Hundreds of Fort Drum children have participated in this summer’s Kids Bowl Free program at Pine Plains Bowling Center, and there is still time for even more to join in the fun. The nationwide program offers two free games of bowling per day for registered children from Thursday to Sunday throughout the summer. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)
Hundreds of Fort Drum children have participated in this summer’s Kids Bowl Free program at Pine Plains Bowling Center, and there is still time for even more to join in the fun. The nationwide program offers two free games of bowling per day for registered children from Thursday to Sunday throughout the summer. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Michael Strasser) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (July 20, 2021) -- Hundreds of Fort Drum children have participated in this summer’s Kids Bowl Free program at Pine Plains Bowling Center, and there is still time for even more to join in the fun.

The nationwide program offers two free games of bowling per day for registered children from Thursday to Sunday throughout the summer.

“This is a great program because it allows children to come into a safe environment, play with their friends and have fun together,” said Moira Trevisan, Fort Drum Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Nonappropriated Funds Support Services chief. “And not only just the kids, but we see a lot of families get involved, so I think it has also been a nice way to bring them together.”

Since June 25, more than 630 children have participated in the Kids Bowl Free program at Fort Drum. Melisa Gibbs, Pines Plains assistant business manager, said this already exceeds the total number from the previous summer it was offered.

“On the first day we promoted this, we had a line waiting outside by that afternoon when we opened,” she said.

Parents can register their children for the Kids Bowl Free program at www.kidsbowlfree.com. At every visit, children can enter to win a gaming system.

The program is available from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Gibbs said that part of the reason for the program’s popularity is that families are looking to try activities previously unavailable during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Also, bowling is something people like to do on rainy days, too, or when it gets too hot outside,” she said.

Trevisan said that they have been busy promoting the Kids Bowl Free program, Hyper Bowl, discounted family passes, as well as birthday party packages.

“We haven’t been able to offer packages here for a long time, so we’ll be starting that again in September,” she said. “People have been asking us about that. Also, we will be starting the bowling league in the fall.”

Since most Army installations have a community bowling center available, Trevisan said that many children are introduced to this family-friendly venue at a young age. Parties, family gatherings and special functions at their post bowling center become part of their childhood.

“Soldiers often share fond memories of their mom and dad taking them to bowl,” Trevisan said.

“And sometimes when Soldiers first arrive here, they stop in just to look and see where the bowling center is on post,” Gibbs said.

Pine Plains Bowling Center is located at 4320 Conway Road. For more information, call 315-772-6601 or visit www.facebook.com/FortDrumBowlingCenter.