By: Hunter Watson
Have you ever been stumped to think of a fun place to take the whole family? If so, your problem is solved because there is a local bowling alley with everything you need to have a fun and safe night with your family or friends. Out of all the attractions located in Zanesville, Ohio, Sunrise Strikes has been my favorite since I was a kid. If you are looking for a fun-filled family day, it is the place to go because they have fun things to do for all ages, very nice employees, and great food all for reasonable prices.
Sunrise Strikes grabbed my attention as soon as I walked in, with thirteen lanes on each side and bright lighting. The atmosphere is welcoming and puts off a fun vibe. Once you walk in, you are greeted by an employee at the counter. The employee who assisted me was willing to answer all of my questions and was very knowledgeable about every aspect of the business. The first thing I decided to do was bowl. I told the employee how long I wanted to bowl, and I paid. Then, he helped me find shoes my size, and if you would happen to forget socks or wear sandals, they have socks for each person to keep. Since I was a kid, one thing that has changed is the means of keeping score. Before, you kept score on a note card by hand; nowadays you enter players’ names into a computer, and it tells you when it is your turn and automatically keeps score. There are two tables per lane, which give you plenty of room for at least eight people. A common problem in large bowling alleys is a lack of equipment. By equipment I mean enough bowling balls, ball ramps for children, and shoes. The employee informed me that they are always purchasing new shoes, although they may be used. As the business grows, the need for more supplies increases. The man also told me that they have bowling ramps for every lane and two extras, in case one would happen to break. As for bowling balls, they are everywhere, and neatly organized by size and weight. I was informed that there would be enough bowling balls for every person even if the bowling alley was at maximum capacity, not including the balls stored in the back. Another great asset of Sunrise Strikes is the business hours. If you are busy during the day or if you are just a night owl, the bowling alley has late hours, and sometimes they extend hours for cosmic bowling until two in the morning. My favorite time to bowl is at night when they shut the lights off and turn the black lights on. If you think bowling is exciting during the day, it comes alive when everything begins to glow and they turn the music up. After a couple hours of bowling, you work up an appetite. Sunrise Strikes has a small cafe inside with food and drinks brought right to your lane. Their menu has a wide variety of food including pizza, wings, pasta dishes, and snack foods as well as juice, milk, Pepsi products, and multiple adult beverages. The kitchen staff makes the food to order, and if you do not like a topping or sauce, you can get anything taken off or added on. There are some—however, very few—gluten-free options. Just as if it was a restaurant, the kitchen must meet standards for equipment and the setup of the kitchen, and they are randomly inspected by the county health department.
Once your stomach is full and you get your second wind, you can continue to bowl or try out the games. The arcade is small, but there are many game options for kids four and up. Some of my personal favorites include the big game hunter, air hockey, dirt bike race, and pool. My last stop before I left Sunrise Strikes took me outside to the putt-putt course. You can pick your putter and ball up inside or outside at what they call “the shack.” They have putters for those who are tall and short, and golf balls in every color. The process of keeping score for putt-putt is, however, the same as it has been for years: pencil and paper. There are eighteen holes, and the first three are handicap accessible. They added spinners throughout the course that give you the opportunity to change the game up some as you play. Each spinner has eight different rules it may land on. Some of the rules the spinners say include using your foot as your putter, putting with your eyes closed, adding three to your final score, putting with your non-dominant hand, and many others. The course has been updated with new green carpet and flags at every hole. The course is similar to those that you would see at the beach. It contains waterfalls, large rocks, and bridges, making the course more challenging. I really enjoyed it. When you have completed all the holes, you tally up everyone’s score, and the player with the lowest score is the winner. You then return your putter and golf ball to the shack, and you can go back to another activity or head home.
Sunrise Strikes provides so many options for every individual and accommodates numerous plans. If you want to spend a full day with kids, there are plenty of things to do and food to eat. If you want to have a fun, safe night out with friends, you can bowl the night away. Business picks up in the fall and winter months, so you may need to call ahead and reserve lanes. Sunrise Strikes hosts private parties upon request and will reserve lanes during regular hours for parties of eight or more. If you are ever in the Zanesville area and are looking for a fun activity, Sunrise Strikes is well worth a visit.