Back At The Lanes

Bowling Is Back!


Sam Basich, Reporter

Due to the Covid-19 shutdown, almost all family fun centers were forced to shut their doors for over a year. These businesses have struggled to stay afloat.


One of my favorite activities since childhood, which I was unable to do because of the shutdown, is bowling. So I was ecstatic to hear that it had opened back up. Thankfully, Petaluma’s AMF Bowling Alley, the popular bowling alley located on Petaluma Blvd South opened in 1959, survived. 


Upon arrival and getting our lane, I was shocked to find out how few differences there were between the bowling alley before and after COVID.


The first thing I noticed was the big sign promoting their new arcade. It was filled with new claw machines, arcade games, and air hockey rinks. And, all the machines were spaced pretty far apart to allow for social distancing. The machines were sanitized after each use by employees, which was nice to see. Hand sanitizer was readily available around the alley. 


After checking out the arcade machines, we got our rental bowling shoes and went over to our lane. Shoes are still available for rent and are disinfected after each use. All lanes were open, but certain seats were marked with a sign reading, “closed for social distancing purposes” to prevent overcrowding. Only six bowlers per lane are allowed and masks are required to be worn while bowling.


At the counter, we were given menus to order food which they would either bring to us or that we could go get ourselves from the snack bar and the cocktail bar was also open for anyone over the age of 21, of course.


I also loved seeing that private parties were happening to celebrate birthdays. This made me think of all the unbelievable birthday parties I had been to at AMF in my childhood.


My dad and I bowled three games, him winning all three, and had an absolute blast. Other than the mask-wearing, everything felt completely normal and it was a great experience. The employees were very warm and welcoming, and it was a very friendly environment. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that it’s nice to have a little bit of normalcy again. Make sure you go bowling on Friday nights, as you get unlimited bowling for just sixteen dollars! See you at the lanes!