Parties & Entertaining

Bowling birthday parties

By Matt Williamson
Info Guru,

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Happy girl bowling
Bowling is a great way to celebrate anyone's birthday
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Birthday parties become more elaborate every year, and elaborate can easily mean expensive. Parties don't necessarily have to be expensive to be fun. One easy birthday party idea that won't cost a fortune is a bowling birthday party.

Fun before the party

Start the creative part of your party before you head to the bowling alley. A good idea might be to check local thrift stores for old bowling shirts. If you're planning a children's party, find some inexpensive bowling t-shirts for the kids to wear. For some extra creativity, get some iron-on transfers and help them iron on their own bowling pictures before you head to the lanes.

Food and snacks

For pre-game refreshments, use the shape of the sport to your advantage. Bowling balls are round, just like cakes, cookies and cupcakes. Chocolate circular goodies with three holes in the top make excellent bowling ball treats. Don't forget about the food available at the bowling alley, either. Most alleys sell pizza, hot dogs, chips and candy. Serving similar food before you bowl sets the mood for fun.

Party decorations

Decorate the bowling alley to set the tone for a party. A bunch of balloons and a well-placed sign tells guests a party is going on. You could even find some bowling ball or pin-shaped balloons to set up by your lanes. For the best experience, don't just decorate your party with general party decorations. Make sure you do it with bowling party decorations - it will get every one in the mood to participate and everyone will have a blast.

Keeping it fun for everyone

The bowling itself should be kept relaxed and fun, even if you're having a serious competition. Try using gutter bumpers. They're large pads that fit in the lane's gutters and prevent the ball from falling into the ditch. That way even the least experienced bowlers will have a chance to knock down some pins.

You can also try tricks such as having everyone in the party bowl granny style (a two-handed roll from back between your legs), with your left hands, blindfolded or backward.

Making everyone feel comfortable

Make the experience fun for all your guest by cheering for everyone, win or lose. High fives all around and pats on the back fr each attempt go a long way toward getting everyone in on the fun.

The point of the party is to celebrate someone's birthday, not win a bowling trophy. Watch for bowlers in your group who might become too competitive - there's at least one in every group. That person might just need an extra cheer, or she might need to take a moment to herself - the perfect time for him/her to run to the snack machine for you.

Fun things to consider

Mix things up at your bowling birthday party with party favors and prizes. Have an actual turkey on hand if the people attending your party are good enough to bowl a turkey (three strikes in a row). Offer free pizza or an extra treat to people with high scores or odd talents such as backwards bowling.

Making sure no one looses their shoes

Remember your bowling birthday party actually requires bowling and bowling requires bowling shoes, which usually means changing from one pair of shoes to a rented pair. Be sure to wear socks you feel comfortable showing to your friends and pay attention to where you leave your own shoes at the bowling alley. For a child's party, you need to pay attention to where the kids leave their shoes. One easy trick is to bring paper bags with each kids' names on them and have the kids put their shoes right into their bags. You can stack the bags in the party room, or keep them near the alley in which you are bowling.

A bowling birthday party is a great choice for birthday boys and girls of all ages.

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