The fun Bowling party ideas here will help you bowl a strike with your guests and their parents.
To set your cool bowling scene, check out these great Bowling theme party supply packs:
Many bowling alleys have special bowling party birthday packages. See if you can pay for the number of guests that show up (not a set number). You may find yourself inviting 15 kids and if five don’t show up, you can save money this way.
Also ask about running a "coffee" tab; parents may accompany some of the kids at the bowling party, and even though this may cost a little extra, the parents will be appreciative. You might also want to add an extra lane for the parents to bowl.
Here are some free Bowling coloring pages you can have at your party, so that kids can color in when waiting for everyone to arrive:
A bowling party may not be suitable for really young kids; some bowling alleys do have lightweight bowling balls for the older ones. Depending on the number of kids invited you may want to rent out a few lanes so that each lane has a few kids (something like 3-5 kids per lane). Bowling alleys usually have long balloons or bumpers that cause the bowling ball to keep on going and never fall into the gutter.
Another cool idea is to take the bowling theme and put a twist to it (add another theme to it), for example: a Bowling Superhero Party - that way you can decorate with Superhero decorations, and ask guests to come in superhero costumes (when the bowling alley is pretty packed it will help recognize who's from your party! ;-)). If the kids don't have superhero costumes, you can hand out cloaks and small masks - then tell each guest to fly and roll the bowling ball superhero-style.
You can make each invitation look like a bowling ball with 3 holes in it or create them to look like bowling pins. On the front you can write something like ““Let’s rock and bowl!!” On the back you can write something like "Please SPARE an afternoon and STRIKE the date on your calendar for [child’s name] bowling extravaganza! Let the good times bowl!” add the date, time, place, RSVP, etc.
Another variation: "Hope you can SPARE the time to STRIKE up some fun at [child's name] 9th Birthday!" The Date, Time, and Location were underneath.... Then I added "There will be a sleepover before you SPLIT! Don't STRIKE OUT, RSVP today!"
Make sure to check out our bowling invitations you can print out for free:
You can buy colorful balloons and on each balloon draw 3 little circles as if they were bowling balls. Decorate your bowling party area with lots of these balloons and streamers. For a whimsical look you can tie plastic toy bowling pins with ribbon from the ceiling (tie around the neck of the bowling pin).
Decorate the tables with plastic toy bowling sets as centerpieces. For placemats on tables you can cut out large colorful or plain black circles and paint white or black circles for holes. You can also laminate them and use them more than once.
Here’s a great Bowling banner you can personalize and hang above the lanes...
Homemade Bowling Cakes
Check out the cool Bowling theme party cake ideas on coolest-birthday-cakes.com, the Web's largest gallery of homemade birthday cakes. You'll find thousands of cakes submitted by visitors like yourself with photos and how-to tips.
See All Homemade Bowling Cakes
Bowling Party Food and Drink
It’s a good idea to let the kids bowl before they eat and work up an appetite. After they bowl you can hold your own “Awards Banquet”.
Most bowling alleys (as part of the party package), serve foods like pizzas and hamburgers. You may also want to consider ordering sandwiches from places like Subway or Quizno’s for a healthier meal. You can also make your own sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly, salami and cheese, etc.) and cut them in circles with circular cookie cutters to make them look like bowling balls.
Also, try serving candies that resemble bowling balls (chocolate covered balls, Malt balls, etc.).
Bowling Party Favors
If you go shopping (possibly places like Walmart or Target), you might be able to find one of those kid’s plastic bowling set (it’s pretty cheap). First make sure that the bowling pins are hollow. What you can do is carefully cut the neck of each little bowling pin (not all the way- just so that there is a flap to open it up) and fill it with little bowling party favors and candies (basically anything that fits in). Then close the top and tape with a thin strip of red duct tape (every bowling pin has a red strip at the neck).
At some bowling alleys and party/craft stores you can purchase a white wooden bowling pin. The kids can sign their names on it with a Sharpie once they come to the party. This is a nice memento for your birthday child.
Here are printable thanks you's and certificates you can print out for your party:
Bowling Games and Activities
During your "Awards Banquet", following the food, you can hand out trinkets as prizes. Prizes and certificates can be given for the highest score, lowest score, fastest ball, slowest ball, most times in the gutter, or whatever other idea you can come up with.
Here's a whole page with the coolest Bowling birthday games, such as:
- Bingo Bowling
- Crazy Bowling
- Spare, Spare, Strike
- Homemade Bowling
- Water Bowling
- and many more (including visitor-submitted game ideas)...
You should also read these VERY important tips to help you survive (and enjoy) game time!