15 Family-Friendly Bowling Alleys in NYC

Kids enjoy a bowling birthday party at Bowlero Chelsea Piers. Photo courtesy of Bowlero
Kids enjoy a bowling birthday party at Bowlero Chelsea Piers. Photo courtesy of Bowlero

Bowling is a perfect indoor family activity when you find yourself with 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 of these family-friendly bowling alleys in NYC offer party packages.

There are traditional bowling alleys—think leagues, snack bars, pro shops—in the outer boroughs, but Manhattan's spots tend to cater to grown-ups. Don’t worry, though: Kids can still find lanes—you just have to know when to go. Here are our favorite family-friendly bowling alleys in NYC.

Find more fun things to do indoors with kids in NYC, from Play Cafes Where Families Can Nosh and Play to Kid-Friendly Rock Climbing Walls in New York City and more, in our Guide to Indoor Play Spaces and Fun Zones in NYC.

Editor's Note: Make sure to check websites for the most up-to-date information about vaccine requirements, hours, pricing, and lane availability. 

Family-Friendly Bowling Alleys in Manhattan

Manhattan bowling alleys are often luxe lounges with amenities such as bottle service, fine dining, dress codes, and age restrictions. Kids generally are not allowed after dark, but families are welcome during the day. Although these family-friendly bowling alleys offer drop-in bowling, it's best to make a reservation.

If you plan on bringing lots of little ones, ask for bumpers to ensure they don't get discouraged by only throwing gutter balls. If you're looking for a less expensive, more old-school experience, high-tail it to the outer boroughs.

Family-Friendly Bowling Alleys in NYC: Bowlero Chelsea Piers
Unforgettable fun awaits at Bowlero Chelsea Piers.

Bowlero Chelsea Piers – Chelsea

Age restrictions: None
Though not as uniquely designed as the Times Square location (below), Bowlero (formerly Bowlmor) at Chelsea Piers is still upscale, with 40 lanes featuring flat-screens blaring music videos, excellent bar food, an arcade, and a small laser tag arena.

Frames Bowling Lounge – Midtown West

Age restrictions: 21 and older after 8pm daily
A swanky bowling lounge located in the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Frames features pool tables, a ping pong room, and a karaoke lounge in addition to a 28-lane bowling alley. Food is available lane-side and includes kid favorites such as chicken tenders. The family special is available Monday to Saturday before 5pm and all day Sunday and consists of two hours of bowling (with shoe rental), a platter of food including pizza, chicken tenders, and fried, and one pitcher of soda per lane.

RELATED: Midwinter Break: Fun Things To Do in NYC with Kids

Take your bowling to Chinatown at Bowlmor Times Square
The Chinatown-themed section at Bowlero Times Square is one of seven NYC themes.

Bowlero Times Square – Midtown West

Age restrictions: None
Ultra-cool and eye-popping, the Midtown Bowlero features 48 lanes in seven NYC-themed lounges. Kids love banging the giant gong in the Chinatown area or warming up the fire in the Central Park section. There are also three bar areas on-site, and delicious food can be delivered to your lane. Reservations are suggested.

The Gutter Bar – Lower East Side

Age restrictions: 21 and older after 7pm daily
Boasting 12 vintage lanes, a 100-foot circular bar with 24 American beers on draft, and vintage pinball machines and video games, parents and kids alike have a blast at the only bowling alley on the LES. Rocking a retro vibe, the bowling alley is decked out with vintage decor and paraphernalia from the 1960s and '70s. Dine on brick-oven pizza and classic pub fare from the Gutter's full kitchen and enjoy a game on one of the four TVs.

RELATED: Top Indoor Play Spaces in New York City

Hit the lanes at Melody Lanes Bowling Alley
Melody Lanes offers a classic bowling experience.

Family-Friendly Bowling Alleys in Brooklyn​

Melody Lanes – Sunset Park

Age restrictions: None
A renovation brought flat-screens to its 26 lanes, but Melody still feels authentically old-school, with after-school leagues for kids, a small arcade, and specials such as glow-in-the-dark bowling on weekend evenings. Follow its Facebook page for specials.

Funfest – Mill Basin

Age restrictions: None
Formerly Strike 10 Lanes, this bowling alley offers leagues for adults and children. Be sure to check the website for other specials.

Shell Lanes – Gravesend, Brooklyn

Age restrictions: None
Locals have been bowling at this low-key, 32-lane alley for decades, and there are leagues for kids, too. Check the website for hours and pricing, including great specials at really discounted prices.

Family-Friendly Bowling Alleys in NYC: Brooklyn Bowl
Head to Brooklyn Bowl on the weekend for family hours and sometimes even a dance party.

Brooklyn Bowl – Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Age restrictions: 21 and older except for Family Bowl on Saturdays from 11am-5pm, Sundays from 12:30-6pm, and for Rock and Roll Playhouse events
This is a true hipster haven with 16 lanes of bowling, live concerts, and great eats like French bread pizza, and fried chicken from Blue Ribbon. It's often adults-only, but there are family hours on weekends, including regular afternoon dance parties for kids presented by the Rock and Roll Playhouse. Separate tickets are required for the dance parties; find the full schedule here

Family-Friendly Bowling Alleys in Queens

Bowlero Queens – Woodside

Age restrictions: None
Enjoy 35 lanes of bowling, plus pool tables and video games at this Woodside spot. Bowlero is child-friendly during daytime hours, and its menu includes pizza, sweet treats, and other kid pleasers. Check the website for specials. 

Bowl 360 – Astoria

Age restrictions: None
This traditional bowling alley lies in LaGuardia Airport's shadow and is a bit far from mass transit. Thankfully, there's a parking lot. You'll find 28 lanes, a brand new arcade, snack options from finger foods to entrees, and league bowling. With balls as light as 4 pounds, even the youngest bowlers can get in on the action. 

Jib Lanes – Flushing 

Age restrictions: None
Jib offers a pro shop, cafe, and bowling lessons for kids. It also has great specials, including Family Fun packs and All You Can Bowl for $35 on Saturday mornings from 9am-12pm; no reservations required.

RELATED: Kids Can Play for Free at These New York City Stores

Try to bowl a strike at Whitestone Lanes
Go for a strike at Whitestone Lanes.

Whitestone Lanes – Flushing

Age restrictions: None
Bowling is available until the wee hours of the morning at this colorful, bright alley with 48 lanes, a snack shop, a bar, and a pro shop. There are kids' leagues and all-you-can bowl specials—check the website for details.

Family-Friendly Bowling Alleys in the Bronx

Bowlerland – the Bronx

Age restrictions: None
This 32-lane, no-frills joint offers inexpensive games and numerous specials, including unlimited pizza and bowling, at various times throughout the week. It also hosts an adult-and-child bowling league.

RELATED: Paintball and Laser Tag Arenas in NYC for an Action-Packed Outing

Rab's Country Lanes offers plenty of kid-friendly attractions in addition to bowling
If your little one is still trying to figure out the nuances of bowling, many lanes offer children’s leagues and free lessons.

Family-Friendly Bowling Alleys in Staten Island

Rab’s Country Lanes – Staten Island

Age restrictions: None
This huge alley has more than 40 lanes, three private party rooms for birthdays, leagues for kids, and a cool laser maze you can navigate like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible. Visit the website for current promotions. Reservations are recommended to reserve your lane.

Showplace Entertainment Center – Staten Island

Age restrictions: None
This Staten Island spot is a mega entertainment complex with 32 lanes of bowling, an arcade, comedy club, snack bar, and sports bar. It has leagues for all ages, and junior league participants receive free coaching. Visit on Friday and Saturday nights for XTREME bowling, which features glow-in-the-dark bowling with laser lights and music videos. Check the Facebook page for regular updates.

Find more bowling lanes in the nearby 'burbs, including New Jersey and Long Island.

This post was originally published in January 2010, but it is regularly updated.

Photos courtesy of the venues

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