Bowlero Lanes & Lounge -Inclusive Bowling in Royal Oak
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Bowling is such a fun family sport. In addition to the great physical benefits, like strengthening muscles and improving flexibility, bowling provides families with the opportunity to connect and bond over a relatively screen-free activity. Children can learn about taking turns, lane etiquette, math (try manually keeping track of the score) and some great physics lessons (force, motion, inertia, and more). Bowlero Lanes is a newly remodeled retro bowling alley located on Coolidge Highway in Royal Oak, Michigan. They offer an inclusive environment where families can have fun, reconnect and of course, bowl.
Recently Bowlero Lanes & Lounge underwent a $1.4M renovation under their new ownership. Kelly Elliott, who now owns Bowlero with her husband, Dean, and friend, Dave Zainea, lead the design effort which brings back the nostalgia of mid-century bowling lanes. One of the most significant changes made were updates that made the building ADA compliant. The goal is to provide a space that is inclusive to all families and their needs. This is why the bowling center has also become a Certified Autism Center, which is a designation by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES, ibcces.org). The Autism Society (autism-society.org) endorses this certification. The society “recognizes organizations that have a highly trained staff and are fully equipped to serve the fastest-growing population of developmental disorders”. All employees must be specially trained to work with special needs clientele in order to meet the requirements for this designation.
Every first and third Monday of the month Bowlero hosts a Sensory Monday event from 2 pm to 8 pm. This event is designed especially for people with sensory differences. During those events, the facility will have dimmer lighting, lower music volume, availability of noise-canceling headphones, weighted blankets & vests, visual timers, pop up tents to manage overstimulation, and designated break areas. The venue provides individual party planning for families with special needs.
Bowlero offers open bowling during their normal business hours. They are open Sunday through Wednesday: 11 am to 11 pm, Thursday 11 am to midnight and Friday and Saturday they are open from 11 am to 2 am. Their league hours are currently (as of 11/1/19) Tuesday and Thursday from 7 pm to 9 pm and Wednesday (specifically for individuals with special needs) from 3 pm to 5 pm. Bowlero’s open bowling rates range from $20 per hour up to $35 per hour for peak bowling times. Shoe rental is $3 per player.
In addition to bowling, Bowlero Lanes & Lounge in Royal Oak offers several arcade games including my personal favorite, pinball. The Lounge offers an adults-only atmosphere and live weekly entertainment, usually on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.