Pinstripes Tot Bowling

In most cases, the thought of giving my boys seven pound balls to throw is TERRIFYING, but thankfully there are places like Pinstripes that embrace this crazy notion.  Every weekday morning you will find kiddos across Chicagoland taking advantage of Pinstripes Tot Bowling.

Pinstripes Tot Bowling -

Every time we visit, Pinstripes is totally equipped for the onslaught of two vivacious little boys.  They have bowling shoes as small as a toddler size 7, as well as somewhat lighter bowling balls (6 lbs minimum) and amazing ball ramps that allow your toddler to safely bowl…independently!

My boys were so excited to be able to be such “big boys” and kept practicing different ways to run up to the ball ramp when they weren’t contemplating what color ball to use.  Since there were almost ten of us there the last time we played during a family outing, they had any colors to chose from, but they fell in love with their uncle’s personalized ball.


Between turns we had delicious food to snack on, as well as refreshing drinks for the adults and wonderfully lidded cups for the little guys.  The unanimous favorite was the chicken avocado flatbread, but everything we ordered–from the bruschetta to the pizzas–were devoured.  There were also televisions set up throughout the alley so that everyone was entertained, even when they got a gutter ball.  But not me, of course.  I just may have set up the bumpers for myself, as well as the boys.

And since I know I’m not the only one going stir crazy with rough and tough Mother Nature on our hands, be sure to check out Pinstripe’s Toddler Bowling which takes place every weekday from 10-12 at the Northbrook location. The only bummer is that the Northbrook location keeps changing their policies on pricing and when food is available, which is something that you don’t want to mess around with when kids are involved.


As of Spring 2015, their new policy is to charge children $3 per game and $4 for a shoe rental (sizes start at a kid’s 6) with parents bowling free.  Even if you aren’t interested in bowling, I highly recommend that you put your name into the computer in order to maximize the amount of time you get playing for the new price.

Their new policy is to not serve lunch until 11:30, so be sure to make a reservation for a lane around 11, so that the food is ready just when the kids are starting to lose interest in the game and instead focus on the great kids meals (Make sure you get the breadsticks and cookies that are included in the kids’ meals, too!).


With our favorite guy working so close to Pinstripes, it is a very fun and unique way for him to spend his lunch hour…his boss even wants to come!

Looking for other indoor fun?  Check this page out.

Happy Bowling!
Amanda 🙂
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  1. dogear6 says

    My sister and I used to love taking the kids bowling, especially when the alleys had the bumpers along the side. I’m not surprised your two liked your brother’s ball the best! a) it’s his and b) I bet it was nicer than anything else there. It being his is, of course, the best reason to covet it.

    It’s also a great way to wear out the kids and just get out of the house for a while!


  2. karrileea says

    This looks like so much fun! In fact, my husband has been trying to talk me into a bowling night for a few months now! (I am not very good – and then had an injury to my wrist and we haven’t gone back out to play!) But this post may have just inspired me to give it a try again! Happy New Year!

  3. abbasshoulders says

    I did the Kids Bowl For Free program this summer with our kids and they LOVED it!!! Its never too cold here, just too wet or too hot! Love the pictures…makes me want to head back there again!!

  4. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    My boys love bowling. Here in New England, we have Candlepin bowling, so our balls are much smaller and easier to work with for the kids.

    • amandasimkin says

      My brother in law is from outside of Boston and he always tells us about the amazingness of Candlepin bowling…he took my sister last Thanksgiving and they had a blast. I guess I just have to tag along to Boston the next time they go! It is one of my favorite cities. Hope it stops snowing for you soon!

  5. Melissa Pezza says

    We love to take the kids bowling. It’s a great way to get in some exercise AND some family bonding. I especially love watching the kids. There’s nothing cuter than a kid bowling.

  6. Terri Ramsey Beavers says

    Bowling is so much fun and we always have a great time when we go. I just wish there was a bowling alley closer to my home, it’s about a 2 hour drive, 1 way, and the kids get annoyed waiting to get there lol.

  7. Nancy says

    I have to say. Bowling here in the USA is SO much harder than in Canada. The bowling balls with the holes for your fingers? They are SO heavy and SO huge… in Canada we have one’s that are a bit bigger than softballs, so they’re easier to manage lol :/

    • amandasimkin says

      Wow, that’s crazy! On the east coast they have bowling similar to what you are talking about. I feel like there is a special name for it too…something that starts with an S.

  8. Roselynn says

    It looks like the kids and the whole family had a lot of fun with the bowling. I’m personally not a big fan of it, but that’s probably because I didn’t do it for the first time until recently. I wish I had played as a kid.

  9. Bonnie @ wemake7 says

    Pinstripes looks like a great place to have fun with family. We haven’t been bowling for months. We really have to get back to doing that again.

    • amandasimkin says

      And the food and drinks are amazing, too! We plan on going to Sunday brunch soon once our busy schedules clear out a bit.

  10. CourtneyLynne says

    Omg this looks like so much fun! My hubby and I were just talking about how it’s been forever since we’ve gone bowling!

  11. HilLesha says

    I’m a terrible bowler, but I guess I haven’t really given bowling much of a chance, considering I have only bowled for a few times. Maybe someday!

    • amandasimkin says

      Go where the have bowling ramps…my one year old was having a blast when we went and it was so easy to accommodate him!

  12. Yona Williams says

    Bowling is so much fun. I really don’t recall going that much as a kid. Maybe like one memory. As for my nephew, he’s gone so many times, he can’t stand it. However, he taller and a little older now, maybe he will take it more serious the next time we go.

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