Park Lanes

Even though I stink at it, I really like bowling. Sure, my average game is around a buck twenty-five, sure, I’m lucky if I can bump that up to 150 with the bumpers. And, those wonderful scores are without the aid of alcohol. I get to experience that ineptitude with full sobriety.

My wife, though, she’s not much into bowling. It’s just not her thing, even though she is good at it. Better than me. That’s cool, though. My son, he likes it, my daughter, she takes after her mother. This is what makes Park Lanes Family Entertainment Center in Hillsboro, about fifteen minutes from downtown Portland, the perfect night out for our family.

Sure. Park Lanes Family Entertainment Center offers 32 bowling alleys with state of the art scoring systems and automatic bumpers, and sure, they light up during the weekly weekend of cosmic bowling and, sure, it’s open every day. But now, there’s so much more. Now, there’s something for everybody, and, thanks to recent renovations, you can make a day of it.

So, we show up. My son and Igrab some rental shoes and bowl a couple of frames. Since we both stink at bowling, our scores barely register on the score sheet and we go to the pro shop and get some advice from the onsite trainer. We bowl another frame. We still stink, but it doesn’t matter. We still have fun. After we turn in our rental shoes, my wife and daughter Whack—A-Mole, Dance Dance Revolution, and Skee Ball their evening away in the massive arcade. My son joins them while I don a batting helmet and batting gloves and struggle to hit 60 MPH fastballs in the batting cages. I’m always glad that no one can see me.

Of course, I’m a middle aged man. While the kids may be able to run around all day with nary a deep breath to take, I need to rest my sore, aching body. Fortunately, there are forty large, HD televisions peppered around the 4,000 acre facility. And, of course, we all, regardless of age, work up an appetite. And, the restaurant on site helps out in that area as well.

So, after we convince the kids to take a break, we sit down and order some reasonably priced food and, for me, a nice refreshing brew. Burgers, fries, hot dogs, wraps, sandwiches, some killer chili: it’s all here, it’s all delicious and it’s all affordable, even for a family of four.

Park Lanes Family Entertainment Center is located at 6360 SE Alexander Street in Hillsboro. It’s one of our favorite ways to spend a weekend and, odds are, you haven’t heard of it. Check it out. You’ll have a blast and you’ll be even more grateful that you live in the Portland/Metropolitan area. There is always something to do.

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