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Endless Winter Got You Down? Get Out of the Gutter at One of These Bowling Alleys

If working out isn’t your thing, hop off that bar stool and hightail it over to a bowling alley, where alcohol and activity unite.

If you want to get active indoors during this cold, dreary month, but last week’s didn’t interest you, how about just a night out bowling? Bowling was always the fallback option my friends and I would choose on winter nights when we didn’t want to get dressed up to go out but we didn’t want to sit around and watch another movie either. The great thing about bowling is you don’t have to be athletically coordinated. Plenty of people go bowling just for fun.

Morgan's

Open bowling takes place at Mokena’s very own at different times each day of the week. This alley features 24 lanes, but since leagues, parties, team practices and corporate events take place here too, your best bet is to call ahead and check the availability of lanes for open bowling or cosmic bowling.

Regular pricing is $4 per game and $3 shoe rentals, but specials take place each day of the week as well. Two nights a week, the place offers a $10 special for as many games as you can bowl after 9 p.m., and two other nights feature a $6 special that includes two games and shoe rentals after 8 p.m. Any PBA members can bowl for $1 per game when they show their card.

Another perk is that the alley is open every day of the week at noon, even during the school year. This is a great opportunity for stay-at-home moms to socialize and work out. It’s also open until 1 a.m. during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends, so you can have a night out while staying close to home, getting some exercise and having a few brewskis. That sure beats drinking up calories while sitting on a bar stool somewhere else.

Morgan's also has packages for children's and adults' parties. Ten to 500 guests can be accommodated.

If you find that you really love bowling, you can practice now and then join a league this coming summer. Ross Carmody, general manager at Thunderbowl, said the next leagues will begin mid-May and signups will begin soon. Leagues are available for men, women, mixed, seniors, kids and families. I’m anything but a professional bowler, but once upon a time, my parents, my brother and I joined a family league. It’s something different that I’d definitely recommend for a family to bond and enjoy together.

If I still haven’t twisted your arm on the whole bowling thing, what if I told you that a restaurant/bar is connected to the bowling alley? Morgan's serves up food until 12:30 a.m. every night, and they offer drink specials regularly, such as martini specials on Tuesdays for ladies night, and $1 and $2 drink specials on Wednesdays for college night. Tuesday and Wednesday nights provide karaoke opportunities, a DJ plays music Friday nights and live music is performed Saturday nights.

“Bowling is a great family activity, and people of any age and skill level can bowl," Carmody said. "A handicap doesn’t matter.” Bowling truly is the sport for everyone, he added.

Laraway Lanes

If no open bowling is available at Thunderbowl, other local bowling alleys include Laraway Lanes in New Lenox and Frankfort Bowl in Frankfort. Laraway Lanes offers much of the same as Thunderbowl, with games priced at $2.50 before 5 p.m. and $3.25 after 5. Open bowling times vary, depending on when leagues take place. Specials include a family package for up to six bowlers, $2 bowling, shoes and beer on Mondays and quarter games and shoes on Wednesdays.

At Laraway, there are also leagues available for seniors, ladies, men, youth, guys and gals, mixed and even people that want to fall under the categories “Lousy Bowler” and “Just for Fun.” Though leagues already started for the season, some leagues are still looking for members. Check their website for more information.

Frankfort Bowl

If you don’t care about the contemporary features of a bowling alley but want to enjoy the activity, become a part of history at Frankfort Bowl, founded in 1947. Frankfort Bowl Inc. renovated six lanes and three pool tables from the original establishment for individual use, parties and private functions.

Open bowling is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Fridays are set aside for leagues. Pricing is $15 an hour, with $2 shoe rentals. You can also rent out the six lanes or the whole place, including the pool tables and bar. Make sure to call ahead to see if lanes are available.

Once you decide to join a league, or heck, go pro, head over to in Mokena for a custom ball, made specially to fit your fingers, weight and bowling style.

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