Free Bowling for Kids – How to Sign Up at Bowling Alleys

Summer Bowling - Kids Bowl Free - Collage of Kids Bowling in the Twin Cities

By now we all know about the annual Kids Bowl Free program. Did you know that there are many bowling alleys in the Twin Cities that offer free bowling for kids through a free summer program – not just Kids Bowl Free. Learn more about these offers, how to sign up and what’s included here.

Twin Cities Free Bowling Programs for Kids

Kids Bowl Free Program

The original “Kids Bowl Free” program offers registered kids (between the ages of 2-15) two free games of bowling every day (or nearly every day) during the summer months. Participation can vary, but free bowling can begin as early as April and run through early September. Some alleys are not open or not available on certain days of the week (ie: Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays are sometimes excluded). Shoe rental is also up to the participating site, but most in the Twin Cities do not include shoes with the free bowling.

Other Programs

When researching our List of Family-Friendly Bowling alleys, we found that several Twin Cities Bowling alleys offer free bowling for kids with their own program. If you do not see your favorite bowling alley on the Kids Bowl Free Registration list, check out this list to see if your center offers its own program: A Strike of Fun: Twin Cities Bowling Alleys. We also list the best weekly deals for each facility on this list.

Are Free Bowling Programs a Good Deal?

It depends on several factors.

  • Are you going to be bowling anyways?
  • Do you live near one of the participating bowling centers or is it a hike?
  • Keep in mind that although your kids will get free games, you will probably need to rent shoes (this generally ranges from $4-$8)
  • Will you be bowling at a time you’ll be tempted to buy food?

Overall, this can be a pretty inexpensive day out in an air-conditioned building.

Anne shares her opinion below:

Memory Lanes and other bowling alleys
Memory Lanes

Anne’s Opinion

Yes, it’s budget entertainment and a fun way to keep cool in the summer, but before you register the children for Kids Bowl Free, keep a few things in mind. The two-games-per-day-per-kid deal is definitely free. But, at least according to most lanes, shoe rental is required for each bowler (this included preschoolers and toddlers – anyone who might participate). I was aware of the conditions when I registered, so I was prepared to pay the $3 shoe rental fee – which made the outing certainly not free, but nevertheless a relatively budget outing for under $10.

The kids had a great time, too. Bumpers popped up at the touch of a button. Computerized scoring helped this math-challenged mom. There was even a ramp to help the youngest start her ball down the right track – but still let her feel independent. Two games provided just the right amount of fun before weariness and whining for snacks set in.

Registering for Kids Bowl Free is Simple

This handy link will help you find the closest of 30+ bowling locales in Minnesota. Once you’ve found it, fill out the online form and your weekly vouchers will arrive via email. Print vouchers ahead of time or download the app to keep the coupons on your phone.  Either way bring them only to the location you’ve registered for (it is possible to register at more than one alley, but separate accounts are required for each).

Kids Bowl Free App:

If you don’t want to be bothered with printing vouchers, you can now download an app and just show the coupons on your phone.

Bowl With Your Kids

Many participating bowling alleys will offer a deal on a family pass that can be purchased after you register for the free program. Why should kids get all the fun? Adult family members and older siblings may like to bowl, too. Have fun hitting the lanes this summer!


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