It’s the first full week of summer, our camps haven’t started yet and cabin fever is already setting in, so I thought – It’s time to get out of the house. I decided to take the kids bowling and try the “Kids Bowl Free” program at 10 Park Lanes on Montford Drive.
When you register your family for the Kids Bowl Free program, you will be able to print out weekly coupons that allow your kids to bowl two free games per day (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm) all summer at your registered bowling center (for the Charlotte area, 10 Park Lanes is the one). The only fine print I could find in the program is “Standard shoe rental rates apply” which means you pay the $4.75 shoe rental fee even if you have your own shoes. Since we don’t own bowling shoes, nor do I have plans to buy my kids bowling shoes anytime soon, it wasn’t a big deal. Rental shoes for four kids totaled $19.00. Not bad.
Since this is a weekday 9am-5pm offer and it’s summer, we took our time mobilizing and arrived around 11 am. There were plenty of lanes available, so we just rented our shoes and went to our lane.
By the time we left at 12:30 pm, there were quite a few lanes of kids bowling that had been brought by parents or grandparents to pass the time on a hot summer day. Some were even making use of the full service menu to bowl and eat.
One of the nice things about 10 Park Lanes is that it is a modern bowling center with all the amenities you would expect. We were able to find plenty of six and seven pound balls for the kids, enter our bowling names and get started without any problem. Since I’m hardly a bowling purist, I had the bumpers activated in our lane so there would be no gutter balls and the kids would have a good time knocking down pins instead of sulking about gutter balls.
Somehow, even with the bumpers up, my four-year-old managed to roll consecutive gutter balls, so we took it to the next level and got the “bowling ramp” for her to use. The ramp is a great device for kids that aren’t strong enough or coordinated enough to consistently roll the ball down the lane. With the ramp, even my four-year-old was able to roll a strike and, man, was she happy about it.
The other part of the experience my kids liked was the “radar gun” on their throws. After every turn, they would eagerly check to see the speed of their ball as it went down the lane. This led to a lot of trips back and forth to the ball rack to find “faster bowling balls.” It was quite hilarious to watch.
Overall, my kids had a great time and want to go back next week. From my perspective, even if it’s not totally free bowling, $19.00 for an hour and a half of entertainment for four kids is a pretty good deal and we will be back next week.