I'm a freelance writer who lives on the Bellarine Peninsula. I enjoy finding new things to see and do in the beautiful area that I live in.
Published July 23rd 2014
When I was in primary school, there were only a few cool places you could have your birthday party (if it wasn't a dress-up themed one in your own home). There was the obligatory McDonald's or Hungry Jack's birthday party (with special kids meals and bright cardboard crowns), the rollerskating/ rollerblading rink party (which admittedly only a few of the more coordinated kids took on), and of course, the ten-pin bowling party. This was my personal favourite- not only did you get the chance to form teams and bowl against your friends for the highest score, but you got to enjoy traditional party foods (like hotdogs and party pies) and an ice cream birthday cake. The birthday girl or boy also received a specially 'refurbished' ten pin of the bowling centre mascot as a memento of the day (which came complete with googly eyes and a cheesy grin).
The entire place is full of bright and cheerful colours
I'm not sure if the birthday parties at the bowling lanes nowadays are quite as wonderful as they were a few decades ago, but one thing is certain- the allure of aiming for a strike hasn't changed with time. Best of all, age is no restriction, with children, teens, adults and seniors all able to participate in this accessible and enjoyable 'sport'.
Sometimes at night they turn the lights down and the disco ball on for a real party vibe
Located in the Geelong suburb of Belmont, Oz Tenpin Bowling has been on the same site for as long as I can remember. The name of the place may have changed, the décor inside may have been fixed up once or twice, and some of the surrounding businesses may have moved or closed down, but the bowling lanes have remained faithfully at their Reynolds Road address for the enjoyment of thousands of Geelong residents over the years.
Boasting 28 lanes (with automatic bumpers and special metal bowling aids like ramps, should you choose to use them), Oz Tenpin Bowling is a vibrant and fun place to spend your time. There is always a party atmosphere, with popular music blaring, sounds of laughter, the almost hypnotic thunder of heavy balls rolling quickly along wood and the satisfying clatter of the pins as they fall to the ground. Participants are able to keep track of their scores (and top speeds after each turn) on the computerised screens above each lane, and vie for the best score they can manage against their friends and family. For those wanting a memento of their winning tally, printouts of the scorecards are available for free from the counter after you've finished playing.
There is a bowling professionals shop within the building (although this is only open during certain hours)
There is also a fully licenced café within the building, so you can pick up some snacks and drinks during your games. The range of cold and hot drinks (including coffee) is quite extensive, but for those over eighteen years of age who would prefer their beverage of an alcoholic variety, there are also many different beers and premixed spirits available. If you're feeling a little peckish, there is an assortment of hot foods, sandwiches and burgers to satisfy your hunger, or you could snack on an ice cream or packet of chips.
The licenced cafe offers a wide variety of food and drinks
If you feel like a break between games, are waiting for a friend to arrive or for a lane to become available, there are also other options within the establishment to keep you entertained. There is a coin-operated arcade room near the entrance, which features basketball throw games, simulation racing car competitions, pinball machines and claw challenge puzzles. Many of these machines give tokens when you win, which you can redeem at the counter for the prize of your choice. There is also a full-size pool table, just near the lockers and member club rooms, if you feel like playing a little bit of snooker between bowling sets.
The arcade game room
Tenpin bowling always promises to be a fun time out, whether night or day, or with friends or family. Not only is the activity fun and suitable for all ages and abilities, but it can bring forth a competitiveness streak you never knew you had, as you aim to get that strike, spare or elusive perfect-300 game. Drop by for a few games and see how well you can do!
Shoe hire is included in the cost of the games
General Prices (all including shoe hire)
1 Game $13, 2 Games $20, 3 Games $23.50
1 Game $11, 2 Games $18, 3 Games $22
There are also regular specials on certain nights of the week after 6pm:
Sunday- $5 games plus $2.50 shoe hire
Tuesday and Thursday- $7.50 games (including $2.50 shoe hire)