The crash of pins is one of many familiar bowling alley sights and sounds that brings back those special childhood family outings to the bowling alley. Whether you are escaping Portland’s summer heat, rainy fall days or simply celebrating a birthday party, the bowling alley is still an entertainment staple for families. If you are wondering which Portland-area lanes are worth their rental shoes, read on to find family-friendly bowling alleys that offer affordable pricing and additional entertainment options that will engage the non-bowlers in the family as well. Ready, set, roll!
Grand Central Bowl
Considered a boutique bowling alley, Grand Central is a family-friendly stop for the family who loves great food and comfortable digs. The bowling alley offers 12 lanes with four large screen projectors and great lounge seating. There is also an arcade area for the non-bowlers in the group. During business hours, lane reservation are made by phone only or make them on the website after hours. They are highly recommended in order to get a bowling lane when you come in.
Insider tip: Come hungry! The Grand Central menu is more like a restaurant menu than a bowling alley menu. Get everything from sushi to artisan pizza. And the kid's menu has all the favorites your kids will want after rolling a few games.
808 S.E. Morrison St.
Punch Bowl Social
You and the kids can get rollin' at Portland's newest, and possibly most entertaining bowling alley, Punch Bowl Social. Located on the third floor of the Pioneer Place mall, it's got eight bowling lanes to play on. Beyond the lanes, they've got great grub and tabletop games to play so you can stay and relax a while. But we know your kids will love the coin operated arcade games that are so old school. Don't forget to clean out your change purse before heading over.
Good to know: This spot is 21 and up after 11 p.m.; long after your little Lebowskis have turned in for the night.
340 S.W. Morrison St., Suite 4305
Families will love this state-of-the-art entertainment complex with locations in Beaverton and Portland. Beyond bowing, your kids will love playing laser tag, arcade games and even trying their hand at virtual reality at KingPins. Bring your appetites and grab a bite from the onsite TapHouse Bar & Grill. Your young gamers will enjoy racking up points in the arcade. Exclusive to their Beaverton location is a laser tag arena, featuring 3,800 square feet of glow-in-the-dark action. Make a day of it. Your family won't want to leave once the fun has begun.
2725 S.W. Cedar Hills Blvd.
3550 S.E. 92nd Ave.
Need to get some energy out on a rainy Portland day? SuperPlay in Beaverton is just the spot to strike some pins and run around in the laser tag arena. The 24 bowling lanes at SuperPlay feature scoring systems including 55" monitors and a virtual waiter that will allow bowlers to order food and beverages right from the lanes. The space also features a 3,200 square foot laser tag arena and a video arcade featuring more than forty games along with five Virtual Reality stations.
Insider tip: Visit the SuperPlay website to see their specials. They often feature deals such as all you can bowl, daily pricing and laser tag packages.
9300 S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.
The Beaverton location of Big Al's features 42 bowling lanes and 12 VIP lanes in addition to an arcade, bar and full food menu. With special deals for the family as well as bowling bumpers, lighter weight balls and ramps, Big Al's makes for a fun outing for older and younger bowlers. Big Al's recommends up to six bowlers per lane. Walk-ins and reservations are both welcome. Bring friends and snag a couple of lanes together.
Insider tip: During the summer, kids bowl free at Big Al's through September 2. This is a great way for the family to enjoy Big Al's together without breaking the bank.
Good to know: Big Al's also has a location in Vancouver, Washington for families who live north of Portland.
14950 S.W. Barrows Rd.
Mt. Hood Lanes
East of Portland and wanting a fun bowling day without the trek to the city or Beaverton? Mt. Hood Lanes brings a traditional bowling feel with great prices as well as a game room for kids and lounge area for adults. Cosmic Bowling on the weekends dims the lights, pumps the music and adds lighting effects to the normal bowling routine.
Insider tip: Sign up for their mailing list for a free $10 Open Bowling Certificate plus news, events and additional discounts delivered to your inbox.
2311 E. Powell Blvd.
Park Lanes Family Entertainment Center
The Park Lanes Family Entertainment Center is not just a bowling alley. It's a place where families can play all day. Start at the lanes and roll strikes and spares. Then head to the arcade and sit down for a little video game competition with your crew. With over 55 games to choose from and a prize counter that will make your kiddos swoon, this is a spot you've got to hit before heading home. If the kids still have energy, make a break for the jungle gym play area or the batting cages. Consider this an all-day destination on a rainy day.
6360 S.E. Alexander St.
Bowl for Free in Portland
Many of the bowling alleys in this article are participating in the Kids Bowl Free summer program, which is just as good as it sounds. Bowlers 15 years and younger can register to participate at their favorite bowling alley for 2 free games of bowling every single day from now through September. Shoe rentals are not included, but some alleys have a special discount or package for shoe rentals that will make them a great deal as well. Family Passes are another option through this program, starting at $37 for up to 4 adults to be included for the entire summer. You can sign up online or by visiting your favorite bowling alley’s website and looking for details there.
—Annette Benedetti & Jenni Bost
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