One of our favourite activities during the Winter months is bowling. Although it's counterintuitive to our usual ethos of 'no such thing as bad weather', there is only so much rain and cold that a family can take in Wales!
A few weeks before Christmas we were invited to enjoy a bowling session at Cardiff's Hollywood Bowl in the Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay, finishing off with a dinner from Harry's Kitchen on-site cafe.
Bowling in itself is fairly self-explanatory: ten pins, roll the ball, knock them down. However, plenty of people may think bowling is a game for teenagers and they would be wrong; Hollywood Bowl has a variety of ball weights (starting at '6'), the lanes have 'bumpers' to prevent the balls rollings into the gutter (and helping me score strikes), and there are ball-ramps for the younger users which means that they don't hurt themselves while releasing the ball. It's a good fun game to play as a family, and on previous occasions we've been with my mum, The Boy and his cousins; it appeals to all ages.
I think this was our most competitive time bowling, and there was no mercy from anyone in the aim to score as highly as possible. The Boy was particularly delighted to score a strike once or twice!
We have eaten in the cafe there before, but hadn't realised that it was possible to order food to be delivered to our lane. As time was cracking on with our after school activity, I decided to order the food straight away rather than wait to eat in the cafe after, and ordered a burger each for my husband and I, and macaroni cheese for The Boy.
The drinks took a while to arrive, nearly fifteen minutes unfortunately, and we were very thirsty by the time they made it to us, and the burgers arrived another ten minutes after this. However, it was another seven minutes before my son's macaroni cheese arrived and he was incredibly hungry when it did. It came with two doughballs but he was unable to eat them as they were rock solid due to over cooking. We actually finished our game five minutes after the food came, and ended up taking it over to the cafe to finish. In hindsight, I would have ordered it halfway through the game to eat in the cafe after as trying to eat macaroni cheese from a bowl balanced on your lap when you're five years old is quite tricky. Likewise eating a burger standing up while waiting for your turn to bowl isn't my most inspired idea.
Don't get me wrong, the food was good quality and we were impressed, but I'm not sure having it delivered to the lane is the most sensible option!
Would I recommend this as a family activity? Absolutely, for a morning or afternoon session it is great fun. Will we be going again? Looking at the weather forecast for this weekend? We'll see you on Saturday morning, Hollywood Bowl!
Many thanks to Millennium Hotels, Cardiff who sent us to enjoy the fun and games of bowling as a part of a guide for family acitivities in Cardiff.