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Tot bowling report--Pinstripes w/Chicago Dads Group

I feel like I need to get something down quickly about our first time bowling this past week. The Mama's birthday is Sunday plus the kids are adding swim lessons to the schedule on Saturday so I'll have quite a bit to write about next week

Once again, shout out to Chicago Dads Group. Plus, the wonderful location for our playgroup this time...Pinstripes!

What you need to know:
From 10am-noon each day most of the Pinstripe locations offer Tots Playtime where kids bowl for $5 each (that includes shoes!). As many games as you like. Adults bowl (and rent shoes) free. Though we chose to just help the kids this time and were glad of it. (Chaos!)

We'd originally scheduled to do this with the dads group in February right around the time the kids were both ill. And, like all the usual activities, it can be hard for us to get away in the morning somewhere and make it back to preschool at noon. But one game was really all we needed. We'd made it to the 9th frame when my 4 year old said he was tired. It ended up being just enough time to pop across the street for a snack before heading to drop off.

Did some juggling because there are multiple locations across the Chicago area. We were going to go north then someone cancelled so the two remaining families split up. They went downtown while we went out to Oak Brook. The facilities are very nice and very upscale. Everything is new and clean. The staff was helpful...yes, they have kids' shoe sizes. Our server (we didn't order food) helped put the kids' names in the computer system, added in the automatic bumpers for us, and checked on us several times. They have ramps to help aim and roll the balls down the lane. They have lightweight balls that even my 3 year old could lift. And we had the place to ourselves--3 families--for the entire hour we were there pretty much. We asked when we arrived how the Tot Playtime promotion has been going and they said it depends whether school is out and what groups decide to come.

Definitely something you may want to check out if you're a parent in the region looking for something inexpensive and fun to do as a family. We had a fantastic time and the kids asked to go again. My son was a little disappointed we couldn't go see how the pin-setting machine works behind the scenes. And, to be honest, everybody was more interested in the ball return and rolling their ball than in how many pins they knocked down. But it was a great opportunity to learn some sharing and taking turn skills with people we don't know.

A big thanks to Pinstripes for running this on their calendar.