Nocturnal Nights in the O.C.

By Tristan Lim

Between balancing academic pursuits, social events and searching for jobs and internships, personal merriment tends to sit on the back burner for students. Happiness should have priority in college and Orange County supplies it in abundance.

Despite the fact that some students have class after 3 p.m., Orange County remains vibrant and energetic.

As one of many entertaining places to visit in Orange County, Bowlmor Lanes stands as the best after dark bowling alley.
Located in Anaheim on West Katella Avenue, Bowlmor is in close proximity to Disneyland, so expect a crowd or a long line of cars after 7 p.m.

The bowling alley is connected to the parking structure, making it relatively easy to locate. Since Bowlmor’s doors are always open, you can hear the music echoing throughout the structure.
Upon entering the facility, you will be greeted by the refreshing, cool air. The lights are significantly dimmed throughout the entire structure but there are seemingly countless colored lights to illuminate each lane. Large screens displaying music videos are set out at the end of each lane. The bowling balls are conveniently placed at the end of each lane in order to prevent the massive search for the perfectly sized ball for each player. Each lane boasts red couches along with a small serving table for snacks and drinks. A sports bar and numerous billiard tables scattered throughout the alley also enhance Bowlmor’s charm.

The bowling alley also has a private bowling area for large parties or formal gatherings.
Away from the main lanes, the reserved and private room hosts three bowling lanes and a bar. The private bowling room is much more illuminated in comparison to the rest of Bowlmor.

“The lights are dimmed more throughout the building to give it a dance, club feel,” said one of Bowlmor’s bowling host. “The private room is more for formal parties than get together with friends.”

Bowlmor appeals to a rather diverse audience. It attracts family and employee gatherings in a casual setting but the layout of the entire structure centers it on parties and other nightlife events.
The bowling alley is most prolific at night and especially towards the weekend.

“It definitely gets full but not too crowded,” said an employee.

After 8 p.m., Bowlmor is in full swing. The music is altered to the latest hits and the lights are dimmed, highlighting the array of changing colored lights on each lane.After dark, an energetic and lively atmosphere replaces the casual ambience that dominates  the late and early afternoon. Close friends, parties and other groups truly proliferate the night, compelling all the visitors to feed off of everyone’s energy. Yells and cries of banter echo throughout Bowlmor as a player gets a strike. If a large and prominent game is occurring, the screens change from showing music videos to coverage of that event. The sound of crashing of pins, balls smashing against the wood and the thumping music also permeate the bowling alley, lasting late into the evening.

Bowlmor Lanes close at midnight or 1 a.m. on the weekends. However, most people have a rather difficult time leaving due to the vibrancy of the night.

For students who have never been to a club, this place is a great starting point. Despite lacking a DJ, dance floor and dancers, Bowlmor Lanes retains this modern pop atmosphere, emulating that of a dance club.

Alternatively a dance club, The Heat, is located at the Gardenwalk of Anaheim for those who truly crave a dance club atmosphere with a DJ and a dance floor.

Since the Gardenwalk of Anaheim is significantly smaller than the Irvine Spectrum, you should expect crowds of people along the sidewalk.

If you have never been to Disneyland or Gardenwalk, the Cheesecake Factory and Bubba Gump on Katella Avenue are great indicators to mark, since they are part of shopping area.

Although Anaheim is not the closest city to Irvine, the drive to Bowlmor is worth the time and effort, especially after long, difficult weeks of lectures and exams.