Score Big With These Kid-Friendly Bowling Alleys in Central Iowa

Score Big With These Kid-Friendly Bowling Alleys in Central Iowa

Updated January 2, 2019

Dude, you won’t strike out here!  Bowling is a great indoor activity for the whole family and this is a great time of year to check out one of these awesome alleys. With bumpers, special family discounts and Cosmic bowling, your little Lebowskis are sure to have a great time at one of these area bowling alleys.

Here’s where you can take the family bowling in Central Iowa:

Air Lanes Bowling Center

4200 Fleur Drive • Des Moines • (515) 285-8632

Got a big family or crowd that’s looking for a day of bowling fun? Air Lanes offers a Family Value Pack.  For $54.95, you get two hours of lane time, rental shoes and a pitcher of pop for up to six people.  You can also get crazy with Glow in the Dark Galaxy Bowling at family friendly times on Saturdays from 3:00 to 5:00 pm and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 pm.  They also offer Galaxy bowling birthday parties for kids and teens.

Sunday-Thursday: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:00 am to 2:00 am
*Hours of operation are subject to change without notice.
Price: Monday-Friday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, $6.00 per person.  All other times vary.
Shoe Rental: $3.60

B & B Ankeny 12 & B-Roll Bowling

1580 SW Market Street • Ankeny, IA 50023 • (515) 423-0979

Imagine what would happen if a movie theatre and a bowling alley had a baby – you’d get B&B Ankeny 12 & B-Roll Bowling! Located in Ankeny’s The District shopping area of Prairie Trail, B-Roll Bowling offers 12 bowling lanes, a full bar and menu. Whether you head to this entertainmnet venue on a date night or make a reservation during the day with the kiddos, a trip to this “bowling alley” is always a fun experience.

Monday-Thursday: 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Friday-Sunday: 11:00 am to 12:00 Midnight
Price: Monday – Thursday 4:55 pm; $22 per lane per hour; Up to 6 guests per lane
Thursday 5:00 pm – Sunday; $26 per lane per hour; Up to 6 guests per lane
Shoe Rental: $4 adult shoe rental; $3 youth shoe rental


1313 E. Diehl Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50315 • (515) 285-2811

This bowling alley features 28 lanes with lane bumpers for the littlest bowlers along with darts, video games and delish pub fare in their sports bar and grill. Check their website for details on weekly specials. And if a birthday bash is in your future, Bowlerama offers kids’ party packages that include bowling, arcade games, lane bumpers, kid-sized bowling balls, party prep an more.

Sunday – Saturday: 11:00am – 11:00pm
* Bowlerama hosts parties and tournaments that may limit lane availability. It’s recommended that you call ahead to verify if there are Open Bowling slots available.
Price: Varies by day of week and time.
Shoe Rental: $3.00

Great Escape Bowling

655 NE 56th Street • Pleasant Hill, IA 50327 • (515) 263-1700

This recently remodeled state-of-the-art entertainment and amusement facility located in Pleasant Hill hosts Open Bowling, Bowling Clubs, Cosmic Bowling, Youth Programs and School Outings. They also host Family Fun Nights with the Lights every Saturday from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.  $59.99 a lane (up to 6 people) gets you bowling, shoe rental, $5 PlayPass, one large topping pizza and one pitcher of soda.  In addition to bowling, the facility has an arcade and lazer tage.

Open Bowling:
Monday: 11:00 am to 5:00 pm; 9:15 pm to 12:00 midnight
Tuesday: 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm; 9:15 pm to 12:00 midnight
Wednesday:11:00 am to 5:00 pm; 9:15 pm to 12:00 midnight
Thursday: 11:00 am to 12:00 midnight
Friday: 11:00 am to 2:00 am
Saturday: 1:00 pm to 2:00 am
Sunday: 9:00 am to 3:30pm; 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight
Price:Varies by day of week and time.
Shoe Rental: $3.99

Merle Hay Lanes

3800 Merle Hay Road #505 • Des Moines • (515) 253-3901

Located in the mall, Merle Hay Lanes might not have the newest decor and technology, but the prices are great and the atmosphere is always lively. Merle Hay Lanes is also a great pick for birthday celebrations, as they offer two budget-friendly packages. Parents will appreciate that you can get 1 ½ hours of bowling, shoe rental, unlimited soda, birthday gift for the birthday kiddo and goodie bags, large slice of cheese pizza and a party hostess for (a minimum of) eight kids at a cost of just $12 per kid.

Open Bowling:
Monday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Tuesday: 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Thursday: 10 am to 4:30 pm / 9:30 pm to 12:00 midnight
Friday and Saturday: 10:00 am to 12:00 midnight
Sunday: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Price:  Monday – Thursday $ 3.25; Friday – Sunday $ 4.25
Shoe Rental: $2.75

Plaza Lanes Family Sports Complex – Under Reconstruction

2701 Douglas Avenue • Des Moines • (515) 255-1111

A fire destroyed this iconic bowling alley in late 2017.  It is currently under reconstruction.

Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl and Grill

1000 Bass Pro Drive NW • Altoona • 515-957-5400

Located in the Bass Pro Shops Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl offers a unique underwater ocean bowling experience.  There are 12 lanes to bowl on and the kids will love their custom bowling bowls that look like mermaids and octopus.  They host birthday parties and have a billiard room connected to the bowling area.

Open Bowling:
Monday to Friday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, $14.99 an hour
Sunday to Thursday, 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, $19.99 an hour
5:00 pm Friday till 5:00 pm Sunday, $24.99 an hour
Price is per lane not per person.  Maximum of eight people per lane.
Shoe Rental: $3.00

Val Lanes Recreation Center

100 Ashworth Road • West Des Moines • (515) 274-0493

Val Lanes has been a West Des Moines establishment since 1957.   It has 36 lanes and is well worth the drive for a game or two. The prices are reasonable at this bowling alley and they have automated bumpers on every lane, rather than making you wait for a bumper lane to become available.  If you’re up for a late night, check out their Thunder Alley Glow Bowling.

Open Bowling:
Monday to Friday, Noon to 5:30 pm, $4.40 per person
Sunday to Thursday, 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm, $5.50 per person
Thunder Alley Glow Bowling: Friday and Saturday, 9:30 pm to Midnight, $5.50
Shoe Rental: $3.50

Warrior Lanes

190 Laurel Street • Waukee • (515) 987-4840

If you’re looking for a family-friendly bowling alley experience Warrior Lanes is a great choice.  Parents will like bringing mini-bowlers here – it is clean, the staff is friendly and helpful and the prices are reasonable. Bonus points for throwing awesome birthday parties too!  Warrior Lanes is also part of the Kids Free Summer Bowling program.

Monday-Thursday: 12:00 oon to 10:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 12:00 Noon to 12:00 midnight
Sunday: 12:00 noon to 10:00 pm
*Check out their website calendar for specific Open Bowling times, which vary day to day.
Price: Varies by day of week and time.
XTreme Glow Bowling: Friday & Saturday, 7:00 pm to 12:00 am, $5.50 per bowler per game or $29.95 per hour for 1 lane (up to 6 bowlers)
Shoe Rental: $3.30


Where’s your family’s favorite bowling spot in the metro?

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