Fifties Flashback Family Date

Quick Tips:

  • Fat Jack’s opens at 11am and gets crowded fast. Go when they open.
  • Bring cash for tip to Fat Jack’s
  • Fresno Bowlero is more spacious that Clovis Bowlero – more comfortable with kids

After spending all last week cooped up organizing, I wanted to do something fun… as a family… Out of the house! It was going to be a hot one and Kellan had been begging to go bowling for months, so we thought we’d give it a go. Since I’m never one to pass up a theme we thought we’d make if a 50s flashback family date. (Although, is bowling 50s? I don’t know why I have that association. The shoes?) Either way, we had our inspiration so where better than the classic 50s diner, Fat Jack’s?!

Rob and I were starving so we ignored the kids protests to go bowling first and went for an early lunch. Thankfully getting to the restaurant early turned out to work in our favor as the place was full by noon. We got there at 11am and were able to settle into an empty restaurant before the lunch crowd arrived. Something unique to be aware of, they will have you pay right after you order and if you pay with credit card you can’t add a tip so bring cash. The food is classic diner char-grilled burgers, fries, and shakes.

The setting is what really makes it! The kids loved the decor, from the neon lights and black and white check floor to all of the vintage celebrity posters. And the classic 50s music had them dancing all over the joint, until the place got full.

With full tummies we headed down the street to the Clovis Bowlero. I had never been to this hip, chain bowling alley, but I’d seen pictures and Kellan and Rob had been to the one in Fresno and had a great time. I was excited to play with our camera in the glowing lights with all of the fun signs and decor.

The ambiance did not disappoint. However, at noon on Saturday it was really busy and crowded. We had a good time but it was a little stressful managing the kids, their bowling balls, and not interrupting the neighboring games. As we were leaving at 1pm we noticed that it was much less busy. In retrospect Bridget is probably a little young to really enjoy it, though they did have a dinosaur ramp to help young bowlers, bumpers available on all lanes, and the shoes. It was worth it just to have her rock the shoes!

Kellan absolutely loved it again but Rob reflected that the Fresno Bowlero has more space and allows for a smoother experience with kids. We will definitely check out the one on our side of town next time and try to take advantage of one of the deals they run throughout the week.

I actually really enjoyed helping Bridget roll the ball down the lane. She got so excited each time. I would say however, that the high price tag caused us to feel more pressure to have fun. As we learned with Disneyland, price tag expectations can quickly be a damper on fun with little ones because there are always going to be challenges and the money often feels so much heavier when things don’t go smooth.

Hope this gives you some insight and inspiration to find something fun to do with your family! Leave me a comment and tell me what you think. Thanks for reading!

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