There are a few pastimes that follow us from childhood to adulthood, and bowling is definitely one of them. You might not even consider yourself “good” at bowling, but you know as much as I do that the simplicity and wholesomeness of the game are what keep you coming back all these years later. Across the city, there are a ton of alleys to hone your skill. Whether it’s a place that’s a bit more upscale, or the corner lanes that have been a staple in the community for the last few decades, there’s always an open lane at one of the best bowling alleys in Chicago!
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1500 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60610
Situated in the heart of Lincoln Park, Kings Chicago is a bowling destination that seamlessly blends the retro charm of an old-school bowling alley with contemporary style. This upscale entertainment venue not only has bowling, but billiards tables, shuffleboard, and a lively arcade full of the classics. Immerse yourself in the nostalgic ambiance of their vintage-inspired lanes while indulging in delicious food and specialty cocktails. By combining an energetic atmosphere with games we all love, Kings is the ultimate destination for a memorable night of bowling in one of the most energetic neighborhoods in the city.
322 E Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60611
Just a few blocks west of Navy Pier, you’ll find Lucky Strike’s downtown Chicago location. With an upscale environment that combines sophistication and excitement, Lucky Strike is the perfect place to head for a night of competitive bowling. The sleek venue has state-of-the-art lands and a full bar, menu, and occasional live music. Whether you’re looking for a fun night out with friends, date night, or happy hour with your coworkers to blow off some corporate steam, Lucky Strike is the perfect spot for throwing strikes and knocking back some drinks.
330 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654
Located in the iconic Marina City complex, 10pin Bowling Lounge is a premier bowling spot that blends modern entertainment with the timeless activity we all love. The venue features contemporary decor, comfortable lounge seating, and a colorful bar serving up cocktails like the State Street Spritz and a sparkling apple mule. Munch on elevated bowling alley favorites like mozzarella sticks, loaded potato skins, and their signature chipotle hummus while you perfect your game, and plan on keeping the competitive spirit alive by playing some ping pong, pool, and shuffleboard while you enjoy your time at 10pin.
2414 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
If you want to try your hand at a different style of bowling, head to the Pink Squirrel! This cocktail bar, specializing in boozy milkshakes (yum), also offers patrons a chance to try their hand, literally, at something called duckpin bowling. Duckpin bowling, while following the same rules as regular bowling, uses a much smaller ball that you essentially whip down the lane. As an adult, we can take games that we’ve learned as a child and elevate them. So order a boozy milkshake that’ll taste like childhood while it gets you buzzed like an adult!
3700 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Waveland Bowl, on the North Side of the city, stands as a timeless institution for bowling in Chicago. Since 1959, Waveland Bowl has become and continues to be a hub when you’re looking for a casual night of bowling.
With 40 lanes, Waveland Bowl is the biggest alley in the city, and has won numerous awards in the bowling community! If you want to feel nostalgic while you bowl, check out Waveland Bowl during the cosmic bowling hours. The colorful lights and black lights will bring you back to at least one middle school party where you specifically wore a white shirt so it would glow when the lights went down. Waveland Bowl, with its longevity and classic feel, will always be one of the best spots to head to when you’re bowling in Chicago.
2211 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60647
Mark Iverson and Gary Secrest bought Diversey River Bowl in 1987 without much experience in the bowling industry, but made up for their inexperience with a passion for the game. Since then, Diversey River Bowl has become a staple center for bowling in the city. Featuring tons of lanes, leagues, pizza, snacks, parties and more. If you do plan on heading to Diversey River Bowl with a group for fun, check out one of their many party packages that include food, drinks, and lots of friendly competition.
5250 N Northwest Hwy, Chicago, IL 60630
Owned and operated by the Habetler family, Habetler Bowl has been serving the Jefferson Park neighborhood for over 50 years. With a snack bar, award-winning lounge, and 32 lanes, Habetler Bowl remains a great spot to bowl! An important note is that Habetler Bowl focuses on league bowling. So, if you and your group have been looking for something to do on weeknights, why not get a team together? You might not be the best in the league but you’ll certainly be having the most fun.
Featured Image: Pink Squirrel