Two area bowling alleys are looking to spare kids from boredom in their spare time.
Chateau Lanes (1145 Nairn Ave.) and Roxy Bowling Lanes (385 Henderson Hwy.) are offering free bowling for kids through the Kids Bowl Free program. Both programs run from June 19 to Aug. 30. Chateau’s program is for kids 15 and under, while Roxy’s is for those 18 and under.
Local parents can visit the Kids Bowl Free website at www.kidsbowlfree.com to sign up for the program, which entitles up to six kids per family to two free games each weekday the centre is open. Rental shoes are not included in the deal.
Chateau Lanes co-owner Melody Savage said the centre has had a similar in-house program for the past three summers, but thought it’d be worthwhile to join the continent-wide Kids Bowl Free organization to reap the promotional benefits.
"There are some repeat kids, and there are parents that come with them, or grandparents," Savage said. "We’re looking to see if we can get new interest by going through the registration program."
Chateau is the only exclusively-10-pin centre offering the program in Winnipeg, and manager Sherry Hobson hopes to get the word out that 10-pin is a possibility for even young children.
Even though balls are all the same size, the alley has some as light as four pounds, and there is a portable ramp kids can use to shoot the ball.
"The hardest part is convincing people that they can bowl 10-pin," Hobson said. "They think kids can’t do it, but we have kids that are three and four that do it."
Savage estimated about 325 kids had signed up for the program.
Roxy manager Kevin Chorney said he registered the centre for the program to help give back to the community. He hopes the glow bowling and bumper bowling captures the imaginations of local children.
"We want to give kids something to do, keep them off the street," said Chorney, noting over 600 kids had signed up as of June 11. "Dakota (Lanes) did it last year and said it was really good."
Chorney hopes the program will help get kids into the sport, prompting some of them to join the alley’s Youth Bowling Canada (YBC) program in the fall. He said in his seven years with the alley, youth participation has remained fairly steady.
Adults looking to get in the game are offered a deal as well — a family pass for the entire summer for up to four adults is $24.95.
Other local centres set to participate are Academy Lanes (394 Academy Rd.), Academy Lanes West (479 Westwood Dr.), Coronation Bowling Centre (255 Tache Ave.), and Dakota Lanes (1085 St. Mary’s Rd.).