Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Touring Boston - The Unexpected Awesomeness of Candle Pin Bowling

Until I moved to Boston I didn’t know such a thing as Candle Pin Bowling existed, but I'm so glad we've discovered it!

Candle Pin bowling is similar to the usual ten pin bowling in the sense that your sending a ball down a lane to hit over pins, but the pins are tall and slender (hence the name candle pin) and the ball is also small, about the size of a grapefruit and much lighter than the ten pin bowling balls.  This makes it awesome for kids!  For once they can actually hold the ball without being toppled over by it!

Candle Pin Bowling

However don't think that just because the balls are lighter and that kids have a blast that you, as an adult, wont be challenged by this sport.  It's surprisingly difficult to knock over those little pins with your little ball, and there are no perfect games in recorded history.

Candle Pin Bowling
Wikipedia’s input on the subject - The main differences between candlepin bowling and the predominant ten-pin bowling style are that each player uses three balls per frame, the balls are much smaller (11.43 cm, or 4.5" diameter) and do not have holes. Also, the downed pins (known as 'wood') are not cleared away between balls during a player's turn and the pins are thinner, and thus harder to knock down. Because of these differences, scoring points is considerably more difficult than in ten-pin bowling, and the highest officially sanctioned score ever recorded is 245 out of a possible 300 points.

We went to the FlatBread Company/Sacco's Bowl Haven for our bowling and enjoyed some wood fire pizza while we waited for a lane to open. We didn't have a vehicle so it was nice to be able to reach this place by public transportation with only a little bit of walking.

Candle Pin Bowling
As far as bowling went...  I loved it! I think it's much more fun than regular bowling and much faster! You don’t have to wait for your ball to be returned every round or for the pins to be cleared each time. You just grab three light little balls and roll them down the lane as quickly as possible. The downed pins are helpful in knocking over some of the standing pins.

On the other hand keeping your own score on a piece of paper was a bit confusing initially.  I had the benefit of competing with two MIT students and they got it figured out pretty well. All in all we had a blast and I would highly recommend this to anyone visiting or living in New England.


Five Stars.  I like bowling, and I loved candle pin bowling.  Perfect for both kids and adults.

Have you been here before?  If so I'd love to know more about your experience and any tips or tricks you have in the comments section below. 

Sacco's Bowl Haven / FlatBread Company (Candle Pin Bowling)
45 Day Street
Somerville, MA

Candle Pin Bowling
Phone: 617.776.0552

OPEN 7 Days a Week
Baking Hours: 11:30AM -11:30PM
Sundays close at 10:30PM

Bowling Hours 9:00AM - Midnight
Sundays close at 10:30PM