Indianapolis is home to many bowling alleys. But Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling, located in the Indianapolis neighborhood of Fountain Square, is probably the most unusual — and perhaps the oldest — bowling alley you’ll find in the Midwest. Family-friendly and fun for all ages, duckpin bowling uses smaller, lighter balls, so it’s perfect for the smallest bowlers in your bunch.
Duckpin Bowling in Indianapolis
Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling is a great place to visit any time of the year, but it’s an especially great place to consider when you’re looking for someplace near downtown that’s a) fun for families, b) indoors and c) not crowded, which can be a tall order. (During the pandemic, the bowling alley caps the number of visitors, and uses every other bowling lane). When my family and I visited, it was during a drizzly, cold afternoon, and we were the only people in the bowling alley.
Reservations are suggested, so we made a reservation over the phone, as Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling doesn’t take reservations online. The price per lane is $30 per hour and lane on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and $40 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Up to six people can use one lane.
When we arrived at Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling, we were amazed at all of the vintage bowling memorabilia. As we made our way to our lane, it was like stepping back in time to 50 years ago, when telephone booths were still a thing.
Duckpin Bowling with Kids
One thing is for sure: Duckpin bowling is fun! It’s especially fun for kids, because the bowling balls are smaller (about the size of a small coconut), so they are easier to hold and throw.
Not only are duckpin bowling balls smaller, but the bowling pins are smaller, too. So this means that it’s a little more difficult to get a strike or a spare. It’s helpful to keep your expectations in check! When my family and I played, we tried to focus on just having fun. In duckpin bowling, each player gets three chances to hit the pins (as opposed to two chances with typical 10-pin bowling), so you get more tries to knock them down!
When you are doing any kind of activity with kids, it’s helpful to take breaks. Fortunately, there is a small cafe inside the bowling alley, so we snagged some snacks. They have pizza, pretzels, wings, nachos, fries and lots of other foods to share. You can order your food and take it to your lane to eat.
We spent about an hour and a half duckpin bowling, and it was time well spent for our whole family. Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling is an Indianapolis gem that you should definitely check out!
Location, Hours, Parking and Other Information
Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling is located at 1105 Prospect Street in Indianapolis. Enter the double doors under the neon duckpin sign.
Hours are Tuesday & Wednesday, 1-9 p.m.; Thursday, 1-10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 1 p.m.-Midnight; Sunday, 1-7 p.m. It is closed Mondays.
Parking is free in Fountain Square. You’ll find street parking near the building, or public parking lots at the corner of Shelby and Morris Street behind the Forte building, as well as a smaller public lot on Woodlawn Avenue, between Virginia Avenue and Shelby Street.
For more information and to make a reservation, visit fountainsquareindy.com/action-atomic-duckpin-bowling or call 317-685-1955.