Gulf Coast Family's primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family life right here in the Tampa Bay area.
Party with a Purpose
Wii bowling is a lot of fun for kids. But real bowling, while definitely more difficult than Wii bowling, is even more fun, especially if you can do it with a big group of friends. That’s what makes Seminole Lanes a great place to have a fantastic, stress-free birthday party.
Our birthday girl this month was turning 8. As she pulled into the parking lot, she was surprised to see her name and “Happy 8th Birthday” on the lighted sign outside the alley. Our party hostesses, Ashley and Jordan, greeted her and showed her around before taking her to select her very special birthday gift – a decorated bowling pin. The birthday girl picked out an adorable brown pin, then Ashley took her picture that would be displayed on the multi-media screens at each lane while she and her friends were bowling.
As the guests started to arrive, they got their bowling shoes on and divided into teams. Amazingly, the first ten people to arrive were evenly split with 5 boys and 5 girls. So naturally, there was a girls’ lane and a boys’ lane. The others who arrived late actually had to mingle with members of the opposite gender! Parents who stuck around could bowl as well, or there are plenty of tables where adults can sit and chat or snack on something from the snack bar.
The computers at the bowling lane take care of all of the scoring – not that the 8-year-olds at our party cared much about who won! They also can be programmed to put up the bumpers for some or all of the kids. All the kids at our party used bumpers, but for older groups, the choice to use bumpers can be customized for each individual bowler. There also is a great ball ramp for the really little kids, like the birthday girl’s 4-year-old little sister, to use. She just had to aim the ramp and push the ball down it – much easier than carrying a big, heavy bowling ball.
For our 8-year-old party-goers, the one and a half hours of bowling was just about the perfect amount of time for one game. This included plenty of time for cheering, talking, and giggling – a more focused group could easily get in two games. After the bowling was done, everyone moved into the spacious party room for hot dogs, chips, and soda. Ashley and Jordan were a great help serving, pouring drinks, and cleaning up the mess.
Birthday cake came next. And while our hostesses offered to help pass out the cake as well, their assistance wasn’t needed since the birthday girl wanted to serve her guests herself. After the cake had been devoured, everyone headed to the game room where there is a wide assortment of arcade games – pinball, dance machines, racing games, and pool tables. It was a great way to let the guests unwind after a fabulous afternoon of bowling fun!
Four generations of the Krauss family have owned and operated bowling centers in Pinellas County since the opening of Sunshine Bowl on US-19 in 1957. With the growth of the Seminole area, the Krauss family built Seminole Lanes on Park Blvd, just east of Starkey Road in 1976. Seminole Lanes originally opened as a 40 lane center but with ever increasing demand for lanes they expanded, adding 20 more lane beds in 1985. Continuing to expand their operations, they purchased the existing Meadowlawn Lanes located on 9th St. & 63rd Ave in Northeast St. Pete, renamed the center “Sunrise Lanes” and added ten retail stores to become “Sunrise Plaza” in 1980.
Seminole Lanes’ 60,000 square foot building features a private 1800sf Meeting Room, a 500sf Party Room that is open to the lanes, a large Snack Bar, extensive game room and a full-service Liquor Lounge. Sunrise Lanes is a 32 lane center with one of the largest game rooms in St. Petersburg.
The scoring system in both centers is provided by Qubica, featuring the latest upgrades and has 42” flat screen monitors to provide clear scoring information. Both centers offer Regular and Galactic Bowling, Bumpers Available Lanes for our youth, Child and Adult Birthday Parties, Charitable Organization Bowl-a-thon Fundraising Opportunities and Corporate Staff Bowling Parties in addition to the Adult, Senior and Youth Bowling leagues.
Both Seminole and Sunrise Lanes have a long-term commitment to the youth of our community. Starting with Morning Star School in 1969, the Krauss family found that they could have an impact on the lives of our local children. They instituted their “Adopt-A-School” program that has provided bowling as a “good grades” incentive to the lower Pinellas County Schools for over 40 years. This program has allowed any of the Private or Public Elementary and Middle Schools to bring their “Principal’s List” students for complimentary bowling parties twice a year.
8668 Park Blvd.
If you would like to share a birthday party location or idea, use our “Submit Birthday Party Idea” form. Thanks and have a Happy Birthday Party!
Gulf Coast Family Publications - Encouraging families along the Gulf Coast in Pinellas County