Growing up in North Conway, New Hampshire, I would frequent Saco Valley Sports Center quite a bit.

After moving to Maine back in 2000, I was surprised to see that ten-pin bowling (aka big ball bowling) was even a thing. I've tried it several times, and just haven't been able to get used to it, not to mention I have lower back issues, so if I'm doing a bowling night, I prefer to keep it candlepin style.

After doing some research, I was able to find seven confirmed bowling alleys that are keeping it local and old school and still offering candlepin bowling.

1. Wesport Bowling Lanes - Westbrook

Located around the Portland-Westbrook line on Main Street, Westport Bowling is super old school in the best way possible. One Yelp reviewer states that it's just like walking into 1968, which others mention is part of their charm. The consensus on this trip back in time seems to be friendly staff, cheap bowling, and cheap beer.

2. The Big 20 Bowling - Scarborough

You've probably at least driven by The Big 20, right on Rt. 1 in Scarborough. With bit more of a modern touch, they host leagues, birthday parties, events, and offer food and beverages.

3. 33 Elmwood - Westbrook

You'll get the best of both worlds at 33 Elmwood. They offer both candlepin and ten-pin bowling. They have food, beverages, and host events at their new outdoor space they call Garden 33.

4. Just-In-Time Recreation - Lewiston

Formerly Sparetime Recreation, Just-In-Time Recreation also offers ten-pin and candlepin bowling and offer "Glow Bowling" a couple of times per month. Just-In-Time is a very popular spot to bowl and host events, and they offer a sit down restaurant.

*Note: At the time of this article, Just-In-Time Recreation is still currently closed following the horrific shooting event that happened back in October. 

5. Saco Valley Lanes - Fryeburg

As I mentioned earlier in the article, this is the spot that I grew up bowling. Opening in 1980, I stopped by Saco Valley Lanes to bowl about four or five years ago, and was pleasantly surprised when my childhood came rushing back right when I stepped in the door. Not a lot had changed about this vintage bowling spot, which I liked. They offer food, beverages, and host events and leagues.

6. Pineland Farms - New Gloucester

With over 5,000 acres and trails on-site for biking, trail running and disc-golf in the summer months and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating in the winter, Pineland Farms is the perfect spot to hit year-round for outdoor (and indoor) activities. Candlepin bowling is offered seven days a week, but check the hours first. 

7. Archie's Strike & Spare - Kezar Falls

This vintage bowling spot resembles Saco Valley Lanes (and isn't too far away) in the realm of the vintage nostalgia feel that you get when you walk through the door, Archie's Strike and Spare offer food, host events, and have "Glow Bowl" every Saturday evening.

8. Bowl-A-Rama - Sanford

Offering food, candlepin bowling, and a fun spot to host an event, Bowl-A-Rama is an affordable place to spend some time with friends and family. They also host leagues and have an arcade.

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