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Bowling – AMF Bowling Center
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What’s to Love: Bowling and kids go together like two peas in a pod. Rolling a very large, heavy ball and knocking things over – C’mon! Bowling is a great activity for kids. I have to admit, I’m not a much of a bowler, and I’ve probably been about 15 times in my entire life. However, I’ve already taken my son to this establishment (address below) on several occasions, and he loves it!

The staff here is family-friendly, and they will definitely help you get all setup with your lane. They can put bumpers in the gutters, and they have these great ball launchers for little kids (see pics.). There are plenty of very light balls for young children. If you get there when it opens, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting a lane or parking in front of the building.

Finally, one of the best things about going bowling is that it’s pretty inexpensive, especially when compared to say…going to the movies. Bowling is definitely a bargain! Here is a clip!

Caveats: If you’re a clean freak, bowling alleys may not be the best place for you or your kids. They do not have healthy options for food – bring your own snacks and drinks. The electronic scoring can be difficult to setup, and it by no means is fool-proof. Check with the staff, and they’ll help you out.

Website: I couldn’t find a website, but you can check out reviews on Citysearch – this is definitely one of the best places in the city to bowl.

3301 SE Powell Blvd.
503-234-0237

Distance from Portland: This alley is within the city limits.

Parental Stress Factor: Low Stress! Unless of course, you are highly embarrassed by throwing a bowl down a lane and missing all the pins! Just bring your wallet, camera, video camera, and let the kids go!

Physical Difficulty: Low – However, if you don’t bowl frequently, you will feel it the next day, especially if you really throw the ball hard down the lane.

Family Fun Factor: High – The only thing that can spoil a good time at the bowling alley is not sharing and taking turns. It is difficult for kids to understand the flow of the game.

Pet Friendly: No dogs! Have you ever heard of a bowling alley with dogs running around?

Weather Considerations: The perfect activity for a gray, dreary, rainy day!

Recommended Ages: Bowling is great for kids of all ages, and most adult enjoy a good game of bowling as well. Crawlers will obviously have a problem bowling, but they will enjoy watching. I think our first trip to this alley was when my son was almost 2 years old. It seemed like a good age, because he could lift the balls himself.

Insider Info: Little kids love the ball return machine. They love watching that ball pop-up like it just appeared out of thin air – it truly is magical for them. However, please keep a watch on your kids around this machine. My son was constantly sticking his hands in there trying to get a view down the hole.

I recommend the “Sunday Morning Special,” which is every Sunday morning from 10 – 1PM. Shoe rentals are $2/person, and for $5, each person can bowl to their little hearts’ content.

There is also an “After School Special,” which is from 3PM – 5PM Monday – Friday. Shoe rentals are $2/person, and games are only .99 cents/person! This is a great deal for kids and families.

Family Tips: Get bumpers in the lane for kids, which will make it impossible to get a gutter ball. Also, definitely try the metal ball launchers. Almost any kid can push a ball off this ramp.

If adults want to bowl (seriously), I recommend getting a separate lane right next to the kids’ lane. However, we tend to book the same lane to save money, and we like to help our son understand the concepts of taking turns and sharing the lane. However, we are not serious bowlers, and we usually just keep the bumpers up the whole time. This probably will not work for most adult bowlers.

Technorati Tags: Bowling with kids, kids’ bowling, Portland Bowling with kids, ball launcher, bumper bowling, AMF Bowling

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2 Comments


  1. A fantastic program designed to give youth a constructive way to beat the heat over the summer.

  2. "one of the best things about going bowling is that it’s pretty inexpensive.." Totally agreed with this statement. First thing first, you can share lane with friends or buddy. Then you do not have to buy your own ball and also you can come to bowling center with sandal because the shoes can be rented at the counter. The thing is, about the shoes. the bowling center management need to clean up the shoes regularly, i mean just used like sanitizer or deodorant spray to kill the bad microorganism that stay within the shoes.

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