Category: Birthday Party

How to Throw the Perfect Bowling Birthday Party

bowling birthday partyIf bowling’s your thing, why not throw yourself a bowling birthday party?

It was great fun when you were a kid. It can be even more fun as an adult!

And don’t think it has to cost a lot of money. It’s not uncommon for bowling party invitations to include a flat contribution to offset the cost of renting the lanes.

Will that reduce the fun? No. Like any party, it’s people having fun that makes it or breaks it.

With a bowling party, the key is to help party-goers know what to expect and feel comfortable. Especially anyone who hasn’t bowled in a while. Or ever.

All you need is a theme. The rest will fall into place. From the paper or electronic invitation, food served, recommended style of dress, and decorations, you’ll have an easy plan for throwing a memorable party.

To get you rolling, here are a few bowling birthday party ideas and tips.

Retro

What’s your favorite bowling era?

Is it the 1940s and 50s, which many people consider the golden age of bowling?

If so, asks guests to dress in poodle skirts and sweater sets (for the gals) or casual trousers and button-down shirts (for the guys). Serve burgers, soda in bottles, and traditional french fries. Offer yo-yos or hula hoops as prizes for a top score or player most likely to improve.

If the 70s are more your scene, break out the disco ball!

Encourage guests to wear their best spandex and platform shoes. See your favorite venue has a neon or psychedelic night, which would be perfect for your 70s bowling birthday party. Have prizes of pet rocks and macrame plant hangers.

Or maybe The Big Lebowski is more your style.

In that case, send invitations that incorporate The Dude. Ask everyone to wear their best (or rattiest) bathrobes. Make sure that canned tuna is the menu and beverage options include white Russians.

Milestone Birthdays

Will your bowling party be a celebration of a milestone like sweet 16 or the big 5-0? There are lots of ways to underscore the milestone.

If you’re throwing the party for someone else, give the guest of honor a bowling shirt with their age incorporated in name embroidered on the front.

Offer a prize to the first player to get the exact score that represents the age being celebrated.

Friendly Competition

An appealing aspect of bowling is that it can be a relaxed, friendly game or be fierce and competitive. A successful birthday bowling party strikes a balance between the two.

To keep things light and party-like, design the teams like you would seat people for a dinner party. Place couples or BFFs on different teams. Mix high-scorers with novices. If you have some intense players, don’t put them all one team.

Give prizes at the end of each game instead of a “best of” series.

Most people’s interest and energy wane after three games. Keep things lively by rearranging the teams after each game.

Don’t play elimination style. The point of a bowling birthday party is to bowl, not sit on the sidelines watching other people bowl. Nothing can make the party fall apart faster than dividing guests into camps of active and inactive participants.

At several points during play, remind people that it’s a friendly game. You know which of your guests is competitive. Do what you can, as host, to not let their intensity spoil the fun for others.

Special Rules

One way to take a birthday bowling party up a notch is to implement unusual rules. You can apply them to the whole game or specific frames. It’s a great way to break the ice and level the playing field if guests have different skill levels.

For the best outcome, keep special rules simple to understand and follow. A few suggestions are:

  • Odd frames are played right-handed while even frames are played left-handed
  • Players must dance, never walk, toward the foul line
  • Players predict which pins they’ll knock down before they throw the ball
  • Sitting at the foul line and pushing the ball down the lane (This one might work best toward the end of the party!)

Give them a try.

Make It Easy

You might be a bowling enthusiast with frequent shopper status with equipment retailers like BowlingShoes. But some of the people who want to go to your bowling birthday party might not be so familiar with the game.

Make it easy for newbies or the less confident among your guests to enjoy the game. Offer links to the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) page with video tutorials. Remind them to wear comfortable clothes and wear or bring socks to wear with rented bowling shoes.

At the start of the party, outline if you’ll be using any unique rules for the game. And offer all kinds of prizes to encourage skilled and novice players alike.

Give people time to find the right ball in terms of weight. Help newbies understand how their choice could affect speed and control, not to mention hand and arm muscles they probably didn’t know they had!

The Bowling Birthday Party Invitation

Invitations do more than tell people when and where the party is. They also set expectations.

With bowling parties, there are aspects that differ from your ordinary kind of party.

For example, make it clear on the invitation that guests don’t have to be expert bowlers to attend. Keep the tone light to reinforce that it’s about having fun, not perfecting one’s game.

There’s an additional way to reinforce the expectation that everyone is welcome. Ask people to state their bowling comfort level when RSVPing ‘yes’. Keep it fun and simple with three choices such as Total Beginner, Know My Way Around the Lane, Bowling Is My Life’s Purpose.

If you need contributions to make renting the venue affordable, say so in the invitation. Give people three options such as $10, $20, $30 per person to not exclude anyone.

Also, tell people how to get the money to you. Electronic transfers and cash at the event are the two most common ways.

At the Party

A final tip about bowling parties is to focus more on the people than the game. Mingling and chatting between frames doesn’t cost anything extra. Yet, it boosts the value of the experience for everyone.

Now that you know how to throw a great bowling party, there only one thing left to. Get ready to have fun!

For other frugal living ideas, check out more blog posts!

Awesome Sweet 16 Party Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

sweet 16 partyIs your daughter about to turn 16?

She might imagine stretch limos and pop stars at her party, complete with 200 of her closest friends.

You as a parent probably have a more realistic vision. You certainly want to celebrate her big day in style, but you don’t want to break the bank doing it.

Don’t worry. Planning an awesome sweet 16 party doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With a little research and creativity, you can throw a party she’ll remember forever.

Here are some tips for planning a sweet 16 party on a budget.

Prioritize

If you’re on a tight budget, a surprise party probably isn’t the way to go. A better option would be to sit down with your daughter and find out what’s most important to her.

Does she want a big guest list or just a few close friends? Would she like the party to be at home or a different venue? What type of food, music and decor does she want?

Depending on her preferences, you may be able to pick one area to splurge while saving in another. If you need help estimating costs, try downloading a free event budget template.

By talking openly about the party, you can plan an event that will thrill your daughter without draining your bank account.

Take Advantage of Technology

Back in the “good old days,” throwing a birthday party often meant hiring a professional photographer and a live DJ.

But this is 2017, and times have changed. All your daughter’s friends certainly have cell phones, and they’ll probably spend most of the night snapping selfies. Then everyone can upload their pictures to a photo-sharing site or a Cloud folder after the party.

There’s no need to spend money on a DJ, either. Have your daughter create a playlist of her favorite songs or use a streaming service like Pandora to pump music into the party.

Sweet 16 Party Invitations

In today’s age of electronics, traditional paper invitations are becoming a rare sight.

Impress your daughter (and her friends) by creating beautiful custom invitations for her sweet 16 party. Use fun scrolling fonts and bright colors to match the decor and festive spirit.

Not only will this turn the party into a proper event, but it makes a great memento for a scrapbook.

Get Crafty

For party planning on a budget, there’s no better way to save money than to roll up your sleeves and get creative.

Why order an expensive cake from the bakery when you could bake one yourself? Cupcakes are another popular, easy-to-make option.

Rather than ordering centerpieces from a florist, why not make a colorful “candy bouquet” instead? Cover a floral foam box with colorful wrapping paper and make a bouquet of lollipops and suckers. Pop it into a bright box with some tissue paper, and your centerpieces are good to go!

Party favors don’t have to break the bank, either. You could make up a batch of mint lemonade lip scrub for the girls to use during the party. Better yet, divvy it up for them to take home afterward.

With a little ingenuity, you can host an awesome sweet 16 party for your daughter. Check out my craft blogs for more great DIY ideas!

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