By on November 9, 2005

For most college kids coming home after a night of socializing and partying, declaring that you’ve “struck out” would be a bad thing unless, of course, you’ve just been bowling. In this case, bragging about that spare you got does not refer to the spare tire you’ve put on since freshman year either.

However, the AMF Hamden Lanes on Dixwell Avenue in Hamden is trying to change all those stereotypes of bowling. Over the past year, the alley, which is located in the Wal-Mart shopping plaza, has implemented several changes in order to make bowling a fun sport that even college students can enjoy.

According to Eric Stroomer, an employee at the lanes, a year ago there was only open play and league play. Now, the AMF Hamden Lanes has party lights, music, drink specials, bowling specials, and even college leagues.

“It’s always fun,” Stroomer said. “We provide fun all day long.”

The new changes are beginning to attract the college crowd.

Senior communications major Patrick Hart went to the lanes with a large group of friends after a year of having not bowled.

“It’s a good time,” Hart said. “It’s a good place to get together with friends and roommates.”

In order to tap into a younger generation, the lanes now offer many specials for college-aged customers. From open to close on Sunday through Thursday, and from open to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, games are only $2.00 with a college I.D.

The lane also offers specials for everyone each night during the week, including Quarter Mania on Monday with games that cost $0.25 per person from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Strike Zone Thursday, also known as College Night.

On Thursdays from 10 p.m to 1 a.m, the deal is unlimited bowling with a shoe rental for just $10.00. You must be 21 or over to get in, and bar specials run all night long. There are DJ’s spinning mostly hip-hop beats, and the alley is darkened with party lights flashing and light shapes projected onto the floor.

For one group of friends made up of Quinnipiac and SCSU students, Thursdays at the alley have become a tradition.

Julia Latora, a senior communications major, says that she and her friends have started going every week.

“Thursday night bowling with the QU crew is a really good time,” Latora said. “I wish I would have discovered this place earlier on in college.”

In addition to bowling, AMF Hamden Lanes has a bar area with a pool table where customers can sit and chat with the friendly bartender, Pam. There is also a snack bar which offers burgers, fries, chicken tenders, pizza, and all the other requisite bowling food. Although the portions could be larger, the food itself is hot and tasty.

The bowling alley offers students an alternative to hanging out in the dorms or going out to the clubs.

For more information or to reserve a lane, call (203) 248-5504 or check them out at


About Lauren Flaum