Bowling is a perfect low-impact game for children and adults alike who are looking to have a relaxed time. So if you’re on the hunt for some fun, you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we prepared a hand-picked list of the best bowling alleys in Waterford and surrounding areas for your next game! We took into consideration a number of criteria to ensure that each pick is worthy of its spot on our list.
To boot, we’ve even added some pros and cons to help you in your decision-making. And at the very end, we answer a few FAQs that you might have about bowling.
How much do bowling alleys charge?
You may be wondering how much you’ll need to set aside for a few games of bowling. We’ve noted the 1-hour bowling rates of our entries below:
|1 lane for 1 hour (max 6 people)
|€35 (exclusive of booking fee)
|Further inquiry required
|1 game 1 hour
The Best Bowling Alleys in Waterford
Now that you’re more acquainted with the costs, here’s a glimpse of what we considered in our selection:
Right, now let’s head on to our top picks!
1. Activate Waterford
|Bowling, rock climbing, soft play, mini-golf, soccer, and more
|Williamstown House, Williamstown Rd, Ardkeen, Waterford, Ireland
|+353 51 325 097
|Daily: 11am – 9pm
Activate Waterford’s most noteworthy feature is that it’s an all-in-one indoor play area for children and adults. It boasts a bowling alley, rock climbing walls, mini-golf course, inflatable soccer arena, and more.
Hence, we definitely have to give it to the bowling alley in terms of activities you can do there. To boot, it even has a cafe and pizzeria for when you get hungry in between activities.
Focusing more on its bowling facilities, it has a high-tech 6-lane, 10-pin bowling alley.
We also found it impressive that it has a touch screen console for each lane, which makes the game a lot more interactive. With this device, you can challenge another lane to a bowl off, take photos, and more.
We also think it won’t be a cause for concern to let some younger children play as the alley has ball ramps, light balls, and side barriers that make it safer and easier for kids as young as 3 to enjoy.
Its online booking system also makes it convenient to reserve a lane (or more!) in advance, especially considering how popular Activate Waterford is. You can select your preferred date and time among the available time slots via its website.
Apart from that, you can pay online, too. After finalizing your reservation details, you can pay through credit card via Stripe.
As for customer service, we hear that its staff is great with kids and ensure that the place is cleaned often. This definitely deserves a plus, considering how easy it is to get things dirty with a ton of kids around.
All said, we’re pretty happy with what we’ve seen so far. Our only concern would be that since it’s an all-in-one activity center, you can expect it to be busy, especially if they’re hosting parties and events.
We’ve also seen minor concerns about the staff being unable to supervise children, especially when the place is busy.
Very well run, very pleasant staff
“Spotlessly clean….. very well run, very pleasant staff, the children absolutely love to go there for a treat. They leave it exhausted but happy!!!” -Geraldine Guiry
Great place, clean and well run
“My granddaughters really enjoyed their visit here last week. For one it was her first softplay visit ever and she was blown away by the experience. Just shows how much we have all missed these last few years.Great place, clean and well run.” -Sheila Leonard
2. Bowling Buddies
|Bowling, arcade, indoor high ropes course, and more
|Unit 2 Mile Height Retail PARK, Manor East, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland
|+353 66 719 7007
|Wed to Fri: 4pm – 10pm
Sat: 12pm – 10pm
Sun: 12pm – 8pm
Bowling Buddies is a family-friendly indoor activity center that has a children’s play area called Monkey Paradise, indoor high ropes course called the Skywalker Experience, and a cafe serving hot food, drinks, and sweets.
Hence, it’s no surprise that many locals have Bowling Buddies as their go-to party place. That said, it’s rolling in 3 new party packages soon, in case you’re interested.
Zeroing in on its bowling facilities, it boasts a 10-pin, 10-lane bowling alley. So, we don’t think you’re going to have to worry about an overcrowded lane.
It also gives customers the option to use the side barriers to make the alley more child-friendly.
Aside from that, it also has an automated scoring system. This way, you don’t have to worry about keeping track of the scores and just focus on having fun.
However, we were a bit concerned about the few complaints about the cleanliness of its toilets. We hope that its management team has this sorted out soon.
Also, we were also a tad disappointed that it doesn’t have an online booking system available. So, you’ll have to make a reservation the old-fashioned way and give it a call.
On a brighter note, we liked that the alley is wheelchair-accessible, which is definitely a plus, especially for those with mobility concerns.
Past customers that we’ve spoken to also mentioned that the staff is incredibly friendly and accommodating. They’ve vouched for the staff’s attentiveness, which is definitely a plus when handling a ton of kids.
Bowling buddies was a great value
“Bowling buddies was a great value. The bowling for an hour with food was very good. With tea and coffee for the adults and cordial for the kids. The food was nice too. The alleys are child friendly with the option of side nuggets so the balls doesn’t go astray.” -Fionn Andrews
Bowling is excellent fun
“Fantastic venue. The children, myself and a Grannie, all had a ball. Bowling is excellent fun, food is plentiful and the Skywalker Experience is a must for the brave at heart!” -Sally
3. KBowl Kilkenny
|Bowling, hurricane karts, birthday parties, arcade, and more
|McDonagh Junction, Shopping Center, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
|+353 56 778 8200
|Daily: 11am – 10pm
KBowl Kilkenny is all things bowling! It has a 10-pin, 10-lane bowling alley that can accommodate adults and children as young as 3.
But what we really found impressive is that it has bowling activities for varied abilities. This means it can reduce or completely remove flashing lights, turn down loud music, and the like to help make the bowling experience a lot smoother.
Its facilities are also wheelchair-accessible. It even has ball ramps to enable people who are unable to throw the ball to still be able to play bowling, both standing and sitting down.
Hence, we have to give it to the alley in terms of accessibility, since we don’t think that mobility restrictions will be a cause for concern.
We also think it’s great that it hosts a variety of bowling tournaments for adults, kids, and those with varied abilities. This is another great way to enjoy the sport and even meet new people.
Apart from that, it has a number of other activities such as an arcade and hurricane karts. It also has a cafe where you can get some pizzas, chips, nuggets, and drinks afterward.
But here’s the hitch: we’ve come across a few complaints regarding its malfunctioning equipment. So, we hope that the management team has sorted this out to avoid any recurrences.
Aside from that, we were a tad disappointed that the alley doesn’t have an online booking facility. So, you’re going to have to book over the phone.
Nice and fun
“First time bowling, what a fun experience! The place is nice and fun, loved the music too. Great for a night out with friends. Will come back!” -Joana Santos
“I came here with service users and staff from the service I work for. We had an amazing time, really great fun. I highly recommend this place” -Eileen Power
4. Bray Bowl
|Bowling, American pool, laser tag, arcade games, and more
|Quinsborough Rd, Bray, Co. Wicklow, A98 E6X4, Ireland
|+353 1 286 4455
|Mon to Thur & Sun: 11am – 10pm
Fri & Sat: 11am – 12am
Bray Bowl is a family-friendly place with a wide assortment of interactive activities such as bowling, arcade games, and laser tag among others. To boot, it also has a cafe and pizzeria for when you get hungry in between activities.
However, we were quite disappointed to hear from customers we’ve gotten in touch with that its equipment can be a bit buggy at times. So, we hope that it has got this all sorted out already.
On a brighter note, we like that it charges either per game or by time (you choose!). This is pretty cost-efficient on the customer’s end as you’re only charged for what you consume.
We also like its wide variety of packages fit for kiddie parties and corporate events. The kiddie party package includes free soda refills, a party host, and free invitations among others.
Oh, did we mention that it also has a bring-your-own-beer event, too? This includes 1 hour of bowling, 1 hour of pool, and retro games on a first-come, first-served basis.
However, be sure to follow the dress code since the alley is quite strict about this. It’s known to turn away customers who don’t follow these rules.
If you’re concerned for those under 12 who are playing, Bray Bowl has automated bumpers to ensure that they can play easily and safely.
We appreciate the convenience that its online booking system brings. You can simply fill out the booking form on its website and wait for confirmation.
It’s open Mondays through Saturdays and until late, too! So, Bray Bowl is a good choice for either a lunch or dinner party.
Friendly staff always ready to help
“Family friendly venue with large bowling area and spacious gaming area.Ideal for those days when the children want a fun day out in Bray and the weather goes against the beach plans Young friendly staff always ready to help.Strong precautions in place with hand sanitisers widely visible.” -Alexander Fogarty
Fantastic day out
“Fantastic day out with the kiddies. Have not been there for number of years really jazzed the place up. Pool, Bowling and amusements games ooh and Pizza the girls loved it 😍 😋 can’t wait to go again next week 👍👌” -Frances Moran
FAQs about Bowling Alleys
That ends our top picks of the best bowling alleys in Waterford and surrounding areas! We hope you have a smashing time with friends and family at one of our entries.
Fun aside, you’re also going to need to take charge of your overall health. That said, take a look at some of our recommendations in Waterford here: