It’s time for another edition of FresYes’ best (yet little known) places to have a kids’ birthday party! This time, may I suggest Bulldog Bowling?
Bulldog Bowling, located on the Fresno State Campus in the Satellite Student Union, offers an awesome birthday party package at a very affordable rate. For just $110, 10 children can come and enjoy unlimited games of bowling for an hour, their shoe rental included, and the entire party will be able to use a party room, complete with decorations afterward for cake and ice cream or treats and present time. (Food not included in the $110 cost, though tasty food is available through Campus Catering at an additional cost.)
A common misconception is that you have to be a student or alumni to bowl at Fresno State’s bowling alley, however that is not the case. Anyone can book a birthday party at Bulldog Bowling, all it takes is a reservation phone call to (559) 278-2015.
Besides the affordable cost and bowling being a lot of fun for kids – a bowling birthday is a really nice summer or mid-winter party option, since you don’t have to worry about weather conditions affecting the party. It’s funny, but even with a late May birthday, at least half of my son’s birthday parties (which he always wants to be a swim party) end up being on a freakishly cold weekend in the middle of what is typically a warm month, thwarting his plans. Just this past year, not only was it too cold to really enjoy swimming, as the early evening came, it was so windy and cold, the kids even wanted to go indoors and stop playing in the bounce house because they were shivering! Craziness.
Bulldog Bowling offers bowling ramps to help young children or those who may have difficulty bowling a chance to enjoy the game a bit more, and the staff has been friendly and courteous, yet non-intrusive both times I’ve taken my son to birthdays there. With a party of ten children, two lanes are dedicated entirely to your group, and more can be as well if the party is larger. If there are older children in your family who don’t want to bowl with the younger kids, pool tables are also available for hourly rental, or if your guest of honor simply prefers playing pool to bowling, a billiards party can be booked for the same affordable price.
Parties are often booked on weekend mornings, when the Satellite Student Union is not overly crowded, so the kids typically end up having the lay of the land for the most part. Parking near the Madden Library is free and doesn’t require a parking pass, though it’s a little bit of a walk from library parking to the Satellite Student Union. I didn’t mind this walk with my son too much though, because it gave me a really great chance to talk to him about college and my experience at Fresno State, and point out campus landmarks along our path. Any opportunity I can seize to get him excited about going to college is something I want to take advantage of! (However, I didn’t expect “A fountain!” AND Taco Bell!” to be the key things he would notice, ha!)
If you prefer a shorter walk to Bulldog Bowling, the parking lots off of Barstow may be a better bet. If you can’t find a temporary parking spot, there are day passes sold in many of the lots inexpensively, and they will save you from a campus parking ticket.
Local AMF bowling alleys do not have birthday party prices posted on their websites, I believe because the prices are set by the individual locations, however, my understanding is that Bulldog Bowling is significantly more affordable than AMF for a kids’ birthday, yet every bit as fun and hospitable. Plus, you get to show your kiddo the fun side of college!
I hope you’re finding this series of posts helpful! For the first and second installments of Best Birthday Party Spots, click here.
Special thanks to The Brandon Family, for allowing me to share photos from their son’s birthday party held at Bulldog Bowl. 🙂
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