Berkeley Parents Network >
Places to Go >
Hi; I've seen some older recommendations (mentions, really) of
the Albany Bowl as a birthday party locale. Has anyone done a
party there recently, and can you tell me the following: how
many kids were allowed, what was included, how was the
atmosphere (lots of kids there anyway? or just the party
kids); what ages did it seem appropriate for, how expensive was
the whole thing (bowling for XX kids plus room, food). I've
had zero luck trying to reach them via the web, and haven't
been able to schedule a visit yet. I'd love to hear some
stories from those of you who've done it! (This would be for a
girl, who has bowled I think once). Thanks so much.
Seeking Birthday ideas
My daughter had her tenth birthday party there and loved it. I
thought it was expensive ($13 per kid) but it was easy. I just
brought cake & candles, they provided shoes, pizza, paper
plates, soft drinks, stickers for each kid. I think you can
have as many kids as you like but they book up really quickly.
Doesn't matter whether or not you bowl. They set up bumpers if
My son attended a birthday party last Saturday at Albany Bowl for
a 7-year-old and had a terrific time. From a parent perspective,
it was pretty noisy and the colored blinking lights framing each
bowling lane were annoying but it was a huge hit with the first
Here's the scoop on parties there (I picked up a flier):
- $15/child, min. of 8 kids
- includes one hour of bowling followed by one hour at a table for
- Albany bowl provides shoe rental, invites, paper products, one
slice of pizza and coke per kid. You bring chips, fruit
and BD cake.
- Party times are 10 am, 12:15 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm.
Best of luck with your party planning.
My daughter had her 6th birthday there last February. We had
about 20 kids (yikes!) and here are my observations. She had a
great time and had only bowled once before. The party was on a
Saturday afternoon and the place was crowded, but everyone
seemed to enjoy the party. They reserve the correct number of
lanes for your group and set up a table behind the lanes for
the pizza/cake. If you want a private setting for your party,
this is not the place. If you don't mind some chaos with your
event, it's fine.
20 kids is too many since they are all on different lanes and
don't really interact. This is probably more an issue for
parents than kids.(20 kids is too many in general and we will
be downsizing this year for sure.)
The management makes a big deal out of their ''no outside food''
rule. Since it was at lunch time, I brought some pretzels,
pasta salad and a crudite platter for parents. Also additional
drinks which were necessary during the bowling session. Don't
know if they cared, but I didn't ask.
The party price includes pizza and drinks. The one thing that
was not clear to me was that the party price includes one (?)
piece of pizza per kid, but when you get there, they ask how
many pizzas you want to order for the group. You will end up
paying more for this pizza if you want to be able to feed any
parents or siblings who stay.
They offered Sprite, Coke, and water in pitchers and provided
plates etc. We brought the cake and icecream. I don't remember
the price. Sorry if this was too much detail!
Albany Bowl website does give alot of information on kids
birthday parties but you need to go to -Albany Bowl. Birthday
Party , or put in your search -Albany Bowl kids birthday party-I
had my son's 9th birthday party in August. I chose the $15.00
pkg per kids -min 8 kids up to whatever. We had 13 kids which
included - Roc-N-Bowl Light Show-
1 hour of bowling
Free shoe rental
Use of lightweight bowling balls
Bumpers for kids 10 and under
Paper plates, cups, napkins, utensils and tablecloth provided
One slice of pizza and soft drinks for each child
A real Bowling Pin for the Birthday child for autographs
You may bring your own cake and ice cream and I brought
appetizers for the adults. The staff was really great and the
kids had fun. They gave us 3 lanes and each kids bowled twice.
It was worth the price. Hope this helps. There email address is:
bowl at albanybowl.com
My daughter has done a number of birthdays at Albany Bowl. She
even did her 13th birthday there earlier this year. Your best
bet is to call them for the specifics, or just drop in and
reserve a time. There are usually several other parties going on
throughout the alley along with other bowlers. If your child is
younger, you will be in the back and they can roll out the
bumpers (to prevent gutter balls). You get an hour of bowling
and then an hour of party (on tables behind your lanes, no
separate room)- depending on what you pay, they can supply pizza
and papergoods and a helper. I usually bring a cake and I also
bring snacks (fruit and chips are good) for while they are
bowling. Because my kids were older I paid a bit extra for an
extra pizza. The child also gets a bowling pin that all the kids
sign. You can book a larger group and they give you more lanes.
Have the kids come a bit early, you don't want to spend your
hour of bowling having them deal with shoes. (Note - my
daughter wanted to do the rock and bowl set up, they don't
usually do that for day time parties, but they let her, they
just didn't play the more mature music videos and we booked the
latest Saturday afternoon time - the kids really enjoyed it).
Depending on how many kids and how old they are you might want
to have a few spare adults to assist. Even kids who have never
bowled have a good time. Be sure to ask them for the light
weight balls, they keep them behind the counter. Oh, and the
kids usually spend some time afterwards on the video machines,
they have one of those dance ones the kids really like and a few
old fashioned pin balls. (I handed out some quarters in the
goody bags. Have fun.
My 8 year old daughter had a birthday party there last month and
it was fun. The price is $13 per kid and I think that there is a
minimum of 8 kids? They bowled for an hour and then had a party
at a table behind the lanes for another hour. They got a little
antsy/wild/bored with sitting at the table toward the end of the
second hour and it probably would have been okay at 1 1/2 hours,
or 2 hours if they could bowl for 1 1/2 hours. They have 4 or 5
kids per lane. My daughter had only bowled a few times and it
was fun for her and her friends. They provided the invitations
(postcards), paper goods and pizza. Only one pizza came with our
package, so we ordered an additional plain cheese pizza, which
was a good idea. You can bring stuff for kids to munch on
beforehand, like pretzels, fruit, but no real main dishes. You
also bring your own cake and they provide soda. They were pretty
organized and obviously do a lot of these parties...they input
the names into the computer above each lane and kept the party
going. I would recommend it and the kids seemed to really enjoy
We just had my son's 8th birthday party there, and it was great.
They charge $15 per kid, minimum of 8 kids, and include pizza,
soda, paper supplies (cups, napkins, tablecloth, utensils), a
free bowling pin for the birthday kid to autograph, bowling
shoes, and one hour of bowling for the kids with bumpers, music,
and rock-n-bowl lights. They also offer little postcard
invitations for free as well. They give you one hour of bowling,
then one hour behind the lanes for your party (not in a room).
You can find them on the web at www.albanybowl.com, or call them
at (510) 526-8818 to ask any questions you have. We thought it
was great, and all of the kids at the party did too, including my
4 year old son. We did the party at 12:15pm on a Saturday, and
there were a few other kids there, as well as one other party. I
would love it if all of my kids birthday parties were as easy as
this one was!
One tip I got that was useful: invite the kids to come 15 minutes
before bowling starts, so that you have time to rent the shoes,
and invite them to leave 30 minutes after bowling ends, because
they get a bit bored after bowling, pizza, cake, and presents. We
didn't need the full hour after the bowling for that.
A birthday party suggestion: bowling at Albany Bowl. Not too
expensive, but you need to reserve in advance especially if you
want the bumper lanes (no gutter balls).
Albany Bowl 540 San Pablo Ave 526-9584
(I don't know much about this - just got a flyer in the mail)
Bowling party $24.95
1 1/2 hours, one lane up to 6 people $24.95 includes shoe rental
Free kids lessons ages 6-12
Fridays at 4 and Saturdays at noon
starts Dec 5/6
call to sign up
Bike and Bowl
join the kids bowling league and get a Roadmaster bike
- free show rental every day
- bowl free Thursday 3:45 (League games)
- $1/game other days
starts Jan 8
this page was last updated: Oct 31, 2005
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network