Wilsonville Lanes
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Wilsonville Lanes - clean and tidy bowling alleyWhat’s to Love: My son and I stumbled onto Wilsonville Lanes by accident. We were in the parking lot of Bullwinkle’s Family Fun Center, and my son said, “Dad can we go bowling?” I replied, “I don’t think there is a bowling alley nearby.” At that point, I looked in the distance and sure enough, Wilsonville Lanes appeared. In this area of strip-malls and car dealerships, I didn’t expect much, but was pleasantly surprised.

Metal Ball Launcher at Wilsonville LanesThis alley is within 1/8 of a mile of Bullwinkle’s, which makes it easy to combine both places into the same trip. If you’re traveling 20 miles from Portland, that is an important factor! Wilsonville Lanes offers something very special for bowling with young children and toddlers – bumpers for the gutters. Okay, I realize that most bowling alleys have that feature; however, Wilsonville Lanes has AUTOMATED bumpers!!! Wow!

The electronic setup was so easy. During the setup, the computer asked me if I wanted bumpers for each player. When it was my son’s turn, the bumpers would pop-up. When it was my turn, they disappeared like magic. The friendly attendants set us up with a metal-ramp so my son could push the balls down the lane. We practically had the place to ourselves.

There are some other really nice things about this place: a great air-hockey table, plenty of pool tables (rent by the minute so watch out!) and video games for older kids, and the overall cleanliness is above par for sure.

Pull up a stool at the cafe - Wilsonville Lanes has onsite food serviceCaveats: For a bowling experience with kids, I can’t think of a single issue I had with this place. Of course, if you’re from Portland, you’ll have to drive almost 20 miles.

Website: Wilsonville Lanes, Inc.

Distance from Portland: Within 20 miles of downtown Portland

Recommended Ages: Bowling is great fun for the whole family – a young toddler can push a ball down a ramp no problem. There are plenty of other options here for older kids as well.

Parental Stress Factor: Low stress! Just make sure your young kids don’t drop the bowling balls on their little feet.

Physical Difficulty: Bowling isn’t particularly physical, but if you haven’t bowled in a while, you’ll probably feel it the next day.

Family Fun Factor: Medium to High! It’s a great time bowling at Wilsonville Lanes, and I know they have some special programs for families. Please check their website for more information.

Pet Friendly: Nope!

Weather Considerations: Bowling is the perfect activity for a dreary winter day.

Very nice pool tables at Wilsonville LanesInsider Info: Bullwinkle’s Family Fun Center is within 1/8 of a mile. So, when your kids get tired of bowling, you can pack-up and head over to play some putt-putt golf, drive the go-karts, or whatever.

Check-out their website for special family bowling activities including birthday parties.

Service Center and Pro Shop at Wilsonville LanesFamily Tips: If you combine bowling and Bullwinkle’s, it really makes the drive worth it. For young children, the bowling alley groups all the extra-light balls together in a single area, which is very nice. When you get checked-in, the desk will direct you to this colorful collection of balls.

Wilsonville Lanes hatitles a full service restaurant, and I did not try the food. Generally, we bring our own healthy snacks to our destinations. However, since they have a restaurant, the alley does not allow outside food or drinks. If you do bring your own food, you’ll have to eat in the car.

Technorati Tags: Wilsonville bowling, bowling with kids in Portland, bumper bowling, automated, ball launchers, Bullwinkle’s Family Fun Center

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