For years, I've watched people on TV and in the movies going bowling, and thinking not only that it looked like fun, but that it looked like something I might be able to DO. A couple of weeks ago, I got a chance to test my theory with the grand opening of Allfam Bowling and Family Entertainment Center
in Cabot (2350 Lakewood Dr., 501-941-3225). The Verdict: It is kinda fun, but it is not something I can do. I'll keep trying, though.
The new place is nice--bright and clean, staffed with fresh-faced, clean-cut teenagers who are very helpful, polite and respectful. After hearing stories about the behavior of a relative's high school students, I was encouraged to see that Arkansas' youth is not a lost cause. The atmosphere is festive (as is the carpet
), and indeed very family-friendly. It's not so crowded that other people's children are in your face, though.
Admittedly, bowling is new to me, so I was really impressed with features such as the automatic bumpers that you can set to engage automatically upon any particular player's turn. I'll insist that it was the use of these bumpers that allowed my 4-year-old daughter to out-bowl me. Twice. Which wouldn't have been so bad, if she hadn't been prone to doing the bowling equivalent of an end-zone dance after every frame. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any penalty for excessive celebration in bowling.
We've been back once since the opening weekend, and plan to keep going whenever we can. We didn't realize how much something like this was needed in this area--an activity that is G-rated, that the whole family can enjoy. There almost always seems to be a wait for a lane, but there's an arcade/game room with pool, air-hockey, and various video games to make your wait time go by faster, as well as a decent in-house restaurant that serves up a variety of menu items, from munchies to meals.
Heck, now that the world of bowling's been opened up to us, we might just try miniature golf next. Who knows what's in store after that? Renting an RV? Instituting a family game night? We're an actual grown-up family! Wow. And that's at least as entertaining as watching "The Big Lebowski," speaking of which, when you're a bad bowler, like me, you really can't hear the crack, "Mark it a zero, man," often enough.