The 3 best bowling alleys in Iowa, according to our readers

By Stacy Rounds

April 27, 2024

Are you looking for the best bowling experience in Iowa? We’ve got you covered, thanks to our recent reader’s poll. From Decorah to Pleasant Hill, here are your top three picks for the best bowling Iowa has to offer.

A small bowling alley is lit up with neon lights for glow bowling.

Courtesy of King Pin Entertainment Center

King Pin Entertainment Center, Decorah

King Pin Entertainment Center shines as the crown jewel in our reader’s poll for the best bowling in Iowa. This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill bowling alley. What sets King Pin apart is its dedication to providing an entertainment experience that the whole family can enjoy. From bowling to axe throwing to spirited parties and a full-service bar and grill, King Pin has it all and more.

The center hosts a plethora of events, including their interactive Hyper Bowling challenge, where the name of the game is whacking the bumpers. For the competitive spirit, leagues and tournaments are a staple, providing a platform for bowlers to showcase their skills and earn bragging rights amongst peers. King Pin even offers a discount for High Schoolers who compete.

Beyond the lanes, King Pin ensures that the fun doesn’t stop. The facility is equipped with a variety of arcade games that tickle the nostalgia bone to a cozy lounge area perfect for catching up with friends, there’s something for everyone. The on-site bar and grill serves up tasty favorites and inventive treats as well as craft cocktails, familiar beers, and fun non-alcoholic options, making it easy to refuel between games or simply relax and enjoy the ambiance.

Whether you’re aiming to strike gold in the lanes, or just in search of a lively spot to hang out, King Pin Entertainment Center in Decorah is your go-to destination for the best all-ages bowling and entertainment experience Iowa has to offer.

A clean and freshly remodeled bowling alley.

Courtesy of Strike Zone

Strike Zone, Northwood

Strike Zone secures its position as our readers’ second favorite bowling spot in Iowa, and it’s not hard to see why once you step inside. They strike the perfect balance between a welcoming community hub and a top-quality bowling experience, making every visit memorable.

The lanes at Strike Zone were recently remodeled, ensuring that your game is always smooth and enjoyable whether you’re enjoying an open bowling game with friends or you’re looking for a new place to join a league. And with a plethora of leagues and tournaments catering to different ages and skill levels, you’re sure to find the right fit.

The alley also offers sand volleyball, cornhole, comedy nights, and more entertainment that’s fun for the whole family. Thinking of hosting a birthday bash that’ll have your guests talking for weeks? Or perhaps you’re planning a corporate event that breaks the mold of typical team-building activities? Strike Zone’s party packages are designed to deliver a strikingly good time, combining bowling with food and fun in a way that’s tailored to your needs.

For hungry bowlers and partygoers, Strike Zone’s on-site snack bar is ready to refuel you with tasty treats and refreshments, including pizza, burgers, hand-cut fries, homemade chicken fingers, shakes, malts, and more. Their menu does not include alcohol, so it’s a great place for kids and teens to hang out.

Strike Zone stands out for its commitment to fostering a vibrant community of bowlers, its exceptional care for the lanes, and its dedication to ensuring that every visit is filled with fun, camaraderie, and, of course, great bowling. It’s a place where league winners walk away with big prizes, but the joy of bowling is shared by all.

Green, red, and orange bowling balls are lined up ready to play.

Courtesy of Great Escape

Great Escape, Pleasant Hill

Slide into the vibrant world of Great Escape in Pleasant Hill. A blend of excitement and relaxation awaits bowlers and entertainment seekers alike, securing its well-deserved spot as the third favorite for the best bowling in Iowa. This alley prides itself on its state-of-the-art equipment and pristine lanes, ensuring that each experience is always top-notch.

But the allure of Great Escape extends far beyond the gleam of its well-kept lanes. There’s a state-of-the-art arcade with an enticing array of games. There’s also laser tag, night bowling, and a ton of fun events on their calendar. Or you can plan your next party or corporate outing, so you can enjoy all the amenities Great Escape tailored to kids, teens, or adults.

Meanwhile, their Sports Bar stands ready to satisfy cravings with a tempting menu of delicious bites including behemoth wings and sandwiches, plus refreshing beverages, including craft cocktails, beer, and wine. So, if you’re on the hunt for an exceptional bowling experience wrapped in glowing lights and an upbeat atmosphere, look no further than Great Escape.



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