Do you want your kids staring at phones/TVs/computers all summer! No! You want them to get out and do things, and it wouldn’t hurt if those things were cheap or even free. Well, here’s an idea: Kids Bowl Free. (And adults can bowl cheap; more on that in a moment.)
Two Free Games Per Day
Kids Bowl Free is a program in which local bowling alleys allow kids (ages 15 and under) to bowl two free games per day over the summer months, any time the alley has available lanes during open bowling periods. There are a ton of participating alleys, so chances are good you’ll find one nearby.
When you sign up, you choose a specific bowling alley where you’d like the kids to bowl. However, you can set up accounts with multiple alleys, so you’re not really restricted to a single location.
One thing to note: Unless your kids have their own bowling shoes (unlikely), you will still have to pay for shoe rental even though the games themselves are free. Some alleys offer a “shoe pass” for a one-time fee that covers rental for the whole summer. The closest bowling alley to me charges $15.99 for a shoe pass.
Family Passes Available for a Small Fee
Since most kids are going to need transportation to their local lanes, you also can purchase a Family Pass that lets the grownups bowl alongside their free-riding children. This is an all-summer pass with a one-time fee. You’ll need to check when you register the kiddos to see how much the Family Pass costs at your local bowling center.
What is summer?
I know that you know that I know that you know what summer is. However, each bowling alley defines “summer” using different dates. Most alleys that participate in Kids Bowl Free offer the program from sometime in May until sometime in August — my local lanes is generous with a May 1 to August 31 window, but I saw some that were mid-May through only July (which totally isn’t “summer” but they’re letting the kids bowl free, so we’ll let it go).
Sign Up Online
To get started with Kids Bowl Free, go to their list of participating bowling centers and choose a location. You’ll then be directed to a signup form that lets you list the child or children that will bowl, along with parent info.
With Kids Bowl Free, your kids get a summer of strikes, and you still have plenty of money to spare! (See what we did there?)