Kids Bowl Free program provides local kids with an affordable summer pastime in Greeley, Windsor | MyWindsorNow.com

Kids Bowl Free program provides local kids with an affordable summer pastime in Greeley, Windsor

Katarina Velazquez | kvelazquez@greeleytribune.com

Kiddos, get your bowling gear and game faces ready.

Chipper's Lanes, 2454 8th Ave. in Greeley, and The Summit, 4455 Fairgrounds Ave. in Windsor, will host the Kids Bowl Free program. It started April 24 and will run until Sept. 30 in Greeley; Windsor's program began April 10 and will run until Oct. 27. The two are the only bowling centers in Weld County to host the program.

The Kids Bowl Free program provides two free games of bowling every day throughout the summer for children ages 18 and younger in Greeley and 15 and younger in Windsor. It's a national affair, as more than 1,300 bowling centers across the United States participate in the annual program.

For Greeley, kids who bowl twice every day can squeeze in about 318 free games of bowling, if they started from day one. And even if they start today, they could get 224 free chances to get a strike.

It is Chipper's Lanes' sixth summer participating in the program, according to Shauna Gray, corporate and special events director for Chipper's. She said in 2016, about 3,300 kids signed up for Greeley's location, and they're anticipating even more this year.

"Ultimately, the reason we do the program is because it provides a healthy and safe environment for these kids while they're out of school and not doing their normal, everyday activities," Gray said. "It keeps them active."

Recommended Stories For You

The catch is the shoe rentals are not free, but Gray said that costs about $3 per visit, or parents and their kids can opt for a $25 shoe pass that gets them free shoes every day to accompany their free bowling games. She said kids who participate and bowl regularly can save up to $500 at Chipper's, but officials are not worried about the money lost, she said.

"It's about giving back to the community," she said.

Bruce Davis, co-founder of the program, said it began about 10 years ago as a marketing campaign in about 17 different states. Now, at least one bowling center in each state participates, as well as every province in Canada as a way to keep bowling in people's minds during the "slow" season.

Davis said bowling centers' busiest months tend to be from fall to spring, and the program initially served as a way to get folks bowling in the summer months. It's also a way for youth to be exposed to the sport of bowling who might not otherwise get the chance, he said. Gray noted she's seen a few kids who participate in Kids Bowl Free who sign up for Chipper's Lanes' bowling league afterward. It can definitely fuel a passion, she agreed.

Lastly, the program gives families an affordable pastime option during the summer months.

"It's a win for families, a win for kids and a win for bowling businesses," Davis said.

Where to go

Kids Bowl Free is a nationwide program that allows kids to bowl for free during the summer months. Chipper’s Lanes, 2454 8th Ave. in Greeley, and The Summit, 4455 Fairgrounds Ave. in Windsor, are the two bowling centers in Weld County hosting the program.

» Chipper’s Lanes will host the program until Sept. 30, and bowlers can participate from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 3-8 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call the bowling alley at (970) 353-4275.

» The Summit will host the program until Oct. 27, and bowlers can participate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. For more information, call the bowling alley at (970) 663-6363.

Children must be registered to participate. To do so or for more information, go to http://www.KidsBowlFree.com.

Go back to article