Bowling Birthday Party

Have a ball at this bowling-themed bash!

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Super Bowl

To get the good times rolling, book a spot at the alley, slip on those wacky shoes, and try these oh-so-easy ideas for treats, take-home favors, and games.

milk and cookies

Photographs By Meredith Jenks

Milk and Cookies

For an alley- appropriate snack, wrap strips of 1/2-inch red electrical tape around the neck of single- serving milk bottles. The cookies come together quickly with chocolate wafers and white frosting. For each cookie, make three small holes in a chocolate wafer: twist the tip of a knife, starting at least 1/4-inch in from the cookie’s edge on one side, then flip it over and work from the other side. Spread white frosting on the back of another cookie, then put the pierced cookie atop the frosting.

child holding trophy

Photographs By Meredith Jenks

Take-Home Trophy

Send each bowler home as a champ! Personalize plastic trophies from the party store with gold letter stickers (we used Sticko brand) or a gold marker. Fill the cups with wrapped chocolate balls. For easy transport, slip a cellophane bag over the top and tie with a gold cord.

Kingpin Cupcakes

Photographs By Meredith Jenks

Kingpin Cupcakes

With decorations made from gumdrops and a chewy black gum ball, these goodies taste as sweet as they look. The pins and balls can be prepped at home; they’re easily placed on the frosted cupcakes at the bowling alley.

Bowling balloons

Photographs By Meredith Jenks


To set the scene (and fool the eye!), dress up black balloons with round white adhesive labels from the office supply store.

Party Tip: Is there an arcade at your bowling alley? If so, bring a big stack of quarters for your guests.

child at bowling party

Photographs By Meredith Jenks

Souvenir Tees

Partygoers will feel they’re in a league of their own sporting these signature shirts. To make each, print our template (below) onto a sheet of 8 1/2- by 11-inch fabric transfer paper (we used Avery brand). Cut out the design and follow the package instructions for ironing the decal onto a prewashed T-shirt. Bring permanent markers to the party and have the kids sign each other’s shirts.

bowling games

Photographs By Meredith Jenks

Boffo Bowling Games

Write each of these wacky variations on a slip of paper and have kids draw one before each turn:

1. Bowl backward.

2. Do a silly walk as you approach the lane.

3. Bowl in slow motion.

4. Bowl pretending that one of the boards in the lane’s wood floor is a tightrope.

Do the following as the ball is rolling down the lane:

5. Predict whether you will knock over an odd or even number of pins.

6. Speed-sing as much of a song as possible.

7. Spell out loud the birthday child?s name backward.

8. Call out as many pizza toppings, ice-cream flavors, or kinds of candy as you can think of.

Originally published in the April 2013 issue of FamilyFun magazine


You’ll have fun to spare at this striking birthday party. After guests have a bowl, let them get framed in the cute photo booth. Serve up fun themed treats, including bowling cake balls and a Whopper-studded cake, then send guests home with a bag of things that roll.

Bowling Ball Plates party decor

Jenny Raulli of Bloom Designs Online

Bowling Ball Plates

Add a few white dot stickers to paper plates to give them a bowling vibe. Polka dot tablecloths and bright napkins and food bags tie everything together.

child bowling

Jenny Raulli of Bloom Designs Online

Hit The Lanes

Hit the lanes and bowl a few frames with your friends.

fun photo booth

Jenny Raulli of Bloom Designs Online

Strike a Pose

Set up a festive backdrop (bright colored wrapping paper will work beautifully), give guests fun props like paper mustaches and glasses, and let them strike a pose.

Malt Ball Cake

Jenny Raulli of Bloom Designs Online

Malt Ball Cake

For a super easy cake that fits a bowling theme, cover every square inch with your favorite round candy (we used Whoppers).

Candy Buffet

Jenny Raulli of Bloom Designs Online

Candy Buffet

Fill glass containers with an array of sweet treats (it looks cooler if they’re all in the same color scheme). Set out pretty bags, and let guests fill them with their favorites.

dessert bar

Jenny Raulli of Bloom Designs Online

Just Desserts

Think round when it comes to your treat table. A few dots of frosting can turn Ding Dongs, cake balls, donut holes and more into sweet bowling balls.


This cool bowling pin-shaped cake is deceptively simple to make. We tell you how.

party favor

Jenny Raulli of Bloom Designs Online

Have a Ball

Fill a sleek favor tube with bright red gumballs or another favorite treat.

Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation.

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