If you’re like many of us and looking to bowl on a tight budget, you might be worried about the overall price of bowling. After all, you can easily rack up a bill in the triple digits for a four-person bowling excursion at a given bowling alley!

For those looking to save a few bucks at the lanes, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled this comprehensive guide about bowling prices. From the cost to rent shoes to current average league bowling rates, we’ve got you covered below!

How much does it cost to go bowling?

The average game of bowling costs anywhere from $2 to $5 per game per person, not accounting for shoe rentals and the cost of acquiring your equipment. Each bowling alley charges differently for open bowling and bowling leagues, though. Some alleys charge a per hour rate for renting a lane. Others charge more on a Friday night than they do on a normal Tuesday afternoon.

And if you rent shoes, the cost of a shoe rental is usually anywhere from $3 to $6 per person. House bowling balls are usually provided, free of charge. Check with your local bowling alley for their prices at designated times. They’ll be able to provide you with actual pricing information that can help you budget for a night out at the lanes.

Do bowling prices vary at different bowling alleys?

Yes! Some bowling alleys provide “free wi-fi”, but charge you for it with increased per game prices. Others offer great deals for weekday afternoons that will help you save money, but charge more for cosmic bowling and other special nights. And others offer cheaper bowling in hopes that you’ll spend money at their full-service restaurant or enjoy some of their PM drink specials.

If you’re looking to save money when bowling, look for coupons or offers that promote free games or half-pricing. Do your homework and call around. You might be able to save some significant money if you obtain current pricing before choosing a place to play.

How much does league bowling cost at a local bowling alley?

League play usually costs anywhere from $1o to $17 per week for three games a week, minus the cost of a shoe rental. Some instructional leagues cost more to cover the cost of a teacher’s time.

Bowling leagues usually offer competitive weekly play for bowlers for 30-36 weeks, while some shorter leagues opt for a 10-15 week schedule. Check with your local bowling alley for individual business location info including types of the league, league pricing, and whether or not they accept reservations at the current time.

Why is cosmic bowling more expensive than regular bowling?

Cosmic bowling is the laser tag of bowling games. It’s usually an impressive light show that includes neon lights, pulsing music tracks, and some cool visuals when a player bowls.

If you’ve ever been to your local bowling alley during a cosmic bowling night, you know how packed the place usually gets when the mayhem begins. Cosmic bowling is a big draw for casual bowlers because of the added show elements, and bowling alley operators tend to raise prices because the demand is so high.

AMF bowling prices for a cosmic bowling night might different than the prices by a locally-owned business brand. So, be sure to check a given business brand and the accompanying business websites for more information about cosmic bowling prices. Usually, cosmic bowling will cost a player anywhere from $8 to $12 a game.

Do many bowling alleys offer unlimited bowling for a flat rate?

Oftentimes during the summer months, bowling alleys will offer unlimited bowling specials to entice players to come in. These specials allow you to play as many games as you can in a 2-4 hour period for a charge of $10 to $20 per person or so.

This often means more strikes per dollar than your average day at the lanes. So, be sure to keep your eye out for unlimited special nights (or days) in your area! Some alleys locally advertise before the special begins, so that might help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does bowling cost so much?

It’s not cheap to run a bowling alley! From maintaining bowling lanes to servicing automated scoring systems to maintaining arcade games, the costs of opening and running a bowling alley are pretty significant. A new bowling alley will cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 per lane to get things started. And that doesn’t take into account the costs of wait staff and repairs for a certain lane number when things go awry.

To be honest, bowling prices are often low compared to the overall costs of opening and running a bowling alley!

Should I bring my own bowling ball to the bowling lanes?

It depends on how often you’re going to play and if house bowling balls work for your particular throwing style. If you’re planning to bowl once a week or so, investing in your own bowling ball is a really smart move. You can have a custom ball drilled to fit your fingers, weighted to aid your particular shot, and calibrated to help you improve your game.

And if you like to hook your shots, most house bowling balls are busts. This is because the balls have been used like crazy and often don’t have the reactive resin coverstocks necessary to get the angularity you’re looking for.

A new bowling ball can be purchased for anywhere from $60 to $200 or so, depending on the model and technology involved. Used the same factors of research that you employ to find cheaper bowling rates to find a deal on the right ball for you!

Should I bring bowling shoes to my local bowling center?

Similar to bringing your own ball, you should bring your own shoes if you’re planning to bowl regularly or semi-regularly. And, you should always bring socks rather than paying the extra $3-4 for a shoddy pair of alley-provided ones.

There’s a peace of mind associated with buying your own bowling shoes, too. When you play a game, Strikers or elsewhere, it’s nice to have shoes that haven’t been used before. Cleanliness is always a nice luxury to have when bowling, especially with current concerns in a changing world landscape.

How much do bowling lessons usually cost?

Most bowling lessons cost anywhere from $25 to $55 an hour. Bowling instructors usually set rates based on their expertise, demand for their services, and the efforts they put into a given teaching session.

Are AMF bowling centers more expensive than other corporate bowling alleys? Locally-owned alleys?

Currently, the average AMF charge for a game of bowling is just under $5.00 during open bowling times. Compared to a game, Pinstripes or elsewhere, that’s on the high end of the bowling game pricing scale.

On the other hand, the AMF brand is well known for providing a family-friendly bowling experience for players of all ages. Their bowling alleys are usually impeccably maintained and offer amenities that other corporate bowling alleys may not. It might be worth the added charge per game to play!

Do most bowling alleys have full-service restaurants?

It just depends on the alley. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some bowling alleys either temporarily or permanently shuttered their food services. Check with your local bowling center for information about their menus, drink options, and regulations for eating at this juncture.

Closing Thoughts

Now that you’ve got a good idea of the cost of bowling in 2022, it’s time to do your homework! At the right bowling alley at the right time, you might be able to save anywhere from 20 to 50 percent off your normal bill.

Have fun and here’s to saving a few bucks when we can!