Score a strike with your son or daughter by throwing him or her a bowling party! Your party is sure to be a hit with our bowling party decorating ideas, planning tips, food suggestions and bowling games. Bowling parties are popular with all age groups, so you can be sure everyone will have a ball!
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Planning & Invitations
What do I Need for the Bowling Party?
In addition to basic Bowling Party supplies, like plates, cups, napkins and decorations, you may want to consider purchasing, borrowing or renting the following items for your child’s bowling party:
Creative invitations will excite your guests for your child’s birthday party and increase attendance. If you have the time, consider making your own invitations or browse our bowling theme personalized invitations. Here are some invitation ideas that will score a 300 at your bowling party!
- Attach a card-style invitation to one of our personalized bowling party supplies with a length of curling ribbon by punching a hole in one corner of the bowling invitation.
- Include a bowling sticker and some confetti with each bowling party invitation and seal the envelope with a personalized bowling party sticker with party information or a fun message on it!
- Cut out the shape of a bowling pin from white cardstock, and add red stripes around the neck with a thick red marker. Use red ink to write your party details on the back side.
- Cut 43/4 inch circles from black cardstock. Add three white circle stickers to each “bowling ball” to serve as finger holes. Turn your invitations over and write your party details on the back in silver ink. These invitations will fit into paper CD sleeves, which you can use as envelopes to mail them. Paper CD sleeves and white circle stickers (often used as price tags at yard sales) can be found at office supply stores and discount department stores.
- Use fun wording on the invitation and your guests will be excited before the big day arrives! Create your own or try something like this:
Mike’s birthday party is right up your alley!
The king pin is turning 8
Strike the date: March 19
Spare the time: 2 PM
Bowl on over to American Bowling Palace
Get in the frame and RSVP to: 555-123-4567
- If your party is at a bowling alley, include a start time on your invitations that is 15 minutes earlier than your reservation. This will give your guests enough time to arrive, put on their bowling shoes, and settle down in their assigned lanes.
- For a special touch, let us print personalized invitations for you! We’ll include your child’s name and all the party details with a background design that complements your bowling theme.
The location of your party will be a factor in choosing decorations. Generally, a bowling alley party will have fewer opportunities to decorate, while a party at home offers more freedom! Look through our suggestions below and choose the ideas that will work best for your party.
Decorating Ideas for Any Location:
- Hand out matching shirts to your guests to make them feel like a real bowling team! Purchase kid-sized bowling shirts, order colorful tee shirts with a bowling design, or make your own! If you make the shirts yourself, look for inexpensive tee shirts at the craft store, and draw a bowling pin design on the front with fabric paint. If you like, add each child’s name just below the bowling pin. A big advantage to matching shirts is that your guests are easy to spot inside a bowling alley, which may help if the party location is crowded on the day of your event.
- Make a banner that says “Welcome to the [your last name] Bowling Alley” and hang it near the party entrance or entrance to your assigned lanes. See our personalized bowling banner and let us do the work for you!
- Set up a small plastic bowling game as a centerpiece for the food table.
- Anchor a group of balloons at one end of the food table with a balloon weight.
- Tie a balloon to the back of each chair, and tie a group of five balloons to the chair where the birthday child will sit.
Decorating Ideas for a Bowling Alley Party:
- Some locations will set up the food table directly behind the lanes where your guests are bowling. Cover the table with a bowling-themed tablecloth.
- Drape red and white streamers along the edges of the food table.
- Decorate each lane of your party with a group of balloons to add a festive look. The balloons will also help the children and their parents identify your assigned party area, or return to the right lanes after a bathroom break. For greater impact, combine shaped balloons with colorful latex balloons.
Decorating Ideas for a Party at Home:
- Cut bowling pin shapes from white poster board and add two red stripes around the neck with a thick red marker. Write a guest’s name on each one, and attach them to the walls of the party space.
- If you have a hallway leading up to your door, or a hallway inside where your guests will walk, lay down a strip of tan fabric. Draw little arrows in a triangle near the beginning to resemble a bowling lane. Set up bowling pins at the end and use this as an activity later on.
- Make giant bowling balls from black poster board or construction paper. Use round white stickers (such as those used for price tags at a yard sale) to create the three finger holes, and write bowling terms or other messages in silver ink. Some phrases to consider are “Throw a strike!”, “[Your child’s name]’s bowling team!”, “No gutter balls!”, “Have a ball!”, and “Bowling is right up your alley!” Attach these to the walls around the party space.
- Make bowling ball garland! Purchase Styrofoam balls at any craft store. Paste three round stickers to each to resemble finger holes. Paint the balls black, and once they have dried, peel off the stickers. String them together with a needle and thread, and drape them around your party area.
- Hang a pinata in the party area. We offer a selection of traditional and pull-string pinatas, but any traditional pinata can be converted to a pull-string using our easy instructions.
At the Bowling Alley: If the party is at a bowling alley, you may be required to purchase food from their concession stand. In this case, you will need to provide only the cake. If you are allowed to bring additional food, you may want to offer some healthy snacks for your guests to round out the typical concession stand food options. Choose a kid friendly vegetable tray and serve it with a simple dip. Or bring a platter of grapes and apple slices, along with some cheese cubes and wheat crackers.
At Home: If you are not at a bowling alley, it can still be fun to serve some of the food items typically found at a concession stand. Start with pizza or hot dogs, and add pretzels, popcorn or French fries. You’ll want to include some healthier options such as grapes, sliced apples, cubes of cheese, and wheat crackers. Serve the drinks with shaped silly straws or in a bowling pin sipper cup.
Dessert: For a sweet finale, let the children create their own “Bowling Alley Banana Split”. Offer chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream. Set out bowls of bananas sliced lengthwise, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, maraschino cherries, chopped nuts, etc., and let the children choose the toppings they prefer.
Children love shaped cakes, so why not make a Bowling Ball Birthday Cake!
- Pour the cake batter into a greased 2 1/2 quart bowl or sport ball dome cake pan and bake.
- Cool as usual, and flip the cake over onto a serving plate.
- Cut out three “finger holes” and place a white tea light candle in each.
- Cover the rest of the cake with chocolate frosting and add your child’s name in decorator icing.
- For larger groups, bake several bowling ball cakes, and frost each one in a different color!
Party Favor Ideas
Send your guests home from the alley with awesome party favors! To find a large variety of bowling party favors, visit our Bowling party page and click the “Party Favors” tab or the “More Fun Stuff” tab. Some of the favors we have include:
- Mini bowling games
- Bowling pin sipper cups
- Bowling pin straws
- Reusable tote bags
- Fun-shaped candy and lollipops
Party Planning Toolbox
Use the links below to quickly find related theme party supplies, planning tips, printable checklists, and advice from our party planning experts.
- Bowling Party Supplies: Includes paperware, invitations, personalized items, favors, and decorations for your party theme.
- Bowling Personalized Items: Check out our exclusive personalized items including invitations, bookmarks, stickers, and more!
- Party Planning 101: Our useful party planning guide includes cake ideas, party etiquette tips, a printable guest list, and much more.
- Birthday Party Decorating Ideas: This guide will tell you how to decorate for your party theme, what to do with balloons and streamers, how to decorate with food, how to set the table, and how to make your own party decorations.
- Parties Under $100: Use this guide to celebrate in style without breaking the bank!
- Party Budget Estimator: Download this guide to help budget your expenses.
- More Birthday Theme Ideas: Browse our list of over 130 themed party guides to find tips for your child’s next birthday! Each guide includes ideas for invitations, decorations, food, favors, games and more.
Games and Activities
Let your guests try their hand bowling down empty soda bottles!
Whether at a bowling alley or at home, this variation on the game will keep the kids laughing!
Easy to set up and loads of fun! All you need is a squirt gun and paper.
Children will have a ball in this game that substitutes odd items for bowling pins.
Your little bowlers will try to roll a strike while blindfolded.
Your guests will love decorating our printable Bowling coloring page.