The Best-Ever Bowling Party

The Best-Ever Bowling Party

by Gregory Lauzon
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Bowling parties already approach perfection. Kids find the game itself irresistible and love the giddy atmosphere of the alley--plus they're thrilled to wear shoes on the cutting edge of fashion. Okay, we're kidding about the shoes. (Still, how can you not have a good time when your feet look as if they've joined the circus?) Even with all this, though, a birthday party needs to feel extra-special. That's why we've jazzed up the standard bowling bash with some strikingly clever and easy ideas for invitations, party favors, party games, and a cake. They might just nudge near perfection to sheer perfection.

THE FUNKY CD SLEEVE INVITATION

This snazzy invite is a cinch to make: the envelope is a paper CD sleeve, the kind with the round cellophane window (sold for about 15 cents each at office supply stores). The bowling ball is a circle (4 3/4 inches in diameter) of black card stock, addressed and decorated with a white gel pen. (Note: due to the envelope's irregular size, you'll have to pay slightly more postage and write your return address on the back.)

WILD AND CRAZY PARTY GAMES

Even your most dedicated bowlers love thinking outside the frame. Just watch the party's fun level rise when the guests draw from a hat of outlandish bowling directives. Before the party, brainstorm ideas and write each on a piece of paper shaped like a bowling pin (see above).

Here are a few ideas to get you started:
 

Tip: Is there an arcade at your bowling alley? Then bring a big stack of quarters for your guests.

  • Bowl backward
  • Do a silly walk as you approach the lane
  • Bowl in slow motion
  • Bowl pretending that one of the boards in the lane's wood floor is a tightrope
  • Before you bowl, predict whether you will knock over an odd or even number of pins
  • For younger kids, consider trying the following. Between the time you release the bowling ball and the time it hits the pins: speed-sing as much of a song as possible; spell out loud the birthday child's name backward; call out as many pizza toppings/ice-cream flavors/kinds of candy as you can think of. Each bowler should then try to top the record.

A BOWLING LANE CAKE

This clever cake will send your little bowlers into seventh-frame heaven.

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