After the snow finally arrives later this week (they promised!) and your kids have sledded down every hill in a 10-mile radius, you might start to panic: Where do we go next?
Well, there's no need to fret.
The area has plenty of bowling options for children and people of all ages -- the perfect indoor activity during a frigid afternoon this winter or a hot day later this year.
The Sun recently checked out various alleys in the region, learning all about their specials and what's new this year. Good luck knocking down strikes and achieving turkeys at these bowling spots.
Acton Bowladrome, 257 Main St., Acton
The family-friendly "Drome," as its known, has candlepin bowling and one of the largest arcades in the area.
The Bowladrome, a family-owned and operated business, has been entertaining the community for more than 50 years.
The owners have added a reservation tab on their website so customers can reserve lanes. One of the specials that groups can book is two games of bowling, two slices of pizza and a drink for $15. The DROME also is a popular alley for birthday parties and company events.
Cosmic Bowling is held Fridays and Saturdays, from 5 to 11 p.m.
Brunswick Zone Lowell Lanes, 647 Pawtucket Blvd., Lowell
The family-friendly environment features an activity for every age level.
The ten-pin lanes feature large, HD video walls that play sports, music videos and family films.
Its arcade has old-school classics like pinball, Mario Kart and Pac-Man, along with newer games.
"We're really engaged toward families here," said General Manager Melissa Sopel.
You can also hold parties and social events at Brunswick.
The alley offers plenty of specials, including Monday Mayhem, starting at 8 p.m. -- $12.39 unlimited bowling, arcade deals, and food and drink specials. Wednesdays, starting at 9 p.m., there is $8.24 unlimited bowling, $5 food specials and $3 drink specials.
Collins Bowladrome, 325 Boston Road, Billerica
Collins where duckpin bowling lives on.
Unlike the many places that have gone with ten-pin bowling, Collins for decades has stuck with duckpin.
"It seems to work well here," said Orlando Luis, who used to manage Collins before now working a few hours each week. "When people come in, they try it, they like it, and they come back."
More and more people are renting out the facility for functions, including retirement parties, work events and family reunions.
It's also a popular spot for birthday parties. Collins charges $7.50 per child at the party, and they each get a hot dog, soda and bowling for 40 minutes. The family brings the birthday cake and ice cream.
New Palace Lanes, 78 Daniels St., Fitchburg
The classic candlepin alley has two floors of fun and excitement.
New Palace Lanes offers tournaments, birthday parties, fundraisers, and school and corporate functions.
There are three-party packages, ranging from $8 to $15 per child. The "Triple Strike" Package, at $15 per child, includes one hour of bowling, one hour in the party room, two slices of pizza, soda, party favors, a plush toy for the birthday child, and one coupon for each child's next visit.
Putnam Street Lanes, 14 Putnam St., Fitchburg
The candlepin alley has an old-school feel, bringing you back decades to a Saturday night out on the town.
The family-friendly environment is another favorite spot for birthday parties.
Putnam has several specials and deals, including discounts for Fitchburg State students and alumni. You can also sign up for coupons. Currently on its website, you can sign out a form to receive $5 off your next visit to the alley.
Wamesit Lanes, 434 Main St., Tewksbury
They advertise "luxury" bowling at Wamesit Lanes, with modern big screens playing music videos, sports and more. There are comfortable seating areas at each lane, which includes both ten-pin and candlepin.
Wamesit is also rolling out online bowling reservations and a VIP program.
"For those who contribute to us on a consistent basis, we want to give back to them," said General Manager Don MacLaren Jr.
Wamesit offers weekly specials, including $12 Tuesdays from 9 to 11 p.m., when it's unlimited bowling and all-you-can-eat cheese pizza. Saturdays, starting at 9 p.m., is Red Pin Rock N' Bowl, during which a live DJ plays requests and participants can win prizes and receive giveaways.
Wamesit also holds parties, corporate events, fundraisers and more out on the lanes or in a private VIP area.
In addition to bowling leagues, the venue recently launched an indoor golf-simulator league that sold out in two days. If you're not in the league, you can still work on your swing with the infrared tracking system that measures the ball's speed, launch angle and other statistics.
"There's no shortage of items we're trying to push and promote," McLaren said, also touting the arcade.
Follow Rick Sobey on Twitter @rsobeyLSun.