Bowling Party Ideas

Invitations

Decorations

The focus of your bowling party is going to be less about décor and more about the game itself, but that doesn't mean you can't add some fun details. Make your lane distinctive by tying on some helium balloons. You can find pin- and bowling-ball-shaped Mylar balloons at your local party supply store. Or simply blacken in three circles with a marker on standard latex balloons to simulate the finger holes of the bowling ball.

Seating is often in short supply at bowling alleys, and people can tend to crowd in the lanes. If you're serving snacks at your party, set them up at the tables and chairs positioned behind the lanes. This is a perfect way to keep the spectators separated from those who are immersed in the game.

Visit the Evite Party Store to get more ideas and buy supplies!

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Attire

Classic bowling shirts are always in order for bowling parties. If you don't have your own, hit up a consignment store. You might get lucky and come across a retro-looking bowling shirt, and nothing starts conversations like wearing a shirt with someone else's name on it.

If you want to make your bowling party more costume-oriented, you're in luck — bowling has been a favorite American pastime for more than a half-century. Simply pick a decade for your bowling party and have your guests dress accordingly. Think leather jackets and poodle skirts for the '50s, bell-bottoms and leisure suits for the '70s, and leg warmers and skinny ties to go totally '80s.

One common denominator for anyone's bowling party attire — socks. Remember that everyone will be seeing them, so leave your threadbare pair at home (and no one wants a naked toe poking into rented shoes). If you're wearing sandals and planning on hitting the lanes, be sure to bring a pair of socks with you.

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Activities

After a couple rounds of good, old-fashioned bowling, try something a little different. Divide into teams, and make everyone bowl with the other hand. Or bowl backwards. Or see who can master the between-the-legs granny shot. Have some mini trophies on hand for the guests who showcase the most skill in categories like Highest Score, Best Strike or Luckiest Shot. And for those who are high on style, acknowledge the Gnarliest Split and Best Gutterball.

Bowling is one of those activities that's great for people of all ages, so you can be sure the children will have just as much fun as the adults. Reserve a lane that is exclusively for kids and designate an adult to help them keep track of their scores. If the children are particularly young, you can have the alley put up the guardrails on their lane. Many bowling alleys have arcades as well — keep a bag of change in tow in case the children lose interest in bowling.

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Food

If you like hot dogs and nachos, then you'll love the concession stand. However, you may want to bring some healthy snacks to give your guests a few alternatives. Slice some raw veggies and serve them with a simple dipping sauce. Cube some pineapples, melons and mangoes. Put out bowls of pretzels and mixed nuts for everyone to graze on while watching the game.

As far as desserts go, your local bowling alley probably doesn't have much beyond candy. Pack a plate of brownies or cookies for your guests who crave a sweet treat. Finger foods are definitely easier than having to deal with utensils, but be sure to bring some hand sanitizer (for obvious reasons).

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Drinks

Fuzzy Navel

  • 1 1/2 oz. peach schnapps
  • Fill with orange juice

Mix ingredients into a highball glass. Add ice and garnish with a slice of lime and a twizzel stick.

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