What is one of the best free activities for kids in the summer?
It’s the Kids Bowl Free program that allows kids to bowl free up to 2 games a day and 7 days a week. You can learn more about the program and how to sign up in this article, New Jersey Kids Can Bowl Free with the Kids Bowl Free Program.
But as much as we love the Kids Bowl Free program there have been two big challenges that have kept us from taking full advantage of being able to bowl for free in New Jersey.
- Shoe rental is not included. This has meant that each time we go bowling, we pay $3-$5 per child to rent shoes. At three kids per visit, the money we are spending on bowling shoe rentals starts to add up.
- The smaller bowling balls are not always available. When your kids are just starting to bowl they won’t be ready for the big 8-pound bowling ball or heavier. Bowling balls do come in smaller weights such as 5-pound balls and 6-pound balls, but it’s not always easy to find them in the bowling alleys. If you aren’t one of the first to arrive for the day, then your child might not get one to use.
As much as I would sign my boys up for the Kids Bowl Free program, summer after summer, we weren’t going bowling as much as I would like. I imagine all of you feel the same. I needed to come up with some Kids Bowl Free money savings tips for us and for families like us. I do believe I have found solutions that will help our kids bowl for free MORE while also saving us money. In my search to find out about ordering smaller bowling balls and bowling shoes for kids, I came across Bowlerstore.com. I am thrilled they’ve partnered with us (in 2017) to make it easier for families to get our kids bowling. They’ve helped us about by sending bowling balls, shoes, and bags that are affordable and designed with kids in mind. Take a look at our Kids Bowl Free money savings tips.
Now that it’s 2 years later and my boys have grown some more I’m updating this blog post with not just links to the Bowlerstore.com’s products but also to Amazon. As both online stores offer a collection of bowling merchandise for kids. The links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you make a purchase with, which we hope you will, we will make a small commission, so mom can go bowling too.
Kids Bowl Free Money Savings Tips
Kids Bowl Free Money Savings Tips – Tip 1
Buy your kids bowling shoes. The Bowlerstore.com‘s bowling shoes for kids come in a variety of styles. Looking at the styles my kids picked below, their bowling shoes look more like sneakers than regular bowling shoes. What’s fantastic about these kids bowling shoes is that most start around $36.95. If your kids want to bowl every day, like mine, these youth bowling shoes could pay for themselves in a week. Whether your kids bowl daily or weekly, purchasing youth bowling shoes is one of the best ways to save money using the Kids Bowl Free program.
For my younger guys, ages 9 years old and 11 years old, we ordered the KR Strikeforce Youth Flyer bowling shoes.
For my preteen son, he needed a bowling shoe in a young men’s size. He selected the Brunswick Mens Vapor bowling shoes.
Here are more bowling shoes for kids and teens available on Amazon.
- Pyramid Youth Rain Black/Hot Pink/Lime Green Bowling Shoes
- Storm Meadow Bowling Shoes
- BSI Girls Suede Rental Shoes
- Brunswick Youth Renegade Bowling Shoes- Black/Neon Green
- Bowling shoes for teen boys
- Bowling shoes for teen girls
Kids Bowl Free Money Savings Tips – Tip 2
Consider ordering your child their own pre-drilled bowling ball from Bowlerstore.com. It’s not as expensive as you might think. While most bowling alleys don’t charge to use bowling balls in the Kids Bowl Free game, many will not have enough of the smallest bowling balls to go around. By buying your child their own bowling ball, he/she will always have the bowling ball they need. Bowling balls can start at $80 and go up from there. The nice thing is that kids don’t grow out of bowling balls, they only move up to a higher weight. My boys loved the selection from Bowlerstore.com. You can take a look at their picks below.
Here are more bowling balls for kids and teens available on Amazon.
- Predrilled bowling balls for kids available at 6 pounds
- Predrilled bowling balls for kids available at 8 pounds
- Predrilled bowling balls for kids available at 9 pounds
- Predrilled bowling balls available at 10 pounds
Tips for ordering a bowling ball for your child
Start by determining the best weight for the bowling ball your child needs. The Bowlerstore.com recommends 6 pounds for ages 8 and under, 8 and 9 pounds for ages 8-11 and 10-12 pounds for ages 11-15. While my oldest is almost 13 years old, I still ordered him the size 8 ball to help him get used to the weight.
Decide if you want the bowling ball with or without the holes predrilled. When ordering a bowling ball for your child, you’ll want to pay close attention to what it says about the holes. Bowling balls can be ordered without the holes in them or pre-drilled. What you decide is a matter of cost and preference. Some bowlers prefer to have their bowling balls drilled at a local bowling alley. While a local alley will measure your child’s hand for a customized fit, that usually comes at a charge of $50 per ball. For convenience, we ordered our youth bowling balls predrilled. By answering questions online, Bowlerstore.com determined where the holes should be predrilled. Each of my boys is happy with the fit of their bowling ball.
How will you identify your child’s bowling ball? Even with an extensive color and design selection, my boys ordered bowling balls similar in color. They also ordered balls that look like what we see at the bowling alley. What’s helped to prevent fighting between brothers is that we had each ball engraved with their initials. All I have to do is spin the ball around and we immediately know whose bowling ball is whose.
Kids Bowl Free Money Savings Tips – Tip 3
Give your kids a proper way to store their bowling gear. Kids can be hard on their gear and they may not always be the best about putting things away. Shoes can get damaged or dirty when they disappear under dressers or in closets. Bowling balls can get scratched if they roll out of a car and crash onto sidewalks. Nevermind how much it can hurt if one lands on a toe. We ordered 3 bowling bags for my kids. I LOVE that each of the bowling bags has a compartment to store their youth bowling shoes and another compartment to store their kids bowling balls. Everything is in one place and is ready to go the next time we want to go bowling. In fact, because it’s so neatly organized I keep it in the car so we can go bowling for free whenever we are in the mood.
Here are more bowling bags for kids and teens available on Amazon.
- KR Strikeforce Cruiser Single Bowling Bag with wheels
Kids Bowl Free Money Savings Tips – Tip 4
Print or show? Find out how your bowling alley wants you to show your child’s participation in the Kids Bowl Free program. Up until a few weeks ago, I had been printing out the coupons every week. Then, a friend showed me that I can just show the bowling alley associate the email on my phone and that would be acceptable. If your bowling alley allows you to do the same, you’ll save on the costs of ink and paper by not having to print out the coupons each week.
Kids Bowl Free Money Savings Tips – Tip 5
Look for other ways to save money. For example, Bowlerstore.com has a promo code that can save you $5 on your order. Visit this page of their website to learn more. If you want to bowl with your kids affordably, there’s two ways to do that as well. You can take advantage of the family pass option with Kids Bowl Free that for about $25 allows parents/adult to bowl with their kids for free. Shoe rental not included. You can also look for discount days at your bowling alley. Ours offers $2 games on Wednesdays with $2 shoe rental. For about $6 I can play along with my kids for two bowling games.
Kids Bowl Free Money Savings Tips – Tip 6
Plan bowling playdates! Truthfully, when my three boys compete in bowling games against each other it doesn’t always go well. My youngest boy gets upset when he doesn’t get spares or strikeouts. My oldest is guilty of bragging a bit too much when he scores a strike. Things go much better when I invite friends to meet us for free bowling. We match kids up with other kids their age. Bonus… because more kids are playing each bowling game the games tend to take longer. That means it’s more free fun for longer.
Kids Bowl Free Money Savings Tips – Tip 7
Keep using the Kids Bowl Free program in the fall. Many of the bowling alleys allow kids to bowl free seven days a week well into October. So KEEP taking advantage of the program. Do the kids have a half-day on the first day of school? Take them bowling! Want to reward them for a great week of school? Take them bowling. The Kids Bowl Free program is a free activity that will your kids keep having fun even as the school year starts.
If your kids haven’t signed up for free bowling you can learn more in this article, 25 Places in New Jersey Kids Can Bowl Free with the Kids Bowl Free Program. If you’re ready to order them their own kids bowling shoes and more, please visit Bowlerstore.com.