BOWLING AT THE VILLAGE MARKET, NAIROBI
The Village Market hosts the Village Bowl; a great bowling alley with awesome vibes. Bowling is a fun activity for kids and adults and it doesn’t matter if you’re beginners. Just make sure you get there early to avoid long wait times especially on weekends and holidays. Great experience!
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The Village Bowl
That’s what they call the bowling joint at The Village Market and yes you read it right, bowling🎳. The Village Bowl has been quite hyped in the last year or so. Guys keep flocking here for this ‘rare’ sport. I say rare because this is arguably one of the biggest bowling alleys in the country. Okay, to be honest, I don’t know of any other.
If you’d have come up to me 5 years ago asking for a list of the most boujee-est sports we have, bowling would have been right up there together with golf and fencing. Fast forward to April 2019, I was raving to visit The Village Market to get my bowl on. (Does anyone say that?)
There we were, a team of 4, navigating our way to the Village Bowl. If you are like me and you don’t frequent the mall, you can get lost a couple of times😁.
How Much Do I Need?
The bowling fee is Kes. 500 per person; adults and kids. Reasonable if you ask me, unlike what they charge at the paradise lost gate🙄. You can pay cash, via MPESA or via card. You’ll leave your shoes at the counter and handed a pair of bowling shoes. It’s quite important that you remember to wear or carry a pair of socks. If you don’t you can get a pair from the Village Bowl @ 250 bob😁 The wait time depends on the traffic and can be anything from 30 minutes to 1 hour, which makes weekdays the best days to visit The Village Bowl. They open from 11AM till like 10PM which is okay.
The ambience of The Village Bowl is dope! A great environment, fancy lights, good music and a mood that made the bowlers almost bump chests like NFL players. Me likey. I think they were also giving the place a retro 60s American look with Cadillac car-models and American number plates. Maybe. There’s a small bar/restaurant within the alley for snacks and drinks at reasonable prices. They don’t allow drinks from outside, obviously. As you wait, you can chill in their waiting bays, have a drink etc. There are also two pool tables, foosball and air-hockey within the joint as well.
Quick Overview Of The Game
There’s a bowling ball, there’s the bowling lane, there are 10 bowling pins and there’s a screen to keep score. Each bowler has 10 rounds (frames) which contain two rolls each.
“In pin bowling, the goal is to knock over pins at the end of a lane, with two balls per frame allowed to knock down all pins. A strike is achieved when all the pins are knocked down on the first roll, and a spare is achieved if all the pins are knocked over on a second roll.” – Wikipedia
Scoring: They use the traditional scoring in the Village Market bowling system. “In general, one point is scored for each pin that is knocked over. So if a player bowls over three pins with the first shot, then six with the second, the player would receive a total of nine points for that frame. If a player knocks down 9 pins with the first shot, but misses with the second, the player would also score nine. When a player fails to knock down all ten pins after their second ball it is known as an open frame. In the event that all ten pins are knocked over by a player in a single frame, bonuses are awarded.” – Players Sports
Is The Ball That Heavy?
The standard bowling ball wasn’t as heavy as I thought but it was still quite heavy. There’s a way you can throw that thing and your arm detaches itself like part of an Ironman suit so be careful😁
There are smaller-sized balls which you can choose to your liking, making sure your fingers fit comfortably. At the counter, we had submitted our names so that they may be entered in the system to maintain turns and keep score. Note that the order of names/turns is not alphabetical but it’s as you list them during registration.
There’s no real ‘How To’ manual to read before you bowl. Just knock over as many pins at the end of the lane to beat your opponents. The first few turns were surprisingly easy; it’s quite hard not to hit anything. Maybe because we’ve seen bowling in a lot of movies and TV shows.
But! Something I came to learn is that most lanes have bowling bumpers up. The gutter is the trench on either side of a bowling lane. The gutter must be avoided if a ball is to knock down any pins. If your ball enters a gutter, it goes on straight without knocking any pins and you get a zero. The bumper is a guard that prevents your ball from falling straight into the gutter. (Is that where that phrase came from?)
If you’re feeling like a pro, you can request the helpful attendants to remove the bumpers from your lane. I don’t recommend this if you’re a beginner. Some people like a challenge though.
I’m glad to let you know that I hit a strike once and there’s no better feeling! Interestingly in between our games, the manager would come up and announce a gift voucher for anyone who would give him a strike.
This would go on for like two frames and the winner indeed would get the token. Nice gesture.
I’ve got to say that bowling at The Village Market is quite addictive. Kids and adults alike, it’s so much fun for groups. I have already been there two times in the last month and every time it gets better and better. I’ll definitely go again; after a pre-booking or maybe when everyone is at work or at school. This will be after checking out the Trampoline Park which I hear is also quite good.
4.8/5 stars; that’s my overall rating. If you’ve been here before, how would you rate The Village Bowl? Scroll up to the Your Ratings section and select a star.
Comments are always welcome below. Cheers!