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

Family-Friendly Bowling Alleys Open Now in New York City

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 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 12 family-friendly bowling alleys all across New York City open now and welcoming families.

Find more things to do in our Indoor Play Spaces Guide.

Editor's Note: Some photos in this post were taken before the pandemic. Keep in mind, indoor dining is currently still on hiatus in NYC. All the bowling alleys on our list require adults and children (over age 2) to wear masks and maintain social distancing when possible. The venues have implemented COVID health and safety regulations, and most of them require a lane between groups to be closed. Most of the bowling alleys are operating on a modified schedule, so make sure to check their websites for the most up-to-date information about hours, pricing, and lane availability. If you arrive at a venue that seems too crowded, use the "nearby" function on our Event Calendar to find something else to do.

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 have lots of little ones, ask for bumpers to ensure no gutter balls. If you're looking for a less expensive, more old-school experience, high-tail it to the outer boroughs.

Unforgettable fun awaits at Bowlmor Chelsea Piers.

Bowlmor Chelsea Piers – Chelsea

2021 update: Operating on a modified schedule; visit the website for up-to-date hours. The arcade is closed until further notice. There is a max of six people per lane. Reservations can be made.
Chelsea Piers, Pier 60 at 23rd Street and the West Side Highway
Though not as uniquely designed as Bowlmor's Times Square location (below), 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.
Age restrictions: 21 and older after 8pm on Saturdays

Frames Bowling Lounge – Midtown West

2021 update: Reopening on Wednesday, February 17 with a modified schedule; visit the website for up-to-date hours. Reservations can be made.
550 Ninth Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets
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. A family special can be purchased Monday to Saturday before 5pm and all day Sunday and consists of two hours of bowling, a large pizza, a chicken bite platter, and one pitcher of soda per lane.
Age restrictions: 21 and older after 8pm daily

RELATED: Midwinter Break: 30 Fun Things To Do With NYC Kids

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

Bowlmor Times Square – Midtown West

2021 update: Operating on a modified schedule; visit the website for up-to-date hours. The arcade is closed until further notice. There is a max of six people per lane. Reservations can be made.
222 West 44th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues
Ultra-cool and eye-popping, the Midtown Bowlmor 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's also a two-story sports bar on-site, and delicious food can be delivered to your lane. Reservations are suggested.
Age restrictions: 21 and older after 8pm on Saturdays

Family-Friendly Bowling Alleys in Brooklyn​

Funfest – Mill Basin

2021 update: Operating at 25% capacity. Call ahead to book a required reservation.
6161 Strickland Avenue near Mill Avenue
Formerly Strike 10 Lanes, this bowling alley offers leagues for adults and children. Be sure to check the website for other specials.
Age restrictions: None

RELATED: 21 Drop-In Play Spaces and Kiddie Gyms in Brooklyn

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

Melody Lanes – Sunset Park

2021 update: Open daily from 9am-midnight. A lane will be closed between groups. Reservations are recommended.
461 37th Street near Fifth Avenue
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.
Age restrictions: None

Family-Friendly Bowling Alleys in Queens

Bowlero Queens – Woodside

2021 update: Operating on a modified schedule; visit the website for up-to-date hours. A max of six people are allowed per lane, and reservations can be made.
69-10 34th Avenue between 69th and 70th Streets
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.
Age restrictions: 21 and older after 10pm on Saturdays

Astoria Bowl – Astoria

2021 update: Astoria Bowl is operating at 50% capacity. A max of 4-6 people are allowed per lane; one lane will be closed between groups.
19-45 49th Street between 19th and 20th Avenues
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, 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.
Age restrictions: None

Jib Lanes – Flushing

2021 update: Guests must wear masks and practice social distancing.
67-19 Parsons Boulevard near Jewel Avenue
Jib offers a pro shop, cafe, and bowling lessons for kids. It also has great specials, including Family Fun Packs. This location also offers a Kids Bowl Free program, designed to provide a safe and fun way for kids to spend time during the summer. Kids under 15 can register to receive two free games a day, all summer long.
Age restrictions: None

RELATED: The Top Indoor Play Spaces Across NYC Open Now

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

Whitestone Lanes – Flushing

2021 update: Operating on a modified schedule. Guests must wear masks and practice social distancing.
30-05 Whitestone Expressway between Farrington Street and Linden Place
Bowling is available until 1am nightly at this colorful, bright alley with 48 lanes, a snack shop, bar, and pro shop. There are kids' leagues and a weekend morning all-you-can bowl special.
Age restrictions: None

Family-Friendly Bowling Alleys in the Bronx

Bowlerland – the Bronx

2021 update: Call to confirm hours. All guests must wear masks and practice social distancing.
2417 Hollers Avenue between Pinkney and Hutchinson Avenues
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.
Age restrictions: None

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

2021 update: Reservations are recommended. Check the Events tab for the most up-to-date information.
1600 Hylan Boulevard between Raritan and Delaware Avenues
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.
Age restrictions: None

Showplace Entertainment Center – Staten Island

2021 update: Guests are required to wear masks and practice social distancing. Check its Facebook page for regular updates.
141 East Service Road
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.
Age restrictions: None

Family-Friendly NYC Bowling Alleys That Are Currently Closed

Brooklyn Bowl – Williamsburg, Brooklyn

2021 update: This bowling alley is temporarily closed.
61 Wythe Avenue between North 11th and North 12th Streets
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.
Age restrictions: 21 and older except 11am-5pm Saturdays and 12:30-6pm Sundays

The Gutter Bar – Lower East Side

2021 update: This bowling alley is temporarily closed.
77 Essex Street across from the Essex Market
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 the 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.
Age restrictions: 21 and older after 7pm daily.

Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge – Midtown West

2021: Temporarily closed until further notice.
660 West 42nd Street near 12th Avenue
This Hollywood import offers 26 lanes of bowling, plus billiards tables, live music, and local art on the walls. Menu options include typical bar food: mini corn dogs, wings, Irish nachos (fries topped with salsa, guac, and cheese—who knew?), and some more upscale apps like pan-roasted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower with crispy kale.
Age restrictions: 21 and older after 7pm

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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