It seems like we’re constantly planning birthday parties in our family. Last month was my grandson Devon’s 8th. birthday. He’s at the age where he really likes to be involved with the planning.
This year he choose his venue, his cake, and his menu. His venue was the bowling alley in their Atlanta neighborhood, this made choosing a theme easy. It only made sense that he had a Bowling Party!
A Bowling Party is a great way to celebrate a birthday party. It’s super easy to plan, won’t break the bank, no cooking involved, and everyone has a great time. Of course you still have to plan the details, in our case it was really just party favors, we went with “team” t-shirts for all the kids and a framed photo with the birthday boy for all the guests. Everyone loved it!
Here’s how you too can plan a bowling party for kids and adults!
First price and secure your venue. Choose a bowling alley that has a restaurant with a pretty good menu, meaning not just frozen pizza and snacks. Most bowling alleys offer party packages that may include the cost of a lane or two, shoe rentals, food, and drinks. Packages are usually priced per person. This can get costly and you get very little food; they usually offer a pizza and a pitcher of soda per 5-6 people. Check the pricing and see if you’re better off ordering food a la carte. I’m pretty sure you can’t bring your own food in, except the cake. Also see if the bowling alley offers specials on certain days or times.
In our case the bowling alley has a special price on Sunday afternoons, $1/game. Shoe rental were $3. When my daughter priced it out it was way cheaper to pay per game, rent the kids shoes, and order a la carte than buying the birthday package. Because we ordered a la carte we were able to have sliders, fries, wings, and pizza. Pitchers of soda were refillable so that worked out well. In fact there was enough money in the budget to buy game tokens so the kids could also play the arcade games!
The only downside to not buying the birthday package was lanes aren’t reserved for you, it’s on a first come first serve basis. But this is easily solved, just get there early or have a friend or family member arrive early to pay for the lanes you need. In our case we only needed 2 lanes, only 10 kids bowled.
Once you have your venue and date set it’s time to send out invitations.
I made these invitations using my Cricut Explore Air die cutting machine. But if you don’t have a die cut machine, no worries you can still make them using card stock, glue, and scissors.
I shared the template and instructions on my post Bowling Party Invitations. Click here for the free templates![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Once the invitations were sent we ordered the cake. Devon decided he wanted a cookie cake that was decorated to look like a bowling lane. We ordered the bowling set cake topper from Amazon for less than $7. Devon also wanted his favorite cake at his party so we ordered a small 9″ round cake and made this cake banner for it.
Click here to learn how to DIY this cake banner![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
The only other thing we had to bring to the bowling alley were party favors. We had decided it would be cute to make the kids “team” shirts.
So I got out my handy Cricut and made some iron on transfers which my daughter ironed on to white t-shirts. The transfer is designed to look like a vintage 1950’s bowling sign and said “Team Buddha”, that’s Devon’s nickname. We also made transfers with each child’s name so the the shirt would be personalized. The kids loved their shirts!
We also made photo frames for the kids and the adult guests. We just love this idea! We’ve done this for several parties including my daughter’s bridal shower and her wedding rehearsal dinner a few years ago. The idea to take each guest’s photo with the celebrant, print it out, and place it in a souvenir frame that reflects the party theme. It’s a great keepsake and guests just love it.
For this party we used card stock for the frames which again were cut by the Cricut Explore. But you don’t need a die cut machine to make it. Just a bit of patience!
The frames again had “Team Buddha” on the top. We added magnetic strips to the back and turned them into refrigerator magnets.
I’m sharing the template and instructions for these frames. You can download and print, as for the name you can leave it blank or hand write your child’s name or what ever you like on them.
Click here for the template!
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Here’s what you need to make these cute frames:
Cricut Explore Air Cutting Machine OR
Scissors or Exacto Knife to cut by hand
Magnet strips [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Here’s how to put it together”
Download and save the template to your desktop so you can find it easily.
If you need to resize the frame pop it into a photo editing app like photoshop or use picmonkey.com an online photo editor for free. You can resize the template to the size you want. I made ours 5″ x 7″ and the inside cut out 4.5″ x 6.5″ so that it fits a 4×6 photo.
Print out the frame template on card stock and use it to cut out your frames from what ever color card stock you want to use.
Cut out the frames.
Print out the bowling pin and other images. Print the amount you need. Cut them out.
Once you have everything cut out it’s time to glue them together.
Glue the front of the frame to the backing on 3 side, leave the top so you can slide the photo in.
Glue the other pieces to the front making sure you don’t glue them to the backing. If you want you can print your child’s name or what ever you like on the red and white diamonds.
Stick on magnet strips to the back.
This Bowling Party had to be one of the easiest parties we’ve ever thrown! No cooking and no clean-up! Best of all everyone had a great time!