Chalet Bowl: Washington’s Oldest Bowling Alley Offers Family Fun in the Heart of Tacoma

By Margo Greenman

tags logoThe Pacific Northwest is a rainy place. No matter the season, gray skies can set in at the drop of a hat.

When the clouds and rain roll in, outdoor activities can easily lose their appeal, sending South Sounders indoors. But, what to do once inside?

With inclimate weather so bountiful in the region, there are lots of options for warm – and dry – indoor fun for people of all interests and ages. A local favorite, however, is bowling at Washington state’s oldest operating bowling alley, Chalet Bowl in Tacoma’s Proctor District.

Originally established at North End Alleys back in the early 1940s, Chalet Bowl is the oldest operating bowling alley in the state.
Originally established as North End Alleys back in the early 1940s, Chalet Bowl is the oldest operating bowling alley in the state.

Chalet Bowl was originally established as North End Alleys in 1941, making it the region’s oldest operating bowling alley, says co-owner Alyson Frederick. Alyson co-owns the popular boutique bowling alley with her husband, Billy, and Billy’s parents, Reggie and Nancy, who acquired the bowling alley more than three decades ago.

An owner of Chalet Bowl for more than 30 years, Reggie’s involvement with the North End bowling alley dates back even further. Alyson says Reggie started out as the alley’s pin boy back when he was in high school. After college, Reggie returned and purchased the business. It has been owned and operated by the Fredericks ever since – a legacy that will continue on with Alyson and Billy.

While Alyson explains that Chalet can’t compete with larger, chain companies, they have been able to enjoy long-standing success thanks to their league of loyal customers.

This same loyalty is what keeps so many small, family owned businesses in the Proctor District thriving.

Offering league nights for adults and kids, glow bowling on Friday and Saturday nights, weekly and special events – all in addition to regular play – Chalet Bowl has something for everyone, at family friendly, affordable prices.

Alyson says right now Chalet Bowl is trying to encourage younger bowlers to come out and enjoy the classic sport by signing up for a junior league. Alyson says bowling is a great way for kids to get introduced in the sport and get involved in a team. With only one tournament per week and the option to practice as much or as little as you want, bowling provides a less intensive but equally fun sporting alternative to more traditional team sports like soccer or baseball. There are also many scholarship opportunities available to students who excel.

Chalet Bowl offers adult and junior leagues, glow bowling, weekly specials and more.
Chalet Bowl offers adult and junior leagues, glow bowling, weekly specials and more.

For the older kids, Chalet Bowl plays host to the University of Puget Sound’s popular bowling class, which is instructed at the bowling alley by Reggie himself. On Thursday nights the lanes also fill with rambunctious University of Puget Sound students during KUPS nights – which are DJed by the college’s radio show hosts from 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Older generations find joy at Chalet, too. During my most recent visit to the lanes I met George, who has been hitting pins at Chalet for more than 30 years.

Bringing in seasoned bowlers and newbies alike, Chalet Bowl offers bowling opportunities for players of all ages and skill level. And, in addition to the many leagues and special events hosted at the popular lanes, Chalet is also a great place to throw a private party.

Offering a full food menu, beer and more, Alyson says Chalet has been a popular spot for holiday business parties, birthday parties and more. You can rent as few as four and as many as 12 lanes. You can add catering to your party package, host a pizza party, glow bowling and more – just visit Chalet Bowl’s private event page for more details, or call Alyson to schedule your party.

What’s more, Chalet Bowl isn’t just a great escape from the rain. During the dog days of summer, bowlers are invited to find refuge from the heat inside Chalet Bowl’s air conditioned building, making Chalet Bowl a great place for fun, year round.

Glow Bowling is a late night favorite at Chalet Bowl.
Glow Bowling is a late night favorite at Chalet Bowl.

For more information about Washington’s oldest lanes, or to test your skills in real time, visit Chalet Bowl’s website here, or visit the bowling alley – open seven days a week – at their Proctor District location at 3806 North 26th Street, Tacoma.

Chalet Bowl
3806 North 26th Street North
Tacoma, WA 98407
253-752-5200

Hours:

Monday: 3:00 p.m. – midnight
Tuesday: noon – 11:00 p.m.
Wednesday: noon – 11:00 p.m.
Thursday: noon – 11:00 p.m.
Friday: noon – midnight
Saturday: 11 a.m. – midnight
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

With prescheduled league nights, corporate events and more, lane availability may vary.

All photos courtesy of Alyson Frederick/Chalet Bowl.

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