540 San Pablo Avenue
My daughter had her 10 year old party at Albany Bowl and it was a hit. She and her friends loved it. (so i think cool enough) She went to an Albany bowl party and wanted the same and we've been to a few more since then as well. In addition to them having fun, I think it was one of the most affordable party we've thrown for her, and it was definitely the easiest. They have all the details on their website about costs and what you provide verses what they provide.
Archived Q&A and Reviews
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 you ask. Ann
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 graders.
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 pizza/cake
- 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. --Sharon
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! Jill
Hi 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 Invitations 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 Yolanda
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. anon
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 it. Bowling Mama
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. Sima
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). Debby
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 $7.95 week - free show rental every day - trophies - bowl free Thursday 3:45 (League games) - $1/game other days starts Jan 8