Knock Down Some Pins at Crossgate Lanes

This old-school bowling alley is good, old-fashioned fun for the whole family, whether they’re rolling strikes or picking up spares.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

The Year of Fun is going strong, with a random rainy day off school giving us the perfect excuse to go bowling.


I’m not talking about the next-level bowling alleys that have become popular in recent years—the kind of places with craft beer and sparkling lanes and Spotify mixes playing in the background. I’m talking about a good, old-fashioned bowling alley, the kind of place with wood paneling and well-worn floors and massive triangles of pizza served on paper plates. The kind of bowling alley like Crossgate Lanes.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

Crossgate Lanes has been around for what seems like forever; this Blue Ash gem was far from new when I was a kid in the ’80s and ’90s, and I spent many afternoons bowling there with my mom and two younger brothers. Crossgate Lanes is your quintessential no-frills bowling alley that hosts leagues and birthday parties, along with open bowling where you can pay by the game or hour. It’s a total retro throwback, and it’s delightful.

Due to the confluence of the past few years and ridiculously bad luck when it comes to cold and flu season, my four kids had never been bowling. But they caught on quickly and were eager to ditch the bumpers for a few rounds of real bowling. They were encouraging of each other and not too worried about scores, tirelessly toting their five- and eight-pound balls to the lane with an energy I don’t think I’ve ever had.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

While today’s generation has access to epic adventure golf and next-level adventure parks, nothing that beats a day an at classic mini golf course or old-school bowling alley. There’s also nothing that beats a New Year’s resolution to have more fun; a goal I hope inspires you as you plan your upcoming adventures.

Crossgate Lanes, 4230 Hunt Rd., Blue Ash

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