Bowling party pinata
Bowling Party
How to have a bowling theme birthday party for kids

Kids bowling parties are easy to plan. Just find your venue, invite guests, bowl, then
eat. The hardest part of planning a bowling party is where to find the bowling party
favors and supplies, including how to decorate the birthday cake. No worries! Strike a
match and light the birthday candles, it's time to bowl them over with a bowling party
the kids won't soon forget.

Here's how to plan a bowling themed birthday you'll to remember for years to come:

  • No time to spare? Let the good times roll and find an AMF bowling alley near
    you.  For bowling parties of around eight or more, AMF will provide the birthday
    kid with a bowling pin that everyone at your party can sign. It's a wonderful
    keepsake your child will treasure. They also provide invitations, thank you cards,
    plates and napkins for every guest when you order food, like pizza or hot dogs.
    Just add cake! This spares you from most of the work of planning a bowling
    party, and prices are reasonable considering it includes the keepsake bowling
    pin, party supplies, food, shoes and bowling fun. And AMF does kids bowling
    well because they provide bumpers and bowling ball gliders to make it easy for
    even the littlest bowlers.

  • No alleys? No worries! Why not host a Wii bowling tournament at home? Right
    Wii bowlling makes a perfect gift. Pair it with the Wii bowling ball to provide the
    most realistic bowling experience.

Bowling Party Thank You Cards and Invitations

  • Bowling party invitation and wording ideas: Invitations are included in the package
    if you're having your party at AMF Bowling with ten or more guests. Still, you can
    embellish the envelope with stickers or make a card of your own.  
  • Here's something just up your alley...Michael's bowling birthday!
  • Spare the date for pizza and fun: Saturday, August 22 at noon
  • Alley: AMF Bowling, Petaluma
  • RSVP: King Pin James or League Leader Sally at 867-5309

  • Thank you card ideas: "Thank you, I was bowled over by your generosity."

Bowling favors
You won't find much in the way of bowling party favors at the local party supply, and
even local bowling alleys don't seem to stock much in terms of themed goodies for
kids. So what's a mom to do? You have two options for finding bowling favors:

  1. Time to spare? Shop early for your bowling party supplies. You'll find bowling pin
    drink cups, bowling pin rubber duck favors and hard to find bowling candles for
    the birthday cake online. If you visit the dollar stores often, check for miniature
    bowling ball and pin sets. They go fast, so snag more than you think you may
    need! You can always use the extras for the cake or siblings.
  2. No time to spare? If you've been procrastinating on your bowling party planning,
    then head to your local party supply to get Olympic style medals and plastic
    trophies. Fill trophies with candies and make them feel like they won the
    tournament. Kids will also appreciate simple favors, such as wrist warmers. And
    if you're handy with a computer, you can craft a label for Whoppers candy boxes
    (because Whoppers look like little bowling balls). See also our Big Batch Sugar
    Cookie recipe and make simple bowling ball cookie favors by using a glass as
    your cookie cutter and piping black icing for the finger slots.

Setting the Scene for a Bowling Party
If you can't find an AMF near you, don't de-spare! Your little king pin will love a bowling
party at just about any alley. Ask in advance for a bowling pin the kids can sign or
order one on eBay. The great thing about throwing a bowling party for kids is that you
don't need much decoration as the decor is the bowling alley itself. And that means
you don't need to clean up after the party either.

Bowling cakes and sweets and party food
Cupcakes are probably the easiest to serve at a bowling alley: just plop a bowling pin
cupcake topper in each cupcake and you're done. Here's more:

  • Bowling cakes: Strike out another year and bake Time to spare cake, pictured
    right, by Wilton. While Wilton's candles are no longer available, there are plenty
    of other brands of bowling pin candles. You don't need a special pan to bowl
    them over with a fun birthday cake. Here's how to make a bowling pin cake,
    Family Fun style.

  • Chocolate malt balls look like bowling balls!

  • Sweet bowling treats: Wilton bowling pin sucker molds are easy to use with
    Wilton Candy melts. Use white candy melts, colorful sticks and Wilton's red gel
    to create stripes for the bowling pin accent. Wrap it up with and a pretty curling
    ribbon for a sweet party favor.

  • Party food ideas:
  • Pizza is a must have for a bowling party and kids favorite is cheese pizza,
    so order a cheese pizza and top it with three pieces of salami or
    pepperoni to make it look like a bowling ball.
  • As an appetizer for the adults, serve a cheese ball and scoop three holes
    from the top to simulate a bowling ball.
  • Have an hour glass wine carafe? Fill it with milk and use red tape to craft
    three bowling pin stripes to give it a bowling pin look.

More fun ideas for your bowling party
Kids will be pinned to their seats with these crafty ideas for a bowling party:

  • Put kids in a league of their own. Craft your own bowling T-shirts inexpensively
    with your handy work on the computer. It's a great way to make the kids feel
    instantly welcome. You'll also score with kids of you tattoo them upon arrival.

  • Combine your bowling theme with a sock hop party. Have kids dress retro cool
    rockabilly, poodle skirts, beauty school dropout, etc. Instead of cake, move the
    party from the bowling alley to a soda fountain. See also our ice cream social
    party ideas.

Bowling games and activities
A bowling alley is all the activity the kids really need. The party is rather short, so to
extend your day, have guests arrive early and provide tokens for the arcade games.
Having the kids arrive early for this ensures time for guests to arrive before the
scheduled lane time. Here are some other ideas that may be right up your alley:

  • Rock 'n Bowl: Ask the bowling alley if they will play special music on request.
    Perhaps your child has a favorite rock song that you can play and announce a
    birthday dedication on the loud speaker. Many alleys will also let kids bowl in
    the dark.

  • Have kids bowl between their legs, sideways, backwards, two kids pushing one
    ball, etc. Bring video camera: the kids will invent funny faces and hilarious moves.

  • A token of appreciation for your guests: Most alleys have arcade games, so
    anticipate their requests and provide each kid with a few tokens of fun.

  • Provide a bowling pin Piñata. You may be able to club the pinata with a bowling
    pin. Stuff it with circular treats.

Bowling favors
Surprisingly, it's not easy at all to find favors for a bowling party, so you'll do most of
your shopping online.  Here are some other ideas that may be just up your alley:

  • Make them all a winner. Search your local party supple stores to award them
    with mini trophies. (Look in the sports section of your local party supply.) You'll
    also find award medals that look super around a sports drink when you remove
    the label.

  • Find a spheres. Party America has candy ball spheres in some of their stores that
    opens like a huge Easter egg.  Any sphere shaped candy will be wonderful from
    gumballs to jawbreakers to malt balls. Whoppers are sphere shaped and look a
    bit like mini bowling balls.

  • Don't spare the candy. Since there isn't much in terms of bowling party favors,
    you'll need filler candy. Try gummy candies that look like little hamburgers, pizza,
    hot dogs, ice creams or whatever they might serve at the bowling alley. You can
    also make your own bowling ball candy. Use edible markers to make bowling
    balls. You may also find edible markers online, which will come in handy to mark
    three little circles onto gum balls, circular cookies, and more.

  • Crepe paper bowling balls. Start with a small toy favor and scrunch a wad of
    construction paper around it and secure with a bit of tape. Then wrap it with
    black crepe paper along with a few other little toys or candy. Secure the end of
    the roll with a sticker, then add two more stickers to make it look like a bowling

More resources for your Bowling Party

Real bowling parties...

  • Wii had a ball! Wii were bowled over by this Wii bowling party. Wii bowling
    tournament party goers received lanyards bearing their Wii likeness. In this
    clever party for a ten year old, guests received favors that looked like a real Wii
    remote. Templates for these terrific Wii remote bowling favor boxes are free.
    Use them for any Wii sports party.

A bowling party: it's how you roll! Tell us about your bowling party and share party ideas
with us on Twitter.
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