Bowling in Austin

as0945.gifWith mom, dad and baby sick over the past few days, my nine year old was literally about to climb the walls today. For the past three days he has been laying around in pajamas, watching movie after movie, staying up late and sleeping until noon. Incredibly enjoyable, but laziness has its limits. Today,with perfect timing, I start to feel better and he develops cabin fever. He was aching to get out of the house. We sat on the couch for a while and searched his mind for something that sounded fun. A bike ride, movies, trip to the park…. none of those options were fun enough. Just when I was about to give up and tell him to go read a book, the idea for bowling came to my mind. At last, we have a winner! My husband warned that it would be an expensive afternoon, but I argued that bowling isn’t too costly. He just raised his eyebrows and moved on with what he was doing.

Off we went to AMF 300 on IH-35 and Rundberg. It’s been years since I’ve been here and there have been many changes, including the price. Now, I don’t know about you, but I kind of like my bowling experience to be a bit seedy. The smell of grease lingering in the air, worn carpet and swivel chairs that squeak when you turn. This place is completely done up with new carpet and a waitress that actually comes to your lane to take your order. You no longer have to roam around to find the perfect sized ball, as they have a measuring ball at the counter where you get your shoes that tells you what size you need; xx-small, x-small, medium, large, etc. There are nice leather looking lounge sofas arranged throughout the joint and everything looks newly remodeled. In between my turns, I would look around and think back to all of the previous trips I had made to this place and how it’s drastically different now. Not bad, just different. I’m assuming that with these changes comes steeper prices and I was right. Or should I say my husband was right? We managed to spend over $38 for myself and two kids. We all needed shoes and balls, $4 a pop. It costs $4.50 per person, per game. We all had a soda and I left a $3 tip for our waitress, who, by the way, was incredibly nice.Advertisement
Wow! An entire hour of entertainment for nearly $40! Are all bowling alleys this expensive? Is this the going rate now for good old fashioned quality family time? Are there any other bowling alleys that you can recommend that are cheaper?

Catherine Prystup
About Catherine Prystup 2157 Articles
Catherine Prystup founded out of a desire to build a better community for Austin-area moms. She has three children, ages seventeen, eight and three years old.

6 Comments on Bowling in Austin

  1. Highland Lanes at Burnet and 183 is more of a classic alley. Lots of specials on weeknights, find your favorite ball among the racks, video scoring machines that don’t always work right. I like it. Definitely less than $4.50/person/game; I think you can often rent a lane for an hour for under $20. Details and coupons at

  2. Wow, I haven’t been to an alley in awhile so I’m floored at the cost (along with the automatic ball sizer). I used to spend at least 20 minutes trying to find the right size only to switch about 10 times, blaming the ball for my crappy score.

  3. I don’t know about the cost, but I suspect that both WestGate Lanes at William Cannon and WestGate and Dart Bowl over by McCallum High School are seedier. They’ve both been around for a long time. I think they both also might be owned by the same people who own Highland. I’ve always heard good things about the enchiladas at Dart Bowl.

  4. DART BOWL is the place to go! I’ve been to 300 and it’s cool for what it is trying to be, but that’s not what I’m looking for in a bowling alley. DART BOWL is seedy, eccentric and weird, but also a great place to bowl , drink a few beers and eat some heart-exploding enchiladas.

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