Bowling Birthday Party

bowling birthday party ideas

Now that summer is over and fall temperatures are starting to roll in, it’s time to put away the patio furniture and beach gear and think of some great indoor party ideas.

If you’re looking for something fun, festive and enjoyable for people of all ages, what’s more fun, festive and enjoyable than a bowling birthday party?

We’ve got your how-to guide for throwing a great bowling party, complete with ideas for your bowling birthday party decorations, food, activities and more!

Bowling Birthday Party Decorating Tips

Since you’re going to be at a bowling alley for your bowling birthday party, you don’t need to worry about decorating an entire room.  You just have to focus on the lanes reserved for your group.  Good for you!  That makes decorating for this birthday bowling celebration considerably easier.  Try any of these decorations to make the party section of the bowling alley fun and festive:

  • Pick a theme for the bowling party.  Choose from movies, televisions, sports, music genres, timeframes (such as the 70’s) and many more.  [For more ideas on party themes, check out past editions of the Tasty Catering Residential Resource Center.]
  • Use the theme.  Whatever decorating theme you decide upon, use that to choose other decorations such as a centerpiece for the table or print outs/cut outs of items from that theme.  Don’t want to pick a theme?  Let “Happy Birthday” be the theme and just use any of the rest of this list.
  • Happy Birthday banner—you’re definitely going to need one of those!
  • Streamers and balloons in the birthday boy or girl’s favorite colors.  Use bright colors to increase festivity levels, especially since most bowling alleys are dimly lit. Decorate the tables, the ball return center, the seats and anything else near your lane.
  • Plastic ware, napkins, plates and more in the birthday boy or girl’s favorite color.  You can also provide colored tablecloths to cover the tables.
  • Confetti—colored happy birthday confetti, confetti that matches the birthday theme, etc.

Activities Tips

Obviously, your bowling party guests are going to be busy bowling to their hearts’ content, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan a few extra birthday party activities on the side.  Any of these will be good to add birthday party fun.

  • Prizes for things like most strikes or spares, most gutter balls, lowest and highest scores, most improved bowler throughout the party, etc.
  • Costume contest—if you end up choosing a theme for this bowling birthday party, have your guests dress up or bring a costume to fit the theme.  Have a costume parade and contest.  The winners get a prize, of course.
  • Bean bag toss.  Everyone loves the game commonly called “corn hole” or “bags.” Set up a game in an open area, create teams and have a contest.

Menu Tips

Bowling alleys offer a lot of food—popcorn, pizza, French fries and other fried favorites.  If your party guests would like those items, purchase them from the concessions.  Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with fun party foods like any of these, either:

  • Birthday cake decorated to match the theme chosen for the party, or at the very least that says Happy Birthday to the birthday boy or girl in their favorite colors.
  • Pretzels, potato chips, Rice Krispie treats, brownies and other fun party favorites for the party guests to enjoy between frames.
  • Pop, non-carbonated beverages like lemonade or ice tea and water for guests to quench their thirst.  You can even combine a few of them to make your own bowling birthday party punch.
  • After dinner mints, M&M’s, Skittles and other bite-sized treats for munching.
  • You can’t go wrong with some bite-sized veggies—carrot sticks, celery sticks, broccoli, and cauliflower and a veggie dip—or bite-sized fruits—grapes, apple slices, orange slices, watermelon or pineapple—for an alternative to the unhealthy snacks.

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