A few years ago my husband and I went on a Valentine’s Day date to Atomic/Action Duckpin Bowling in Fountain Square. It was my first time because for some reason, Duckpin Bowling seems to be an Indiana thing. When we passed a bowling alley with a giant bowling pin outside, Lulu asked what it was. I explained that it was a bowling pin and told her that someday we would take her bowling. The next morning when I got her out of bed, I asked her if she knew what we were going to do today (swimming) and she said, “I’m going bowling.” With a little schedule rearranging, I decided Duckpin bowling was in order.
Duckpin bowling is open 11am – 4pm Tuesday: 11am – 9pm Wed & Thursday: 11am – 10pm Friday & Saturday: 11am – 12am Sunday: 1pm – 6pm.. Walk Ins are welcome but reservations are suggested. At a minimum, you should call ahead to check for lane availability. If you make a reservation, you will have to secure it with a credit card number.
Lanes are rented by the hour for $30 or $25 per hour (and can be booked for ½ increments) Monday through Thursday until 5pm. Each lane seats six people whether they are bowling or not. Bowling shoes are included in the price but are not necessary if you wear closed toed, soft soles shoes. The website says that it takes two people about 30 minutes to bowl one game and that five people can bowl one game in one hour. We found this to be true. Our group of four adults and one toddler bowled one game in just under an hour.
When you call ahead to make reservations, you will either be told that you’ll be bowling in the basement or on the 4th floor. Both areas have vintage bowling memorabilia and fun themed decor. A limited menu of appetizer like food is available and there is a full bar.
Our visit to duckpin bowling was a lot of fun. Lulu (age two) was learning the art of waiting your turn and was very excited. She was also a great cheerleader. I forgot about how heavy the balls are (there are not different weights available like in regular bowling) and she had a hard time rolling the ball hard enough to get it to go down the lane. The staff was fantastic and understanding and let us retrieve the balls or give them a little shove if they were stuck part way down the lane. Lulu still had a great time and didn’t even seem to notice that the game was above her ability level. The next day she asked if we could go again. And again.
Occasionally you can find discount coupons on the Duckpin website.
My name is Katy Mann, and I'm the creator of Indy with Kids. With over 10 years of experience working with children, and my excitement towards the great city of Indianapolis; I offer readers guidance about great events and activities to do around Indianapolis with their kids and grandchildren. Join us on our family travels and adventures across the country!