The minute that I suggested the idea of 100 Burlington adventures to my family on New Year’s Eve, my son exclaimed that bowling would have to be one of them. He had recently tried the game for the first time at a friend’s birthday party and came away thinking it was the greatest sport ever invented!
I’ve been following Burlington Bowl on Facebook and Twitter for a while and have been intrigued by the fun bowling photos and special deals they post every day. I finally decided it was time to try bowling again for the first time in a decade or so.
With 48 lanes, this place is huge! It was bustling with activity the entire time we were there. At one end, an adult bowling league gathered for some serious sport. Further down was lane after lane of kids’ birthday parties mixed with families just like us enjoying an afternoon of public bowling.
First impressions mean a lot. We were greeted with enthusiasm when we arrived at the shoe rental counter and were impressed that all the shoes seemed brand new and even retro-stylish. What struck me throughout our visit was that service staff with bright smiles and matching blue shirts seemed to be everywhere.
Burlington Bowl is exclusively a 10-pin bowling facility. I had always thought that kids needed the smaller balls used in 5-pin bowling — turns out I was wrong. Burlington Bowl has extra-light balls with 5 finger holes so that the kids can feel as if they’re playing like the adults.
There are also special ball ramps available to help kids get their shots aimed just right. Even Baby Burlington got into the act by pushing the ball down the ramp!
We opted to use lane bumpers so we didn’t have to worry about gutter balls. There are actually two styles of bumpers available. We opted for old-school foam bumpers as these are the most forgiving to novice bowlers. I thought it was a nice gesture that adults are invited to bowl in an adjacent non-bumper lane if their kids are playing with bumpers.
I also thought it was a nice touch that adults are welcome to imbibe in a beer while playing!
During our visit, manager Bill came by to greet us and introduce the boys to their stuffed pin-pal mascot.
We ordered a few appetizers to share — sliders, french fries and potato skins. Yum! Our waitress brought the food right to our lane which allowed us to munch and nibble in between frames as the game progressed.
All dishes are prepared by Brooklyn’s Bar and Grill, a full-service restaurant right on site. This restaurant became famous a few years back when it received a facelift as part of the TV show Restaurant Makeover.
This colourful, retro-inspired restaurant is the perfect place for parties. From birthday parties to sports team parties to retirement parties, Burlington Bowl can host it all.
Burlington Bowl also offers a huge variety of organized leagues offering a fun-filled season of friendly competition for every skill level. Their Spring Leagues begin again in early May.
- Bumper Bandits: For kids 7 years and under, this weekly league offers super lightweight balls and a free t-shirt.
- Junior Pro Stars: Capped off by an end-of-season awards party, this league for children 8-16 years includes tournament play.
- Bowling Camp for Adults: This beginners bowling training camp welcomes individuals, couples and groups for a series of 90-minute lessons each week.
- Basebowl: This social bowling club for adults sees each team represented by a Major League Baseball team. All players receive a baseball jersey and enjoy an end-of-season party at a Blue Jays game.
- T.G.I.F. Singles: Designed exclusively for single adults, this social league includes three games each week.
- ParticipACTION: For those 55 years plus, this year-round drop in program makes it easy to get out of the house and meet others.
Burlington Bowl frequently offers advance booking specials through their website and social media accounts. We found a few games of bowling to be a great value for an afternoon of entertainment. Two hours of bowling costs less than a movie ticket but allows for a great deal more fun and interaction.
Remember too that mini-golf is another fun option for getting social with friends and family. We really enjoyed our indoor mini-golf adventure earlier this year and are planning some outdoor putt putt fun again this summer.