- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 24, 2002

Location: White Oak Duckpin Bowling Lanes are at 11207 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, in the basement of the White Oak Shopping Center.

Directions: From the Beltway, drive northbound on New Hampshire Avenue. Travel three or four miles; pass a small golf course on the right-hand side. Turn right onto Lockwood Drive and left into the shopping-center parking lot.

Lane availability: White Oak is open daily, but league bowlers occupy many lanes every day. Open lanes on weekends are as follows: Saturdays, 24 lanes are open noon to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., 16 lanes are open 6 to 9 p.m.; Sundays, 24 lanes are open 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m., seven lanes are open 6:15 to 11 p.m. Call the facility for the weekday and holiday schedule. White Oak accepts reservations for groups and parties only, and it does get crowded. Day manager Joanne Blaschke says the average wait is generally half an hour or so, which easily could be spent lingering in the nearby Starbucks or Rite Aid.

Admission and parking: Bowling prices are per game, per person. Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., bowlers pay $2.50 and senior citizens pay $1.50. All bowlers pay $3.25 per game Monday through Friday after 5 p.m. and all day Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Shoe rentals cost $2 for children age 12 and younger and $2.50 for adults. Parking is free and plentiful.

Refreshments: White Oak Lanes' snack bar, the Spare Room, has a huge menu of reasonably priced food made to order. Selections include pizza, french fries, subs, sandwiches, snacks, breakfast items, ice cream, beer and soft drinks. Bowlers can take those curly fries and fruit punch nearly right up to the lanes and munch between turns.

Information: 301/593-3000. The Web site is www.whiteoaklanes.com.

Notes:

•This place is clean even the bathrooms. Unlike many bowling alleys, White Oak is a smoke-free facility (except for a small glass-enclosed room).

• Don't worry about catching a disease from the shoes each pair is sprayed with Shoo-Spray, a disinfectant deodorant, when it is returned.

• A game for five persons takes about an hour, and two games seem to be enough for younger children.

• On Saturday nights, the facility offers "Cosmic Bowling" from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., with music, fog disco lights and glow-in-the-dark lighting.

Other options:

•Maryland duckpin lanes include AMF Bowie, Bowie, 301/262-5553; AMF College Park, College Park, 301/474-8282; Dee's Lanes, Suitland, 301/735-9534; Village Lanes, Frederick, 301/662-1442; Glen Burnie Bowling Center, Glen Burnie, 410/636-5904; Mount Airy Lanes, Mount Airy, 301/829-0710; and Severna Park Lanes, Severna Park, 410/647-0811.

•In Virginia, try Falls Church Bowling Center, Falls Church, 703/533-8131.


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