Family days out: New York Thunderbowl

Prepared to be bowled over by family fun!

If you fancy doing something a bit more active with the kids but don’t want to venture outside in the wet weather, try your hand at ten pin bowling in Kettering.

A family day out at New York Thunderbowl

A family day out at New York Thunderbowl

New York Thunderbowl offers a family of four bowling starting at £18 for one game (not valid Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm until closing though).

We ventured out for our family fun on a Saturday afternoon, having booked over the phone (always advisable to book to avoid any disappointment).

As the children are still quite young, we opted for just one game but guessed this would take about an hour to complete.

The children were very excited about going on our mini ‘adventure’ and we arrived in plenty of time before our booking. Kai and Ella had a bit of a giggle when they had to don the ‘official’ bowling shoes given – they likened them to looking a bit like a clown’s shoes!

We didn’t get any for Ruby though as she is too young to play and was happy enough watching.

Next up was getting our names entered into the system so we knew whose turn it was and when.

We all had nicknames with Kai opting to be called the wrestler John Cena, while Ella went down the princess route and became Rapunzel for the afternoon (I shan’t divulge my and my hubby’s nicknames!)

As we wanted to make the experience as fun and enjoyable as possible for the kids, we asked for the sides of our lane to be lifted up (making it easier for the kids’ ball to hit the pins rather than disappearing down the sides!).

First up was John Cena! Finding a bowling ball right for Kai was pretty much a case of him just lifting a few until he felt comfortable with one.

He didn’t quite manage a strike but he was pretty chuffed with his effort of hitting the pins at the end of the lane!

With Ella being a little younger, she opted for using a frame to help her with.

Basically, it’s a handy framework for young children to use to help control the ball.

They pop the ball on top and give it a little push to roll it down the lane.

It wasn’t too busy but there was a great atmosphere with music also being played to help keep us entertained.

The kids loved playing and when there was a strike (which was mainly made by the husband, may I add), the kids gave a round of applause!

Our youngest at two years old was behaving impeccably and on a few of my goes, I let her help me roll the ball down the metal frame, which she enjoyed doing.

After almost an hour we’d finished our game – with the hubby as the winner! Next up was me, then Rapunzel followed by John Cena.

Kai was a little upset at being last but that didn’t last too long.

To reward our efforts – and as it was time for tea – we headed off to the Harvester which is only a couple of miles away.

The perfect finish to a fun-filled afternoon. Certainly one that we’ll repeat.


Family ticket: One game for four people is £18 although this is not valid Friday and Saturday 6pm to close.

Sunday Morning Family Game: Family of 4, 5 or 6 people get to bowl for just £10 a game. Just book a lane for 10am or 10.30am.

After School Special: 3.30pm-5.30pm (Monday-Friday term time only). £2 per person, per game. Minimum of one bowler per lane must be under 16 years of age and attending school.

Where to find them

New York Thunderbowl can be found at Rockingham Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN16 9AW.

To book, give them a call on 01536 414004 or visit


There’s plenty of parking outside the venue, although beware! The car park is a little bumpy due to needing some repairs. Parking is free.

Get on cue!

New York Thunderbowl also has American pool tables which you can hire for £6 per hour and there’s a bar on site too, along with a small selection of amusements.

Plus, just as you enter the building, you’ll notice it houses a Wimpey restaurant too.