Bowling with kids can be hard. The balls are heavy; the lanes are long. It can be easy for little ones to get discouraged if their ball goes in the gutter more often than it hits a pin.
Our family has found a new spot that takes the frustration out of bowling with kids. Main Event Entertainment, on the north side of Indianapolis, offers kid-friendly bowling that’s fun for adults, too.
The littlest bowlers can use a ramp to send their ball down the lanes. Gutter balls can be avoided by raising up the bumpers when it’s your child’s turn to bowl. And Main Event’s system customizes all of this for each bowler, so parents can still work on bowling a perfect game. Or, if you’re me, breaking 100!
In addition, Main Event allows you to take pictures of your group that get placed right on the scoreboard. Funny animations follow each turn, keeping little ones entertained and engaged. The whole setting, is bright, high-energy, and fun — a huge difference from the dark bowling alleys of my childhood!
My boys don’t just love to bowl, they love to read about bowling, too. Here are a few of our favorite books based around a bowling theme:
6 Children’s Books About Bowling
Curious George Goes Bowling by H. A. Rey — Little hands will love this lift-the-flap book. The Man with the Yellow Hat is entering a big bowling tournament, and George wants to make sure his friend’s ball is as clean as possible for the competition. As usual, George’s “help” doesn’t go quite the way he intended!
Bowling Alley Bandit by Laurie Keller — This book is the first in the Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut series and is a great chapter book for middle grade readers. Arnie is the loyal pet doughnut of Mr. Bing. When Mr. Bing goes from being an awesome bowler to rolling gutter balls, it’s up to Arnie to investigate why.
Mitchell Goes Bowling by Hallie Durand — Mitchell loves to knock things down, so bowling seems to be the perfect activity for him. He loves the bowling alley, but he gets discouraged when he can’t bowl as well as his father. Thankfully, Dad knows just what to do to help Mitchell feel better, and he helps his son learn about good sportsmanship.
Are Bowling Balls Bullies? by Thomas Kingsley Troupe — Is it mean when bowling balls knock over pins? The Garbage Gang is determined to find out the answer. This book combines the fun of bowling with lessons about force and motion, making physics easy for even young kids to understand.
The Million Dollar Strike by Dan Gutman — From the author of the My Weird School series, this book chronicles the adventures of Ouchie and Squishy, two boys who love to bowl at the local bowling alley. When the Bowl-A-Rama is faces the possibility of being condemned by the city, the boys work with the crazy owner Mr. Zamboni to restore the crumbling business. But there’s someone — or something — that doesn’t want the Bowl-A-Rama to stay open! Middle grade readers will love this silly mystery.
The Bowling Lane With No Strikes by Steve Brezenoff — When a young championship bowler can only roll gutter balls on a school field trip, Catalina Durand knows something is up. She and her friends are determined to get to the bottom of this bowling alley mystery. This middle-grade chapter book is part of the Field Trip Mysteries series.
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