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Iowa's 5 Best Bowling Alleys
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Iowa's 5 Best Bowling Alleys

If you love to bowl, you probably already have your favorite league or alley to hang out in. But if you love it as much as I do, it might be worth a day trip, or even a long weekend drive, to try out something new. Iowa has some seriously hoppin’ bowling alleys that are sure to be a hit with you and your family. From disco bowling to fancy private suites, there’s a whole list of things to try. Next time you a looking for an inexpensive adventure, consider hitting up one of these awesome alleys:

  1. If you like to party, then Warrior Lanes in Waukee is the place for you. They have Extreme Glow Bowling every Friday and Saturday from 7pm to midnight. Complete with fog machines, disco music, and disco, laser, runway, and black lights! You’ll feel like you’re at the most happening nightclub in town, but you can be laid-back in comfortable clothing and those snazzy bowling shoes.
  2. If you’re feeling nostalgic, then Des Moines is the place to be. Val Lanes has been around since 1957. While they’ve updated their lanes and scoring and musical systems, they still have that comfortable feel of simpler times. If you’re feeling extra sentimental, head on down to Air Lanes for Flashback Fridays, where music from the 70s, 80s, and 90s will spark conversations of memories and good times with you and your oldest friends.
  3. The Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque has some seriously classy bowling to offer. Their upscale retro decor will make you feel like you’ve stepped into the best part of the mid-20th century (minus the state-of-the-art scoring systems.) You can even rent out the Alley Cat V.I.P Suite: a super swanky private suite complete with four lanes, upscale sound system, nostalgic decor, and comfortable seating for up to 25 people.
  4. If you love a good bargain, then Westdale Bowling Center in Cedar Rapids is the place for you. Their weekly specials are off the hook! They have Two Buck Tuesdays every week, with $2 games, $2 shoe rental, $2 hot dogs, and $2 draft and well shots, all from 1-9pm. What could be better than Two buck Tuesdays? Dollar Mondays, of course! From 4-9pm, you get $1 games, $1 shoe rentals, and $1 hot dogs, pops, and draft beers. Busy those nights? Why not try Quartermania on Wednesdays and Sundays after 8pm. A $6 cover charge gets you 25 cent games and shoe rentals, as well as 50 cent draft beers and $2 you-call-its. Wednesday is Ladies night, so the cover is only $3 for females. Looking for something fun to do with the tinies while the big kids are at school? Every Friday from 10am to noon is dollar bowling!
  5. Looking for family fun? Pla-Mor Bowl in Iowa Falls is the place to be. They are one of the most family-friendly alleys in the state, with a number of youth leagues and programs, as well as weekly family specials. On Saturdays and Sundays, games are only $1.79 from noon to 3pm, and Sundays is bottomless bowling starting at 6pm. $10.95 a person gets two hours of bowling, shoe rental, and a beverage. And don’t forget Dollarmania on Mondays, where you get $1 games, $1 shoe rentals, and $1 pops and fries.

If you’re new to bowling, or if you are bowling with kids, it’s important to remember a few basic bowling safety rules. First, selecting the right ball is very important. A ball that’s too heavy to control or too tight for your fingers can result in serious injury, and finger holes either too far apart or too close together can strain your hand. A good place to start is selecting a ball 1/10 your weight, but go with what feels right.

Also ,remember that bowling shoes are an absolute must! They aren’t just there just to make you look fancy: they are low-traction to help you glide across the alley floor, which keeps you from getting stuck or tripped up with a heavy ball in your arms. But make sure not to accidentally step into the lane, which is greased and will almost certainly cause you to trip and fall. Bowling can be fun for all ages, as long as you stay safe.

Whether you’re having a few drinks with friends, on an intimate date night, or spending a day with family, bowling can be enjoyed by all. You don’t even have to be good at it to have fun. So next time you’re bored in Iowa, remember there are some pretty stellar bowling experiences to be had!

What’s your favorite Iowa bowling alley memory? Please share in the comments...

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  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    What a fantastic post! Thanks for contributing to the Travel Iowa Blog!
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