Saturday, June 7, 2014

Summer Survival: Bowling



Summers in Arizona are Hot!  I'm not talking the warm tropical beach, feel good hot.  I'm referring to the fry an egg on the sidewalk, sweat dripping off every inch of your body, be careful you don't get burned by your seat belt hot.  So, here in the Valley of the Sun it is important to find low cost, fun indoor activities/ 

Bowling is a fun, indoor activity that can be very low cost.  Most bowling alleys have a Kid's Bowl Free program that allows children in the the required age range to bowl one or two games a day for free. 
You typically need to sign up ahead of time and need to bring a form or voucher with you to receive the free games.  Shoe rental is extra, however you can bring your own bowling shoes.
 All right that last sentence is where most people look at me like I'm crazy.
Brunswick Youth Flyer Bowling Shoes (White, 1)
Bowling shoe available on Amazon

YES, my entire family owns a pair of bowling shoes!!!


Bowling Shoes

Shoe rental at a bowling alley adds up fast.  I have found that buying our own bowling shoes typically pays for itself within a few visits.  I search for second hand shoes for my kiddos, but honestly have never been lucky enough to find a size that fits them.  So far, I have bought their bowling shoes online and always buy a gender neutral design/color.  I then typically purchase them on the large size (think thick socks) and usually get 2 years out of each pair before it is passed to my younger child. Also remember to check if how the brand runs.  If there is not a detailed sizing chart I typically call the brand before I call and find out how their bowling shoes compare to regular shoes sizes. And really, think about all the NASTY FUNK in those bowling shoes, like athletes foot, plantars warts, oh my!!!

*Do not wear your bowling shoes outside

After you pay for the bowling shoes, as long as you follow the program requirements then your children are bowling for FREE!  Woohoo!

Glowing FUN
Check if your bowling alley lets you bowl free during cosmic/glow in the dark bowling.  I have found that can vary from location to location.  If cosmic bowling is included and your bowling shoes aren't glowing enough for you then  you may want to add some glow in the dark laces just for fun.  When the shoes move on to the new owner just give them the original laces and move your glow in the dark ones to your next shoe. We found some adorable monster, hippy, basic glow, preppy argyle pink and even street striped laces on Amazon for you to pump up your kicks! We prefer the flat laces over the rounded "sport" laces; because, as Michelle always says- "it's so much easier to learn and practice tying with a flat lace, as there's more surface area and no lace rolling. You could even pick up some glow in the dark puff paints to make designs on the actual shoes!

Be Prepared
We have a small duffel bag that contains all of our bowling shoes, socks, kids bowl free vouchers/pass, and local bowling alley coupons.  During the summer I keep it in the car, so we can always stop for a quick game if we are in the mood.We found this awesome foldable duffle bag that folds teeny for storage and can hold all of your essentials.

Family Time
Sometimes on the weekends our family bowls together during the non-busy times when there are promotions/coupons.  I'll call alleys closest to us to find out when their discounted bowling times are and if they have any leagues bowling at that time, to make sure there will be lanes open.  If it's not busy, sometimes we are even given two lanes next to each other.  My children bowl on one, while my husband and I enjoy a game on the other.
Kids vs. Parents- WHO DOESN'T LOVE THAT RIVALRY! Loser does the dishes!



Sign Up
I typically sign my children up for each of the different chain's bowling programs in my area. I've even signed them up in different states when we have been on vacation - works great if you have a day of bad weather.  The following programs run during the summer (check websites for local sites prior to making purchases. I have not listed the start and end dates of the programs, as they vary from location to location.

AMF Bowling
Children ages 15 and under can sign up fr the AMF Summer Games and receive 3 free games of bowling every weekday from open till 6pm.  After enrolling your children, print the confirmation page and take it to your selected AMF bowling location to receive your Kids Bowl Free Summer Pass.  You are required to select a location. You can sign up on the AMF website by clicking here.
Please check with your local AMF location to confirm details.  Remember that their pass is only valid on weekdays during specified hours at the location selected.


Brunswick Bowling
Students 18 and younger can sign up for the Students Bowl Free program.  Coupons to allow the registered students to bowl for free are emailed throughout the summer and need to be brought into a participating Brunswick Bowling alley to receive one free game per day. You can sign up on the Brunswick website by clicking here
Please check with your local Brunswick alley to confirm details and make sure there are not any exclusions, specified times, or other information that may affect your plans.

*Always make sure that you call in advance to confirm that the bowling alley is participating and that there are not any special circumstances.  Also remember that programs sometimes change, so always confirm.  Nothing ruins a day like arriving for a "free" experience with excited children, only to learn that you must pay or the program is no longer running at that location.  While we would love to be able to keep you updated on program changes, the laws of time and logic prevent Ramblings of Mama to regularly check every location/program.


SUMMER SURVIVAL
Remember, that if your children are home during the summer we are the source for you! Stay tuned as Ramblings of Mama will be posting tips and tricks to thrive throughout the next few months as you strive to survive summer!


What kind of free or cheap family activities are you planning on, or would like for us to research for you?!



Disclosure: No compensation was received for this posting. Links enclosed contain affiliate links. Ramblings of Mama will always provide honest opinions, beliefs or experiences on products discussed. We will only recommend products or services that we feel are of benefit to our readers. We do not take responsibility for stores/museum/libraries/etc that do not participate or change the details of the above mentioned programs.  ALWAYS confirm details directly with the facility before attending. If you have any questions, please contact Heather RamblingsOfHeather{at} gmail {dot} com

84 comments:

  1. I love bowling so much! My family and I recently went after years of not going and it was so much fun. I love that even if you're not very good at it you can still enjoy yourself lol

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    1. I agree! One of my favorite things about bowling is that the entire family can play together no matter the level of experience. Some alleys have bumpers that will go in and out for different players. This is awesome because it lets young kiddos use the bumpers until their skills increase. Bowling is a game where the entire family can have fun together and only be competing against themselves. Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama and let us know how your next game of bowling goes. Have fun!

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  2. This is something I really want to get into as a family. I have the bowling balls, now I have to learn!

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    1. I hope you have a wonderful time learning to bowl with your family. The great thing about bowling is that you can have fun as a family, no matter what your score is! Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama! I hope that your family has lots of fun bowling this summer. Let us know how your family's first game goes!

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  3. Bowling is a great indoor summer activity. I never thought about buying the shoes before.

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    1. By owning your own shoes it makes bowling so much more economical. We have found that they for a long time and encourage us to enjoy bowling as a family more often. Thank you for reading reading Ramblings of Mama and have a wonderful day!

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  4. We use to go bowling all the time when I was kid. I am glad kids still go bowling with all the technology these days

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    1. While I'll admit that our home is full of technology and gizmos, we try to encourage plenty of non-electronic family fun. Thank you for reading reading Ramblings of Mama and stay tuned for more low cost ideas to have fun.

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  5. My grandson has gone to the bowling alley a few times with us a few times now. It's a great sport.

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    1. I'm so glad that you have enjoyed bowling with your grandson. It's a great activity that is not only fun, but can also be educational when calculating the scores. Thank you for reading reading Ramblings of Mama and please check back for more ideas of fun activities for you and your grandson.

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  6. I had never thought about buying my own bowling shoes, but it's definitely a great idea. Bowling is so much fun.

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    1. When most people first learn that we own bowling shoes they think that we must be obsessed with bowling. Then when they think about the cost of shoe rental and how much fun bowling can be for a family they often ask me where they should buy their own bowling shoes. :) Thank you for reading reading Ramblings of Mama and stay tuned for more family fun ideas for this summer.

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  7. Our local bowling alley just closed. I didn't know there were free programs for the kids. I will have to check it out with another bowling alley. My grandchildren would love it. I'll also have to check out the price of bowling shoes for them too.

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    1. Good luck in finding a bowling alley near you that has a kids bowl free program. If none of them do you might want to see if they have a discounted time/day. Some of the bowling alleys near us have 99 cent bowling during the first two hours that they open. Good luck in finding a pair of bowling shoes for your grandchildren. I have found that adult shoes are easy to find second hand, but unless you are very lucky I typically can not find the correct size for my children. That's why I typically buy them online and then hand them down to my son as my daughter grows out of them. If you have a lot of grandchildren you could keep passing them down after initially getting everyone a pair. Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama. Check back for more family fun activities on a budget and have a wonderful time bowling with your grandchildren!

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  8. In our area we have an online publication that gives the lowdown on events that are going on in our neck of the woods. Most of these events are no cost or very low cost. We have had more fun & been exposed to things we would never know about by following this on line publication. Most major metro areas have a spot like our TopsinLex .

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    1. It is so important to have a good source for fun, low cost activities. Thank you for reading reading Ramblings of Mama and please check back as we continue to post family fun activities and programs.

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  9. All we really have in our small town is a bowling alley for entertainment. All the kids love to Bowl. However most of us like to do things in our own back yards. Barbeque, Swimming, Badmitten, football. Baseball etc. These are all done with little cost or free!!

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    1. I'm glad that you have a lot of fun with your children at low cost. One thing that I love about bowling is that it is perfect when the weather is not optimal for playing around outside. Thank you for reading reading Ramblings of Mama and check out our posts throughout the summer of more family friendly activities on a budget.

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  10. I wish they had nice bowling places around my area. I would totally want to go. :D

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    2. I'm sorry to hear that there are not any bowling alleys near you. We will continue to post fun, low cost activities, so keep checking back. Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama!

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  11. Bowling is such a fun sport and such a fun family activity. We try to go at least once a year, and have made nice family memories there.

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    1. I'm so glad that your family enjoys bowling together. It is great family fun. Stay tuned as we continue to post more low cost, family friendly activities and thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama!

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  12. I too really love bowling! I was inva league for years as a kid and really just love bowling with a bog group! Thanks for sharing this fabulous post!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed our post. We will be continuing to post lots of fun, low cost activities here, so follow us on facebook to get the latest posts and thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama!

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  13. OMG - I haven't been bowling in years! With all of the rain we've been having, this would be a perfect indoor activity for us. Thanks for the idea!!!

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    1. Hope you have fun! Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama and stay tuned for more fun low cost things to do!

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  14. I forget about bowling most of the time. But every time my family has bowled we have always had a blast! This needs to be something that we get more into! Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. You're very welcome. I agree that bowling is one of those activities that can be forgotten about, but is so much fun and awesome when the weather outside is not ideal. We will be continuing to post more fun, budget friendly things to do. Have a wonderful day and thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama!

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  15. this Is something I would really love to get for my family to try out , I think we would use this to its full benefits.

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  16. Just spending time with your family so important whether it is bowling or what ever that time is special

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  17. we like to bowl once in a while its something different and fun and really pretty inexpensive

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  18. Bowling is a lot of fun! I haven't been for awhile, I'd love to take my grandson, he loves to bowl, he's even in a league! :) Here in Canada, we have both 5 and 10 pin bowling.

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  19. I use to bowl a lot, things happened and I got out of it but I still like to go down the alley once and awhile :) its still fun

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  20. Oh man, I haven't been bowling since just before I got pregnant in 2008! This post made me really want to go again; maybe I'll take my son this summer.

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  21. I was really into bowling when I was a kid, I actually have a ball with my name on it still. I haven't taken my son yet though.

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    1. I hope that you and your son have great time! During the summer when many bowling alleys have free programs for children is a great time to try it out. Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama and check back for more fun activities for you and your son.

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  22. Great tips. I've always enjoyed bowling. Unfortunately, my husband does not like it. But that's okay, the kids love it. I've always wanted to try cosmic bowling. Once my youngest gets a little older, we are going!

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    1. My husband didn't think he'd like it from remembering what it was like as a kid, but he really enjoys going now with our children. My son started at 2 years old. I would help him carry the ball and then he'd use a ramp to send it down towards the pins. I hope you all have lots of fun!

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  23. I am TERRIBLE at bowling but this is a fun idea!!

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    1. The great thing about bowling is that you don't have to be great to still have fun. I hope you give it a try sometime soon! Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama and check back for more activities that you may enjoy!

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  24. I use to love to bowl. Haven't been in many years. I think our 5 year old grandson would enjoy it. Will take him this summer for a fun afternoon together...beat the heat in Northern California!

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    1. My 5 year old son LOVES bowling. Take a look at your local bowling alleys to see if any of them have the kids bowl free program. I know that there are some in Southern California that do, but am not sure about Northern California. I hope you and your grandson have a wonderful time! Thank your for reading Ramblings of Mama and check back for more activities and crafts for you to do with your 5 year old. Here is a link to our post about summer reading programs that your grandson may enjoy: http://ow.ly/xFSco I know they are really helping my son emerge into reading. Also we will posting about Free Make-It Take-It programs later this week, so stay tuned.

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  25. I haven't been bowling in years. Would definitly be fun to take my nephew

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  26. I love to bowl. I am not very good at it, but perhaps I will take my grandson when he gets older my husband and I will take him and teach him the basics.

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    1. That sounds like fun. I hope that the three of you have a wonderful time! Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama and check back for more ideas to do with your grandson!

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  27. I wanted to let you know that I have enjoyed your page.Thanks

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    1. Thank you so much for saying so! You just made my day! I love writing on this blog!!! As a stay at home mom, I greatly enjoy sharing my family's activities and crafts. The past teacher in me can't help but put educational twists on activities. Please let me know if there are any specific topics, activities, and/or age groups that you would like me to post about and thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama!

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  28. Bowling is a blast! For the summer we also join the swim program at our indoor fitness center. I prefer this to outdoor so I don't have to worry about sunburn although we do have the smell of chlorine which isn't too great for asthma.

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    1. I also enjoy having a selection of indoor activities to give us a break from the sun. It can be brutal in Arizona and many indoor places get expensive. That is why I posted about the kids bowl free programs. Check back as we post more indoor free/low cost activities to give you some occasional chlorine free alternatives. Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama; we hope you enjoy a wonderful summer!

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  29. These shoes are so cute I hate to wear other peoples shoes so it is a great idea!

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    1. When we first bought our shoes I wondered if we'd get enough use. I can't believe how quickly they paid for themselves (versus shoe rental costs) and it's so nice to have our own. Renting shoes always concerns me and they never seem to feel all that comfortable. I hope you find a pair of shoes that works great for you and thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama.

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  30. Although I've never much been into bowling, I think it could be a nice family activity for those with younger children. I too would want to own my own bowling shoes instead of wearing ones that who knows what's in them!

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    1. If bowling isn't your thing keep reading Ramblings of Mama for more fun things to do. We try to cover a wide variety of topics and activities. So, please let us know if there is anything in particular that you would like to read about. I love our readers and want to post about things that interest them. Have an awesome day and thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama.

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  31. In Our Small Town that's all the entertainment there is. So People and children do bowl a lot here. My grandkids have their own bowling shoes..They get a lot of use! Lol! we have A lot of School activities here. Sports of every sort! Have a great Day!

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  32. Thank you so much for sharing. It sounds like your grandchildren have a lot of fun. I hope you have a wonderful day and thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama!

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  33. I've not been bowling in a long time.My daughter and my grandkids go sometimes.This would be a good activity to do now that it's so hot.We don't have a bowling alley real close to our home the closest one is about a hour drive away.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that you don't have a bowling alley close by. Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama! Please check back as we post other ideas to beat the heat (hopefully one will work for your area). You might want to take a look at our post on Make-it activities to see if any of them are near you http://ow.ly/ya6qD Good-luck staying cook this summer!

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  34. I haven't been bowling in years. I used to enjoy it a lot. I wouldn't survive one summer where you live. I can't take the heat!

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  35. Bowling is so much fun and I haven't been in years. I guess one of the reasons I haven't is there are not any bowling alleys in my area. If we want to go bowling we have to drive 45 minutes to get there. Sounds like a great activity for the kids on hot hot summer days. Hope your kids have a ball bowling this summer.

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    1. Thanks. My children are having a blast! You might want to check out this post on stores that offer free make-it activities to see if any of them are located near youhttp://ow.ly/ya6qD Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama!

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  36. Bowling really is an enjoyable sport, but one of the first things that you definitely need to play are good bowling shoes! My kids love to bowl and meet up with other homeschool students, it is so much fun and a great way to socialize with others.

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    1. Agreed! There are also many learning opportunities in bowling. Even though computers now calculate your score, I often have my children write theirs down. That way we can use them for math problems at home. If you go often it's fun for children to chart their scores and see their progress. Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama. We will be continuing to post more activities and crafts that are perfect for homeschooling fun. Stay tuned this week for several 4th of July crafts with learning extensions/opportunities.

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  37. We used to bowl with homeschool friends, but not in recent years. It would definitely be fun to do Against

    In answer to your question, we're wanting to look into a backyard pool for the family. I'd be interested if others think this a worthy project to tackle.

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    1. We have a pool and enjoy it, but just keep in mind that they are lots of work. Our home had a pool built in when we moved here. I'm not sure I would want to go through that construction, but let us know what you decide. Good luck in your decision! Let us know what you decide!
      Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama! We will be continuing to post activities to survive the summer. This week we have several 4th of July craft posts coming your way with education/homeschool learning ideas suggested.

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  38. Bowling is definitely the answer to having a great day with the family.It's competitive fun and really not that expensive.I am so glad to hear that your family loves it too...

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    1. I agree! I hope your family is enjoying it this summer as much as we are! The kids bowl free programs and owning your own shoes definitely make it economical. Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama and check back for more summer survival tips.

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  39. I like bowling! Thanks for idea, i'll go there this weekend :)

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    1. I hope your family enjoyed it! Let us know how it went and thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama.

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  40. I used to bowl all the time. Company teams we had. Just went bowling couple weeks ago. Always a good time.

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  41. It's real hot down south here in New Orleans too. Only we have the humid heat, the wet heat. Blah! My family loves to go bowling . We a birthday day party for my granddaughter last year at the bowling alley and everyone had lots of fun.

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  42. I haven't been bowling in years. I can see why it makes sense to buy shoes if you bowl more than once a decade. Good cool indoor fun.

    slehan at juno dot com

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  43. I have not bowled in ages; however, I remember bowling with my late grandparents and them teaching me how to bowl:)

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  44. I never even thought of buying my own bowling shoes. Interesting tip!

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    1. Buying your own shoes quickly saves you money. It makes each outing to the bowling alley very economical - especially with the summer kids bowl free programs! Thanks for reading Ramblings of Mama and check back for more summer survival tips!

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  45. I have not been bowling in years...maybe more than a decade. I find outdoor events to be free/cheap...visiting local parks and hiking or having a picnic.

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  46. We enjoy taking the kids bowling and spending time together

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  47. Bowling is a good idea. Been years since I have bowled! Another inexpensive way to have fun is go fishing.

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  48. Bowling sounds like a great indoor summer activity! I love your idea about purchasing your own bowling shoes, buying them gender neutral, and a size bigger. I think my kids would love the glow in the dark bowling too!

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    1. Thanks for the comment luv! I hope that your children have a wonderful time! Mine enjoy the cosmic bowling - I'm sure yours will love it too! Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama and make sure you check back for more summer survival tips!

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  49. Wow, that duffle bag really does fold tiny. I love bowling. A local (outside of Denver) bowling place did $1 a game Mondays, and I loved those, until I ended up with two grad school terms in a row that had Monday night classes. Oh well. Hopefully this summer.

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    1. I'm glad you liked it. I try my best to stay organized. It helps me save time for the things I love. I hope you get to do some more bowling this summer! Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama and check back for more Summer Survival Tips!

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  50. family time is always needed for a good time to enjoy the company and just be ourselves.

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Thanks a bunch for your comment love!