The Top 3 Bowling Alleys in St. Louis

So you’re in St. Louis and you fancy a game of bowling? First head off downtown near the baseball stadium to the International Bowling Museum. This three story 50,000 sq. ft. building also houses the St. Louis Cardinal’s Hall of Fame. Here you can roll a couple of balls down a restored 1930’s lane and check out the collection of Mettlach steins and look at the 1950’s bowling shirts. Tenpin Alley features life-sized, interactive dioramas of all things bowling right back to the ancient Egyptians. Hey, they had beer, so it was only natural to have bowling, right? You’ll find out that bowling balls were even used as weapons in ancient times. All you had to do was knock out 300 opponents and score a perfect game. Stop by the store and check out the collection of bowling coins (bowling coins?) for sale, or maybe pick up one of those cool shirts to impress all of your friends back home. Or you can buy a hat, ball, or a book about bowling. The museum is open 11-4 Oct.-Mar. and 9-5 during the summer. The admission price is $7.50.

 

Tip: You might want to wait if the Cardinals have a game scheduled, the crowds can be pretty hairy, that is unless you want to make a day of it. Check out the bowling museum, the Cardinal’s Museum and then watch one of the greatest teams in history play.

 

Pin-Up Bowl is at 6191 Delmar in the Loop District just west of St. Louis. It was the brainchild of Joe Edwards, the owner of the nightclub Blueberry Hill that’s right up the street. Joe has been almost single-handedly responsible for revitalizing this once rundown neighborhood of St. Louis. Pin-Up Bowl’s motto is “Upscale Bowling, Martini’s and Munchies.” It offers up eight lanes of bowling, as well as an extensive menu of classic martinis. The full bar in this classy joint also has a good selection of beer and liquor. It is only one of 30 clubs, bars and night spots to receive the Conde Nast Traveler Hot Nights award. The Hot Nights List features some of the hottest and hippest hangout places around the globe.

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Tip: While you are there, be sure to check out some of the other restaurants and clubs along the Loop, or maybe take in a movie at the classic 1920’s theatre, the Tivoli.

 

If chugging beer and sipping martinis along with the occasional cigar, is not your idea of a good night out at the bowling alley, after all you got the kids, then head on out to good old South County. On Tesson Ferry Road right off of Interstate 270, you’ll find Concord Lanes and Arizona Action Park. Now we all know that bowling is not the most intense sport around, so if you’re more athletically inclined, this is the place to be. You can slug a few balls at the batting cages, play some sand volleyball, or if you’re really adventurous, climb the rock wall. For the slightly more reserved, there is a full miniature golf course. The place also has a daycare sports camp for the kids. They can play there while you head towards the Coyote Canyon Saloon, (est. 1959), and get a cold one while your watching the game on the giant big screen TV.

 

The final spot on our Top 3 Bowling Alleys in St. Louis list is quietly tucked away on Sutton Avenue in Maplewood, slightly west and south of the city. The place is a little hard to find, the only thing announcing it is the small sign that is printed on the door: “8 lanes upstairs since 1916.” The retro ambience of this place is for real, no plastic reproductions. The wood paneling looks like it is straight out of the 1970’s. The rack of embattled black rubber bowling balls interspersed with the odd neon pink or lime one has got to tell you something. An old clock from the long shuttered Maplewood Bank and Trust still (mostly) keeps time behind the bar. A row of checkered painted metal lockers sit along the wall. The place is small and intimate, you can see the lanes and the rest of the room, including the bar, from just about any vantage point. This is a good thing because at one point in the bar’s history you would probably would want to keep an eye on the characters coming in through the front door.
If Saratoga Lanes sounds like a cool place to book a party, it is, but good luck as the joint is booked solid from October to March. Last year the alternative country music festival, Twangfest, held their Twangpin bowling tournament there to a sold out crowd. It makes you wonder who lives, or works downstairs!