My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Finally! Bowling gets 21st century makeover

We’ve all been there, you book bowling as a rainy day activity for the family that often ends in tears before you knock down your first pin.

Don’t get me wrong, bowling is a fun family activity that many of us have been enjoying since we were young. This is evident in the fact that despite family arguments, us dads always seem to rebook the next time the unsettled weather arrives. Perhaps, it’s just our competitive nature or that it keeps the kids quiet for 5 minutes?

Traditionally, you’ll rock up to a bowling alley and hope that every other parent in a 30-mile radius hasn’t had the same idea. Often there is long queue up to the counter, trying to gauge whether or not there is space available by the facial expressions of other customers.

Meanwhile, you’ve got your clothes being tugged by your little monsters, pleading with you to find out ‘how much longer do we have to wait’.

You get to the counter wiping the sweat from your brow, with the poor member of staff equally at their wits end. You are then told that there is space available, but there is another 20 minute wait.

But that’s OK, as there is a 30 minute wait to queue up for the house bowling shoes you dare to wear.

You FINALLY make it your bowling lane, only to begin the process of misconfiguring the names on the board. That’s not to mention the fact that we all want the bumpers up (including us mums and dads).

One you’ve overcome these obstacles to calm your nerves, you make a start.

Does all of this sound familiar? Well, I am pleased to say that these days are finally over.

The Red Dragon Centre

On a recent visit to Hollywood Bowl at The Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff, you’ll be pleased to learn that bowling appears to have had a 21st century makeover – making it a completely stress-free experience (almost).

The technology involved may not be particular groundbreaking or ‘smart’, but I’m telling you, for families, these updates make a huge difference.

This is what you can expect…

1. Easy online booking – you can book a holiday on the internet, so why not a game of bowling. Doesn’t sound particular new, right? Well, the clever bit comes in when you enter the names and nicknames of all of the players. (See point 3)

2. No queuing – Hollywood Bowl was pretty busy, but guess what, all of this clever online stuff means there is very little queuing time now

The new touch screens at Hollywood Bowl. I promise I let her win other games…

3. Even easier set-up – you get to your lane and guess what? All that online form filling kicks in and everything is set-up for you. That box you ticked to have the bumpers up? It’s done for you. No awkward requests… “urmmm can I also have the bumpers up please?” Fair is fair of course…

I told you I let her win…

4. Touch technology – each lane has its own touch screen in addition to the monitors above the lanes. Squint no more! You can also put in a ‘service call’, allowing you to order food & drinks to your lane. No more missing your go…

Overall, it creates a more chilled and enjoyable experience for everyone involved, including the staff.

Don’t forget, when you get an email asking you to fill in a brief survey about your visit, do it! It’s worth 50% off your next booking!

Now to master my A-Game…