Marcus Lawrence | 

National Bowling Day: How to Get a Strike for Free on Aug. 10

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If it’s been a while since you’ve gone bowling, National Bowling Day is the perfect opportunity to get back to the lanes. That’s because in the latter days of summer, hundreds of bowling alleys welcome new and returning bowlers with free and cheap games, contests, and more. 

National Bowling Day takes place on the second Saturday of August, and we’ve found out who is known for offering free bowling. So grab your fam, lace up those rental shoes, and let’s get rolling.

It is worth noting that while these larger bowling chains celebrate big, some local lanes might have less-advertised promos on Saturday. It’s worth calling your local lanes to check.

(NOTE: Most of these deals do not include shoe rentals.)

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National Bowling Day is a daylong event where alleys offer free bowling and other specials.

On National Bowling Day, bowling alley chains and independent alleys across the United States offer discounted rates and promotions to promote bowling and make it more accessible. Deals often include reduced prices per game or free games, along with discounts on food, beverages, and event packages.

The event started in 2011 by the Bowling Proprietor’s Association of America, Inc. — taking place in mid-August because of bowling’s popularity as a summertime activity. 

The next National Bowling Day will take place on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2024.

National Bowling Day happens on the second Saturday of August every year. This year, that means it’ll be on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2024.

National Bowling Day deals we expect to see return in 2024:

GoBowling.com

One of the best bowling deals you can use during National Bowling Day is through GoBowling.com. When you sign up for the Go Bowling Squad, you immediately get a free game at participating bowling alleys. Plus, you’ll get more deals in your inbox after you’re signed up.

Bowlero/AMF/Lucky Strike

The biggest name in bowling alley chains, Bowlero used to offer the chain’s rewards members two free games just for signing up. We haven’t seen that in a few years, but as of 2023, they offered 15% off parties/events and 15% off lane reservations. 

This applied to all Bowlero-owned bowling alleys: Bowler, AMF, and Lucky Strike.

EVO & ShowBiz Cinemas & Bowling 

On National Bowling Day, EVO and ShowBiz locations — which are massive entertainment complexes with bowling, movies, video games, and more — gave customers a $10 game card with purchase of a bowling lane. The game card works on their dozens of video games scattered around the venue. There are 13 EVO locations and 5 ShowBiz locations in the Southeastern U.S.

WhirlyBall

In 2023, WhirlyBall — a bowling alley chain with several locations from Wisconsin to Colorado — offers free bowling to guests who sign up through their Eventbrite portal. WhirlyBall is in the Chicago, IL; Naperville, IL; Brookfield, WI; Vernon Hills, IL; or Colorado Springs, CO areas.

KidsBowlFree.com

You can use any of the above deals — or any other National Bowling Day deals at your local, independent bowling alley — in conjunction with the KidsBowlFree.com program. The program offers two free games per child (ages 2-15) every day through the summer at participating bowling alleys. Most free bowl seasons run through the end of August, and several run through mid- to late September.

Check with your local bowling alley; many offer National Bowling Day promos.

Your best bet for finding a bowling alley participating in National Bowling Day is to visit GoBowling.com and search for locations near you. When you find one, look in the box that says “Bowling center participating promotions” — if they’re participating, there will be a graphic that says “Bowing Day”. 

Then, give the alley a call or visit their website. Here are the kinds of things we’re seeing these independent bowling alleys offer: 

  • Free Kids' Games

  • Discounted Lane Rentals

  • Special Food Deals

  • Bowling Equipment Discounts

  • Prize Giveaways

  • Free Bowling Lessons

Saturday, August 12, 2023, is National Bowling Day, which means it’s time to bring out your competitive side. We’ve got all the best National Bowling Day freebies so you can take your friends and family out for a fun day without spending a fortune.

Each year, National Bowling Day takes place on the second Saturday of August. We’ve found a handful of centers offering free bowling this Saturday. So grab your fam, lace up your rental shoes, and let’s get rolling.

It is worth noting that while these larger bowling chains celebrate big, some local lanes might have less-advertised promos on Saturday. It’s worth calling your local lanes to check.

NOTE: Most of these deals do not include shoe rentals.

Visit GoBowling.com to score a free game at a center near you.

     

One of the best bowling deals going right now is through Gobowling.com. When you sign up for the Go Bowling Squad, you immediately get a free game at participating bowling alleys. Plus, you’ll get more deals in your inbox after you’re signed up.

KidsBowlFree.com offers up two free games every week for free through the summer.

A group of children bowling together 2020

This isn’t technically a National Bowling Day deal — it works all summer. Register your kids for the Kids Bowl Free program and they can play two bowling games free per child every day through the summer months at participating bowling alley locations. The duration of the bowling coupons varies by bowling center. Most free bowl seasons run through the end of August, and several run through mid to late September.

If you want to bowl alongside your kid for cheap, the site also has family passes for one to four adults for $21.95 – $36.95.

Related: Indoor Activities for Bored Kids

Bring the bowling alley home for National Bowling Day with VR.

Man on couch using VR 2020

Want to keep bowling long after your lanes have closed for the day? You can still bowl some strikes from home with the Meta Quest VR.

You can buy a Meta Quest 2 for $299 if they’re available. After that, download Premium Bowling, a game a lot of people think feels like real-life bowling, for just $19.99.

While $320 may sound like a lot for bowling, you can use it endlessly and never worry about paying for shoes (or overpriced food) at the alleys again.

Dust off your Nintendo Wii for some Wii bowling.

Wii remote being held 2020

Time for some nostalgia! Over 100 million Nintendo Wiis were sold, so there’s a decent chance yours is still in the attic. And, since most consoles came with Wii Sports, you can have a free Wii Bowling experience with the whole family. Aren’t you glad you didn’t throw it into the garage sale pile now?

Or get outside for some lawn bowling.

Man lawn bowling 2020

Feel like getting some fresh air and trying something new? Give lawn bowling a shot on National Bowling Day. It’s super simple to set up in your backyard.

You can grab lawn bowling sets for under $30. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than bringing the family to the alley when the free games aren’t available.

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