Burnt to a crisp with sand in places there shouldn’t be our family was in need of a break from the beach. Our quest to find a bowling alley along the emerald coast washed us into Uncle Bucks Fishbowl during our visit to Destin, FL.
Nothing will prepare you for the pleasant surprise of stepping foot into an underwater-themed bowling alley. Where sea creatures adorn every wall and little scallywags can grab their bowling balls out of a shark’s mouth. If you are on the hunt for a great indoor thing to do in Destin, FL Uncle Bucks Fishbowl is right up your alley!
After grabbing the topless mermaid door handles to enter this magical underwater playland we were surprised that it was not crowded. One of the perks of vacationing in the month of April which is a low tourist season for Destin.
The bowling alley is truly a nautical feast for the eyes. Take a few minutes to soak in all in, because it is a sight to behold.
Ready, Set, Bowl!
The staff were friendly and got us squared away in a lane within minutes. This was our daughter’s first time bowling so we went in ready to jump ship in a moment’s notice. It was great that they offered lane rentals in half-hour increments and the staff even recommended it for her.
She told us the little ones tend to be done in about 20 minutes to a half-hour and she hit the nail on the head. The novelty of bowling wore off around minute 23 and the wandering toddler came out.
Uncle Bucks Fishbowl was very clean and the lanes were practically sparkling. You have five minutes to get situated in your lane before the clock starts ticking. If you have more than one child you will have to huff it to get everyone in shoes and bowling balls picked out.
Servers do come and take your order so you don’t have to worry about venturing to the bar to order food and drinks. Taking a seat at the bar is like pulling up a chair with King Neptune and they have every drink under the sea.
Once everyone had the proper footwear on, we set Sophie up with a bowling assistance ramp. Take care of bumpers during check-in.
Tip: Bumpers are automatic and will only pop up for the players selected. For toddlers, I would have everyone bowl with bumpers since they will be doing the majority of bowling.
Our first bowling attempt was a success, however, nothing could outshine the glory of a shark ball return. Sophie only wanted to bowl so the ball would come back out from the shark’s mouth. To be fair, it is a pretty novel idea.
Where is Uncle Bucks Fishbowl in Destin, FL?
Uncle Bucks Fishbowl is a chain with many locations throughout the US. The Destin location can be found at 4251 Legendary Drive, Destin FL 32541 near the Bass Pro Shop. Signs will help guide you once you enter the outdoor mall.
Be sure to check out: Great Things To Do With Kids While In Destin.
Know Before You Go
- If you choose to go on a weekend or during a rainy day expect a two, three, or even five-hour wait! There are only 16 lanes and since it is such a fun thing to do in Destin folks start lining up. My advice is to go when they first open or during the weekday when it is nice outside. We went on a Wednesday at 2:00 pm in April and there was no wait.
- In the event, you have to wait, the bowling alley is located in an outdoor mall. You can shop and eat before you bowl!
- There are a restaurant and bar in the bowling alley. From reading reviews and then creeping on the food that I saw come out, I am glad we ate elsewhere before we came. Since I did not sample to gourmet bowling alley specialties I can’t give a review, but I will say that I was not impressed with what I saw while there.
- Don’t forget your socks! The charge is $3.50 per pair. They are soft and comfortable, but not the souvenir you want to take home.
- Rent the lanes out in 30-minute increments. We opted for only 30 minutes while the family next to us opted for two hours. If you have a toddler I recommend only 30 minutes because then the novelty wears off and the chase begins.
The Cost To Bowl at Uncle Bucks Fishbowl in Destin
Pricing as of 3/2020:
Shoes are $4.25
You rent the lane so there is no individual charge per person to bowl. Lanes can accommodate up to 8 people.
Weekdays it is $32/ hour or $16/ half hour
Weekend it is $37/hour or $18.50/half hour
Money-Saving Tip For Bowling In Destin
Uncle Bucks Fishbowl will often run Groupons. Be sure to check Groupon to see if one is currently running. It is also a great spot to catch other great deals for indoor activities.
Another great rainy day activity in Destin is the Emerald Coast Science Center.
Looking for more fun along the Gulf Coast? Check out our Guide To Visiting Gulf Shores