Shaker Bowl: Out of This World Bowling in Western Massachusetts

Shaker Bowl is not your father’s bowling alley.

From the outside, it looks like every other bowling alley you’ve ever seen. But don’t let Shaker Bowl’s boring exterior fool you. Inside is a 21st century bowling experience.

Like every ten-pin bowling alley, Shaker Bowl has seasonal leagues that cater to every skill level. There’s a pro shop, snack bar (cleverly named “Laneside Grill”) and arcade, all more or less what you’d expect them to be. Where Shaker Bowl stands out is the décor and atmosphere.

The entire place feels alive. The multi-colored swirls of the carpet match the equally colorful detailing on the walls and lanes. The lanes themselves are well lit, and perfectly maintained. The state-of-the-art scoring system is easy to read and use, even for novice bowlers.

But it’s under the black lights of “Galactic Bowling”, every Friday and Saturday night, when Shaker Bowl really shines. Now, the crazy colors make sense as everything in the place glows. Colored nightclub lights join rope lights along every lane to give the place a “futuristic” look. It sounds like it should be cheesy, and it is a bit, but it still works because it’s just plain fun. Adding to the fun are silly games (like bowling backwards) for prizes and a live DJ and free shoes. Make reservations for your 2 ½ hour block in advance, or you won’t get a lane, it’s that popular, especially at only $17 per person.

Shaker Bowl offers regular open bowling for purists, but even then there are a ton of great specials to take advantage of. Sunday night after 9pm is “Hip Night”, featuring unlimited bowling for $9 per person, including shoes. Tuesday and Wednesday, every game after 9pm is only $1.99. Thursday is another unlimited bowling night (again, after 9pm) that includes unlimited pizza slices for $13 per person. It makes for a nice date night, if you and your partner are so inclined. Finally, Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 8pm, you can get the Pizza, Pins and Pop special. For $54.95 per lane, you get a large pizza, one pitcher of soda, free shoes and all the bowling you can squeeze into two hours for as many people as you want to bring. This is the time to bring the kids!

In the Springfield area, there are multiple options to get your bowling fix. The next time you and your friends are looking for a game, or you’re looking for something to do with the kids on a rainy weekend afternoon, Shaker Bowl should be the first place you think to go.

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