How Much Does It Cost To Go Bowling – Tips To Save Money

Bowling is an indoor sport that is widely played by all ages from kids to seniors and it can be one of the favorite hobby apart from sport. However, some people tend to manage a handy budget to enjoy.

There are certain factors that can affect your cost and there are several ways you can control your budget by avoiding them. We collected some of the tips in order to help. 

 If you are still curious and want to know how much it costs to go bowling then follow us throughout the guide. We strongly believe that it will solve most of the queries regarding bowling costs.

How Much Does It Cost To Go Bowling Per Person

bowling alley center

The amount of cost varies in different scenarios however 2-5$ per person to go bowling normally around different countries. This amount will include bowling ball that is provided by the bowling alley in different sizes and shapes.

There are different bowling formats in terms of subscription either you can go with a game with per hour or person or rent a lane for a specific time. One game of bowling usually takes 15 to 20 mins per person.

If you want to join a league or play a competitive game then you will need some other equipment for accuracy or safety purposes by purchasing them or renting, which probably increase your budget

How Much Does League Bowling Cost At A Local Bowling Alley?

To play a bowling league, costs around 10 to 15$ per week, and the week consists of three games only to play.

There are two different league games, one is longer and the other is shorter. The longer league goes 30-36 weeks whereas the shorter league consists of 12-16 weeks.

However, this amount is kind of an entry fee and at the end of the league, if you or your team is one of these two teams that reach the final will win a prize fund that can recover the entry fees.

Factors that Affect Bowling Costs:

The cost of going bowling isn’t set in stone; it can vary based on several factors. Here are the key elements that impact how much you’ll pay:

1. Location:

Like many things, the cost of bowling can vary greatly depending on where you are. Bowling alleys in different cities or regions may have different pricing structures. Urban areas might have higher prices compared to rural locales due to higher overheads.

2. Time of Day and Day of the Week:

The timing of your bowling outing can significantly affect the cost. Peak hours, such as evenings and weekends, usually have higher rates compared to weekdays and daytime hours. Planning your bowling adventure during off-peak times can save you some money.

3. Type of Bowling Alley:

Bowling alleys come in various styles, from traditional lanes to upscale entertainment centers. Upscale venues might offer a more luxurious experience but often come with a higher price tag. Traditional bowling alleys tend to be more budget-friendly, making them a great choice for those looking to save.

Breaking Down Costs: A Simple Overview

Let’s take a closer look at the different expenses you might have when you decide to go bowling. We’re going to break down the specific costs that you can expect and give you a clear idea of what you might need to spend.

1. Lane Rental Fees:

The foundation of your bowling cost is the lane rental fee. This fee typically covers the cost of using the lane for a certain period, usually by the hour or per game. Prices can vary, but on average, you might expect to pay around $20 to $40 per hour, which can be split among your group.

2. Shoe Rental:

Wearing the right shoes is essential for bowling. Most bowling alleys require you to rent special shoes that are designed not to damage the lanes. Shoe rental costs around $3 to $5 per pair. It’s a small price to pay to ensure you have a smooth and enjoyable game.

3. Game Fees:

Many bowling alleys include the cost of one or two games in the lane rental fee. If you plan to play additional games, you’ll likely be charged a game fee. These fees can range from $3 to $7 per game. Keep this in mind when calculating your total costs.

4. Special Packages:

To attract customers, some bowling alleys offer special packages that bundle lane rental, shoe rental, and a set number of games. These packages can provide excellent value, often saving you money compared to paying for each element separately. Be sure to inquire about any available packages when making your reservation.

Additional Costs to Consider:

While the basic costs we’ve discussed are the core expenses, there are a few more factors to consider:

  • Food and Beverages: Bowling alleys often have snack bars or restaurants where you can refuel during your games. However, these options can add to your overall cost. Prices for food and beverages can be a bit higher within the bowling alley, so you might want to budget accordingly.
  • Bowling Gear: If you’re a frequent bowler, you might consider investing in your bowling gear, such as your own bowling ball and shoes. While this is optional, having your gear can save you money in the long run if you’re a regular at the lanes.
  • Tipping: It’s customary to tip the staff who assist you during your bowling experience, such as the lane attendants or servers. Tipping is a way to show appreciation for their service and help, so budget a small amount for tips in your overall expenses.

Ways to Save on Bowling Costs:

Now that you understand the various costs associated with bowling, let’s explore some practical tips to help you save money while still having a fantastic time:

1. Choose Off-Peak Hours: If your schedule allows, opt for bowling during off-peak hours. Weekdays and daytime hours often have lower rates, helping you get more games for your money.

2. Group Outings: Bowling is more fun with friends, and it can also be more affordable. Many bowling alleys offer group rates that provide discounts when you book multiple lanes for a larger group.

3. Membership and Loyalty Programs: Check if your local bowling alley offers membership or loyalty programs. These programs can provide you with special discounts, offers, or even free games if you’re a frequent visitor.

4. Keep an Eye on Promotions: Stay updated on the bowling alley’s website or social media pages for any ongoing promotions or special deals. Taking advantage of these limited-time offers can lead to significant savings.

Should You Buy Your Own Gear to Save Money?

Playing bowling regularly or casually, having your own piece of equipment will save more money either visiting each time to pay for it. 

There are different must-have bowling equipments that you should have on your list if you give a tough time with your competitors.

Should You Buy Your Own Bowling Ball?

A Bowling ball is the most essential equipment in bowling and having your own customized grip with appropriate coverstock and core that is suitable to the lane condition is the utmost for striking a higher score.

There are different types of bowling balls of various weights and sizes provided by the bowling alley itself and you have to pick one that is comfortable to throw for several shots. A general rule of thumb is to select a bowling ball that is 10% of your body weight and the weight of the bowling ball starts from 6 to 16 pounds.

A custom bowling ball is recommended when you play in a competitive game where you need extra accuracy in shorts with higher rolling capabilities. 

Is It Better To Buy Bowling Shoes Or To Rent Them?

shoes for bowling

Bowling shoes are used to avoid slippery surfaces in bowling alleys and keep the alley safe from mud, debris, and grass that comes with regular shoes which can affect the bowling lane.

To rent a bowling shoe, the charges would be 3 to 5$ usually around every bowling alley, however, having your own custom shoes is recommended that are more fit in your feet and comfortable. The normal cost to buy a bowling shoe is around 50-60$ which is almost equal to 9-10 visits to the bowling alley and renting it.

Bowling Alley Prices

bowling alley price list
List of bowling alleys prices

Why Is It So Expensive To Go Bowling?

 Opening a bowling center requires a handsome amount and it may average $100,000 for building a new one or it may cost $50,000 to $65,000 by using existing facilities. There are floor, lighting, seating area, and many other things that need to be properly in good condition.

Nowadays, bowling alley has become more premium and provides extra facilities for additional joy in the game. The new bowling alley is embedded with digital scoring displays that are detailed and high quality.

You will probably find some bowling alleys with all types of food including serving facilities or proper seating areas. In advanced cities, people go in proper outfits to enjoy their dinner meals in a bowling alley.

The game can be continued in different scenarios for different people. Some preferred to play a game for a certain period of time and others just play the game and move on. The bowling alley makes sure that the space should occupy for a period of time and it’s difficult to manage both 


Bowling can be expensive and there are a lot of bowling alleys where you can avail the opporunity to subscribe the membership in your local bowling alley or instead of renting the equipements, buy it first hand and you can also buy the coupon minimize the cost.

Its important to know how much does it cost to go bowling and what are the different ways to save money in bowling. 

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