Metro Detroit in the winter can be a dreary and quite forgettable place. It’s cold, it’s dark and there’s very little left to do socially during the daylight. Enter one of the Midwest’s best cold weather pastimes: bowling! Here are a few of Motown’s top spots for popping on a pair of rented shoes and knocking down a few pins with your friends and family.

Garden Bowl (Credit, Michael Ferro)

The Garden Bowl
4140 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 833-9700

Built way back in 1913, The Garden Bowl is the oldest oldest active bowling center in America. Located within the historic Majestic Theater Center, this alley has spent exactly 100 years perfecting the art and science of good bowling. Ever since the roaring 20s, this local Motor City establishment has been known as the “working man’s country club,” welcoming literally anyone who walks through the door to play and even join a league. Players wishing to join a league need absolutely no experience in bowling.

Thunderbird Lanes
400 W. Maple Road
Troy, MI 48084
(248) 362-1660

The winner in 2012 and the runner-up in 2013 for Best Bowling Center in Detroit by (as selected out of 56 bowling alleys), Thunderbird Lanes in Troy has been known for years thanks to its incredibly supportive staff and great deals on bowling. Check out its website for a plethora of coupons including great offers on open bowling and for a list of its special bowling events each month.

Harbor Lanes
25419 Jefferson Ave.
St. Clair Shores, MI 48081
(586) 772-1200

The Harbor Lanes in St. Clair Shores is the best answer for a nautical-themed night of fun during those months when the idea of heading to the beach is just simply asinine. With a fully-stocked bar, full menu and specials to boot, it won’t matter to you whether it’s the middle of the winter or the peak of sunshine season in Motown. Either way, Harbor Lanes is a destination loved by bowlers and novices alike.

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Five Star Lanes
2666 Metropolitan Parkway
Sterling Heights, MI 48310
(586) 939-2550

Located right off of bustling Metropolitan Parkway in Sterling Heights is one of Metro Detroit’s most well-kept and friendly bowling alleys around. Voted as one of the cleanest and most welcoming alleys in the area, Five Star Lanes truly lives up to the high-class inclination in its name. Open daily until 2 a.m. and with a new special on prices nearly every single night, there’s always a great deal waiting for you and your friends or family at this locally-loved alley. Recently remodeled with luxury chairs and 37-inch LCD scoring monitors, there’s little to miss here at Five Star Lanes.

Lucky Strike Lanes (credit: Michael Ferro)

Lucky Strike
44325 W. 12 Mile Road, Suite H-160
Novi, MI 48377
(248) 374-3420

This incredibly popular national chain of bowling alleys has found a welcome home in the Detroit suburb of Novi, Michigan. Renowned for its suave, retro style of the 50s and 60s, everything within this visually stunning complex is meant to be a festival for the senses. Combining the best elements of a nightclub and bowling alley, this location provides the best atmosphere for a night out at a hip, trendy party while still enjoying a fun night of bowling. Parties and specials are available – please visit the website for more details.

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Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in Creative Writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in Ypsilanti Township. Additional writing can be found at