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A vibrant and fun, exciting activity centre featuring a bowling alley and a plethora of sports/games for you and your friends and family to enjoy in the heart of Sunderland city centre.

Bowling alley at Sunderland Bowl activity centre

Image courtesy of Matthias Zomer

This venue has all sorts of activities for people of all ages and all interests to enjoy. As you walk through the big main entrance, you immediately step into a space filled with arcade games and several pool tables to one side. The bowling alley includes plenty of lanes with balls suitable for players of all ages and capabilities in terms of weight. You can literally walk up to the booking desk and pay for a game of bowling without having to book ahead. The desk is straight through the arcade area from the main entrance.

You can also book other activities at the same desk including the mini gold, which is situated downstairs beside the bowling alley. The virtual gun range is also downstairs on the opposite side to the mini golf.

There are more activities upstairs including ping pong, shuffle pucks and dartboards. To get to the bar area, you walk left as you enter the venue, past the pool tables and there are plenty of tables to sit at with the bar stretching across the back of the room.

This is the only bowling alley of its kind in Sunderland where there are plenty of things to stimulate and entertain young children through to adults. This is what makes it the perfect place for leisurely fun on a rainy day.

Why you should visit Sunderland Bowl activity centre?

With the wide range of activities available, the fun atmosphere and awesome food and drink, there are plenty of reasons why you should give this place a visit.

Activities

The following activities that can be booked online or on the door include:

  • Bowling
  • Virtual gun range
  • Smart darts
  • Shuffle pucks
  • Mini golf
  • Beer pong
  • Table tennis
  • Pool

Bowling

Bowling is a fun activity/sport that all the family can enjoy. It’s also entertaining to sit and watch other people playing. The lanes are kept well conditioned and players can choose to book as many games as they like- with the option to play three games for just £9.00. It’s just round the corner from the bar so you can take drinks and food to the seating area of each lane.

Virtual Gun Range

The virtual gun range is an activity that is different and unlike any others. It’s essentially an arcade game and players must shoot at targets with a toy plastic gun. This is a great activity for those who get competitive and for those who to hone their target practice. The activity is also cowboy/western themed- if you or your friends are into western it’s right up your street!

Shuffle Pucks

Shuffle pucks is essentially the traditional shuffleboard game but more high-end. Challenge your friends and family to a game of shuffleboard on these great big long shiny tables and top quality pucks. This activity is located upstairs in the venue.

Mini Golf

Recently bought to Sunderland Bowl, is the Atlantis Mini Golf. Basically miniature golf courses with an ocean theme throughout- can you overcome the pirate ship and reach the treasure chest? This activity is suitable for young children through to adults and nobody has to be a professional golfer to be able to have a go. Each mini course features a fun ocean-themed array of obstacles and challenges to make the activity more interesting and entertaining.

Other Activities

The classic activities like darts and pool can also be booked at this activities centre in Sunderland. The experience is different to playing pool/darts at the pub, you have the atmosphere and the top quality pool tables and lit-up dartboards. There’s also plenty of tables and dartboards with decent space so you won’t be fighting for the pool table and you can also book in advance to guarantee your own pool table for as long as you like.

Beer pong and table tennis can also be booked on their ping pong tables upstairs. Beer pong is perfect for parties, night-outs and lots of laughs (you don’t HAVE to drink the beer though!) this activity is essentially a fun twist on traditional table tennis.

It is recommended to book online for all activities to avoid disappointments. Click here to book online on their website.

Food and Drink

Their bar serves up all kinds of cocktails, alcohol and soft drinks and they have their own kitchen where they cater all kinds of meals for people of all tastes.

Their menu includes a pizza menu, with pizzas baked in a stone pizza oven and made to order- you can even create your own custom pizza! Other main meals include cheeseburger, loaded fries, hotdogs, wraps and nachos- enough to make your mouth water! They have a Kids meals section serving smaller portion-sized meals and snacks including pizza slices, chicken bites and a cheeseburger meal.

You can also share with your friends and family of up to four people with a selection of sharing platters including chicken combos and pizza platters.

Sides and snacks to satisfy your nibbles or accompany your meal include fries, onion rings, garlic bread etc.

And why not treat yourself to the cocktails menu? It is essentially a huge list of different cocktails of all kinds of flavours and varieties. Other drinks include draught beers available on the bar, wine, spirits and also soft drinks and low-alcohol beers/ciders. They do also have a coffee machine and you can grab a cup of tea, filter coffee or hot chocolate.

Click here to view their menu.

Events & clubs

They also have regular events that include:

  • 80s disco party
  • After school clubs
  • DJ party night
  • Sky Sports & BT Sports

Every Friday and Saturday they have DJ parties and occasionally themed parties like 80s and 90s discos. They also show sports events on flat screen TVs around the venue on various sports channels like Sky Sports and BT Sports.

A lot of these events can be paid for on the door. Click here to follow their Facebook page to keep up to date with new events

Special offers

As well as special events people can also have their own parties and special occasions with their friends and family. With plenty of special offers and packaged available including:

  • VIP family package
  • Mini golf package
  • Shuffleboard package
  • Smart darts package
  • Twilight package

People can also book a bowling and mini golf package- Bowl & Putt- which includes a round of golf and one game of bowling. The Twilight Package includes two games of bowling and drinks included. Click here to find out more on their website about booking.

Accessibility

This bowling alley and activity centre in Sunderland is definitely one of the most family-friendly and accessible places for people with neurodivergent or physical disability needs.

Wheelchair access

They do have a lift inside the venue so that wheelchair users can access the upstairs facilities. The entrance is wide and open with automatic doors and no steps to get over.

A lot of the activities at this centre in Sunderland are also suitable for wheelchair users. Wheelchair users can take part in ten pin bowling because they provide bowling ramps on the lanes.

The arcade area is not too crowded and there is plenty of walking space between the arcade machines. The bar area also offers ample space for wheelchair users to move around.

Toilet facilities

There is a disabled toilet located downstairs and other general toilet facilities upstairs.

Inclusive menu

Their menu features options suitable for people with dietary requirements including vegan & vegetarian options as well as gluten-free. The vegan options are clearly marked with a “V”. What makes the bar more accessible is their QR code provided on their menus. This allows visitors to order food and drink to be taken directly to their table or bowling lane. All they need to do is scan the QR code displayed on the menu. This is a good idea for people on wheelchairs and people who prefer not to walk too much. It’s also helpful for people who didn’t feel comfortable walking up to the bar especially when it’s busy.

Seating space

Their seating space is open and spacious and they plenty of it around the activity centre. The bowling lanes all have comfortable upholstered seats for spectators/players to sit on during their gaming session. There is also a low table provided at the bowling lane seats so people can put their drinks down and eat at. There are also seats around the arcade area and the pool tables as well as upstairs by the darts and shuffleboards.

Child-friendly

This activity centre in Sunderland is very child-friendly making it suitable for family days out and treats for young children’s birthdays/school holidays. Bear in mind it is likely to get busy during school holidays and weekends. Other reasons why this place is child-friendly is their inclusive menu providing a kids meals options. They have baby changing facilities in the disabled toilets and also provide highchairs for infants and toddlers in the bar area.

Activities accessibility

The activities in this centre in Sunderland are all suitable for people of all ages and abilities. The bowling lane has bowling balls of different weights and fingerhole sizes so their are balls light and small enough for younger children to use. They also provide ramps for people who may have a physical disability impeding them from being able to throw a bowling ball. You can also ask to put the side barriers up on the lane to make the game easier for people who may have poor eyesight or motor coordination skills in aiming. This activity centre in Sunderland really do go to great lengths to ensure absolutely everybody can enjoy taking part in the activities.

The other activities include the mini golf course recently installed. They provide smaller golf clubs for young children and people of short height. The courses are all clearly lit up with vibrant colours. The overall lighting is kept dimmed so its not too over dazzling and sensory overloading.

The dartboards are lit up so the numbers and markings on the boards are clearly visible for people wit impaired eyesight. The scoring system is easy to manage and a member of staff can keep score for you.

The virtual gun range is also suitable for wheelchair users as you can take part in the activity from a seated position. Sounds and lights make the activity easy for people with hearing or sight problems. Noise levels are not overly loud for people with sensory needs.

The shuffle pucks are also suitable for people with disabilities as the long tables are clearly lit with overhead lamps so the numbers and markings can be seen. The pucks are designed so they are easy to grip and easy for someone to put their hand over a person they are supporting so they can help move their hand for them when shooting the pucks. The tables are also at a height suitable for a wheelchair user to reach the playing surface.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere in this activity centre in Sunderland in general is very fun and light-hearted. There can be noise when it is very busy but the activity centre itself has music playing quietly in the background so it’s not above conversation level. The lighting throughout the venue is soft and not glaringly bright. They have carpeting on the floor surfaces with a subtle design not too vivid for people with dementia who may be affected by this kind of thing. At the entrance, they have textured flooring which makes it easy for blind people to navigate as they come inside. All the stairs have railings to provide support for people with walking and balance impairments. Overall, a very friendly and accessibly-advanced environment.

Parking

The nearest parking available is right outside the venue on the roadside but this is limited to nine spaces not necessarily disabled. The Sunniside pay and display car park a one-minute’s walk from the Sunderland Bowl activity centre. Other parking in the vicinity includes the High Street West Car Park which also has electric vehicle charging points and disabled spaces, and it is a four-minute’s walking distance to the Sunderland Bowl activity centre.

Public transport

There is a bus stop on the road passing the front of the Sunderland Bowl activity centre. The bus can be caught from here to as far as Washington and Stanley. Other bus services can be caught from the bus station to Durham, Newcastle and Bishop Auckland. The bus station is at Sunderland Interchange is a 10-15 minute-walk. Other public transport include the Metro Rail service going to Newcastle and South Shields as well as Seaham and as far South as Peterlee and Middlesborough.

Conclusion

We hope you found this listing helpful in finding accessible venues and activities centres in Sunderland and County Durham. For more similar recommended places try the following listings:

Places nearby to eat out include Wetherspoons William Jameson and Copper Rose.

Q Is the kitchen open during all opening hours?

Q How many bowling lanes does the place have?

Q What activities can wheelchair users take part in?

Q Can I bring my own food and drink into the venue?

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  • Monday11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
  • Thursday11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
  • Friday11:00 AM - 12:00 AM
  • Saturday10:00 AM - 12:00 AM
  • Sunday10:00 AM - 11:00 PM
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