Here in New Jersey, there are plenty of bowling alleys that offer year-round fun. There are small-town spots that offer traditional games with modern touches, such as automatic scoring and gutter bumpers. And there are newer, flashier bowling alleys that feature high-tech bells and whistles like interactive games, video walls, and glow ball.
In addition, venues throughout the state often feature bowling alongside laser tag and arcades.
And bowling alleys are an ideal spot for low-maintenance birthday parties, play dates, and weekend day trips.
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Best Bowling Alleys in Northern NJ
This bowling alley boasts 24 lanes, bumpers for kids to use, an arcade, a pool table, and darts. They host birthday parties and have a restaurant serving typical pub fare. You can also try Cosmic Bowling Friday and Saturday nights here.
This clean, modern bowling alley accommodates guests of all ages, with features like bumper bowling, electronic scoring, a snack bar, and an arcade. On Friday and Saturday nights, the lights come down for Glow Bowling with neon pins, lanes, and balls. The youth-adult leagues, which run Friday through Sunday, are a great opportunity for family time and even offer a scholarship money opportunity. Birthday party packages are available.
The games don’t end with bowling at Circle Bowl. Hit the arcade for ski ball, Whack a Minion, shoot NBA hoops, and rack up prize tickets. There is even a 3,000-square-foot laser tag arena. If you work up an appetite from all the games, check out Big Ed's Taphouse, an American-style grill. They also host birthday parties.
Best Bowling Alleys in Central NJ
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When you've had enough bowling, check out Bowlero's arcade and laser tag arena.
Bowlero – North Brunswick
This decked-out bowling center features video walls, blacklight lanes, and touch-screen food options. The fun continues in the facility’s arcade, complete with 4D adventures alongside old-fashioned video favorites. Plus, for some extra excitement, try the bumper cars! Birthday party packages include bumper bowling and arcade games.
Colonial bowling has smaller, lightweight balls for younger kids.
Laser tag, video games, and bowling are all part of the fun at Colonial Bowl. Kids will enjoy the 24 lanes of bowling, along with lane-side food, comfy couches, and 250-square-foot JumboTron units by each lane. Amp up the fun with dozens of video games and the 3,000-square-foot, multi-level laser tag arena. They have promotions every night of the week, including half-price arcade games on Friday nights. Party packages with bowling and laser tag are available.
There’s so much to do at the day trip-worthy Funplex, bowling included! You can easily spend the day conquering the 16-lane bowling alley, bumper cars, go-karts, video arcade, laser tag, and much more. Plus, in the warm weather, add the outdoor Splashplex to the mix.
If you’re looking for a simple and traditional bowling experience, bring the family to Garwood Lanes. This eight-lane neighborhood alley offers computerized scoring, bumper bowling, and lane-side burgers and hot dogs. The inexpensive rental and game fees make it a great spot for spontaneous weekend outings, after-school meet-ups, and birthday parties.
This extensive, 42-lane facility has been around for more than 50 years but boasts all the latest bowling technology, including automatic scoring and synthetic lanes. The younger set can opt for bumper bowling and can even take part in youth leagues that start as young as age 5. A video arcade and snack bar round out Jersey Lanes’ bowling experience. Birthday party packages include the use of the Circus Mini Bowling game.
Best Bowling Alleys in Southern NJ & the Jersey Shore
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Check out the newly renovated Asbury Lanes.
This recently-renovated facility has become party-central, with state-of-the-art bowling technology, a concert venue, and an in-house diner. While the six-lane bowling alley and delicious dining experience offer family appeal, the adult-focused performances may require a date-night sitter.
Formerly Playdrome of Cherry Hill, this bowling alley recently underwent a $2 million renovation and reopened with a new name and a lot of new attractions. The attractions include 36 lanes, along with an arcade, Lazer Maze, giant Jenga, billiards, ping pong, a cafe, and a VIP suite for parties and events. The Big Event offers specials every day of the week, including half-priced arcade games on Wednesday nights.
This 26-lane bowling alley also boasts an outdoor open-air train ride and upscale dining, as well as hand-dipped ice cream. And the best part is that kids bowl FREE!
Enjoy bowling down the Shore at this Toms River establishment, which has been in operation for more than 50 years. Playdrome features 24 lanes with automatic scoring, bumpers, an arcade, and an all-you-can-bowl special on Sunday afternoons where you pay once for unlimited games! Junior and bumper leagues, as well as birthday parties, are all part of the family-friendly fun here.
Unless noted, photos courtesy of the bowling alleys
Originally published in 2017 and updated in 2023.