state-of-the-art BES X scoring system.
Irvine Lanes — Irvine
This 40-lane alley offers specials that include food and drinks, plus Galaxy Bowling with music and lasers.
Bowlero Anaheim - Anaheim
The bowling alley offers 41 lanes of electro-cool blacklight bowling at Anaheim GardenWalk. As with other Bowlmor locations, check the website for deals and specials.
Originally published May 20, 2013