Going bowling with friends always results in a fun party atmosphere, hearkening back to days of leather jackets, bobby socks and high school date nights. To make your next bowling party memorable, you'll want to think "outside the lane" by trying some funny or outlandish spins on the usual visit to the bowling alley. Your funny bowling party, regardless of the guests' ages, can start out fun with great and unusual invitations and end by sending your guests home with a quirky souvenir.
Start with Funny Bowling Party Invitations
Paper card invitations are pretty standard, but if you are trying to throw an out-of-the-ordinary and fun party, try sending something other than paper card invitations. Shop at thrift stores for old bowling shirts--they don't have to match, of course, and the cheaper, the better, as you'll need one per invitee or family--then tie a ribbon around each one with a tag stating the specifics of the party. Buy a child's bowling set, hand write invitation information on a colorful card or better yet, a bowling score card, and tie it around the neck of the bowling pin. For either of these options, you can choose to mail the item in a flat rate priority mail envelope/box, or hand deliver them for a more personal (and less expensive) touch. If hand delivering the invitations isn't an option, try contacting the bowling alley for some score cards, write your invitations on them, using clever wording and bright color markers, and mail them at least two weeks before your party. Or for a child's or adult party, simply cut white card stock in the shape of bowling pins, draw neck rings on the cards and write your invitation verbiage on the backside, using bowling words like "roll on over," "have a ball," and "spare the time." Remind invitees to wear socks.
Plan Bowling-Themed or Nostalgic Food for the Party
Once you have your RSVPs and know how many people to expect, you can plan the food. If you are a baker or have a good local bakery or a friend to do the work for you, consider having a bowling ball-shaped cake or a sheet cake decorated like a bowling alley complete with a ball-and-pins candle set. Serve decorated sugar cookies that look like bowling balls and pins. For a nostalgic themed party, serve old fashioned candies and individual-serving sodas in glass bottles. If you wish to serve food like pizza, hot dogs, burgers and even popcorn, you'll most likely need to buy it from the bowling alley snack bar or café. (Most bowling alleys won't allow this type of food to be brought in. Ask the manager or party planner at the bowling alley about their food restrictions before you plan your party refreshments.)
Make your Bowling Party More Fun by Playing Games within the Game
Anyone can carry a ball to the foul line and roll it down the lane toward the pins. Try something different to make your bowling more fun. Divide your guests into teams and foster healthy competition by awarding silly plastic trophies to the winning team members. Buy inexpensive bright-colored T-shirts in large sizes (this'll ensure that everyone will be able to wear one) and in two to four colors to allow your teams to match. Provide permanent markers so each team can come up with a name for themselves and write or draw their name and logo or mascot on the shirts. Have each guest draw a slip of paper from a bowl or bag you keep at the scoring table with instructions on how they have to bowl that frame–-blindfolded, hopping on one leg, walking to the foul lane backward, granny roll (through their legs), rolling the ball with the hand they don't usually use (right-handers have to roll left-handed) or doing a specified dance to the foul line to bowl (cha-cha, twist, tango, pony and two-step, for example). You'll need to recycle these slips in the bag or bowl so that everyone has a chance to try each silly thing.
Give Fun Bowling Party Favors to Your Guests Before They Head Home
Split up a child's plastic bowling set and write award names such as "Highest Roller" and "King (or Queen) of the Gutter" in permanent marker to award to your guests before they head home. Hand out nostalgic favors like a pair of fuzzy dice, dark sunglasses, wax lips, popcorn balls or miniature bowling sets to your friends before they leave your fun party. Of course, the best party favor your friends will take home from this party will be great memories of the best time they've ever spent at the bowling alley.
- Bowling Delights offers party ideas and access to links for ordering fun props and prizes
- Party Ideas Galore suggests bowling games and party supplies
- Party in a Box provides ideas for invitations, games, decorations & food
- Order nostalgic candy, sodas and toy party favors from The Mom and Popcorn Company