Most bowling games cost a few dollars per person for an hour of play. The price for bowling will go up if you need to rent shoes to play for that hour. Of course, the costs per person depend on the bowling alley, as some alleys charge more than others. Some may charge per hour instead of per game, for example. Depending on how many people you are with, the price per game might be much lower if the bowling alley only charges you to rent a lane and not charge per person.
So, what adds to the cost of a bowling game? Should you rent or buy your bowling equipment? Does the time of the day or week factor in price, and what are ways to save money when bowling?
Here is the complete guide to how much bowling costs.
What Adds to the Cost of a Bowling Game?
A bowling game costs around $5, but other factors, such as bowling shoe rentals, can add additional costs. For example, if you are bowling at a bowling alley, you are not allowed to use regular shoes; they must be professional. To bowl on the lane with professional shoes, you will need to rent, adding a few dollars per person to play.
The type and location of the bowling alley you choose to go to also play into how much a bowling game will cost. Specific bowling lanes like AMF are considered luxury bowling alleys in which they have a full bar and a wait staff who will serve you during the game. Of course, these will be expensive bowling lanes compared to the more traditional bowling alleys, which may offer simple food and a few tables for billiards.
Finally, it is worth noting that where you bowl will determine the price. Bowling in a city like New York City will likely be more expensive than in a small suburb.
Should You Rent or Buy Your Bowling Equipment?
Deciding if you want to rent or buy equipment depends on how frequently you like to bowl. If you go multiple days a week, purchasing your ball or shoes may be more advantageous than constantly renting the alley’s equipment. Bowling shoes can go for around $40 to $50 on Amazon, giving you an idea of the cost. Initially, it may seem like a lot, but if you are a consistent bowler, you save money over time by not renting.
For bowling balls, this may be less advantageous. Once you have purchased a bowling lane, the bowling alley provides you with bowling balls free of charge. The only time to buy a bowling bowl may be in your best interest is if you are someone looking to do professional bowling or wants to use a better bowling bowl. A top-notch bowling ball could cost anywhere from $75 to $150.
Finally, if you choose to bring your bowling ball to the bowling alley, you should invest in a bowling bag. A bowling bag on Amazon can range from $20 and upwards, depending on what you want. If you invest in a ball, you should pair it with a bag to protect it.
Does the Time of the Day or Week Factor in the Bowling Price?
Prices can fluctuate at a bowling alley depending on the time and day of the week. Some bowling alleys week will have specials throughout the week, like free shoe rentals to drive traffic, as these may be a less busy time for them.
On the weekend, a common event thrown is cosmic bowling. Cosmic bowling is an event where the lights are dimmed across the bowling alley, and black lights will be turned on so you can play glow bowling. As this is a unique event, typically on the weekends when traffic in bowling alleys naturally increases, the price of bowling games tends to be more expensive than regular bowling.
Also, nighttime bowling, especially on a Friday night or weekend, might be a more expensive time than during the day during the week. Since there is more demand to reserve a lane in these popular times to bowl, the price increases.
How to Save Money When Bowling?
The time of year you choose to go bowling can help you save money on a game. During the summer, bowling alleys have many special events affecting the price. One of those events could be “unlimited bowling “; during these events, players will be allowed to bowl as much as they want within a specific timeframe.
Another way to save money is by joining a bowling league. As opposed to paying per game, a bowling league will allow you to play up to three games a week, but it can help alleviate the cost of shoe rentals. Then you can also look to see if a bowling alley has any bowling special when you throw a birthday party.
The main thing is to ask the bowling center if they have any discounts or savings to be aware of so you can plan out when you go bowling. For example, if you are a student, you can see if they offer student discounts in your area to bowl.
Conclusion: How Much Does Bowling Cost?
The cost of bowling can be relatively inexpensive for a casual night out. Most places charge around $10 and more for a game, and the price can increase to rent the shoes. After that, if you bowl for an hour and get some drinks and food, you can make a fun night out of it with some exercise and laughs with friends.
However, if you are a frequent bowler, it may be in your best interest to go during non-peak times. Bowling alleys usually have discounts where the price of either the game or the shoes may be lower. Consider taking advantage of savings during the off-peak time if you like to bowl often. For example, moving a game from Friday night to a Thursday night might save you some money.
Finally, if you are an active bowler, consider joining a club and buying shoes. Joining a club will be worth your investment if you want to bowl multiple times a week. If you want to save money with these consistent visits, buying your own shoes will help. For example, let’s say it costs $5 to rent bowling shoes. If you plan to go once a month, you will spend $60 on shoe rentals. If you bought your shoes for $50, you would save $10 at the end of the year. Those savings will then only add up for each game you bowl moving forward.
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