If you want to stand out in the bowling alley during your cosmic bowling experience, wear colors that will pop under the ultraviolet black lights such as white or bright neon oranges, greens, yellows, pinks, purples, and blues. Glow-in-the-dark painted or appliqued clothing is also a must-have for this low-light sport.
In this article, we’ll provide you with the basics of cosmic bowling, its origins, and how it got its name. Impress your friends with your knowledge of the recreational sport’s history and all its cool features!
We’ll also school you on the best clothes, accessories, and makeup to wear cosmic bowling, especially colors that stand out in the dark setting of a black-lighted bowling alley. Get ready to jump into the glow-filled twist on a favorite pastime and party your neon socks off!
What Is Cosmic Bowling?
Cosmic bowling applies the same rules as regular ten-pin bowling with a regulation bowling ball and standard bowling lanes – but with a party twist. Turn off the lights and turn on the black-lights and lasers to play in a glow-in-the-dark atmosphere.
Most cosmic bowling events also feature fog machines, disco balls, and loud music (usually pop hits). To add even more flair, some bowling alleys provide glow-in-the-dark bowling balls, pins, and/or lanes.
Bowling alleys across the country offer cosmic bowling usually at a slightly higher price than a regular game. The fun doesn’t start until the sun goes down for maximum effect of the black-lighted atmosphere.
What Do You Wear Cosmic Bowling?
Time to break out the retro – since cosmic bowling was invented in the ‘90s, it is only fitting to rock some bright-colored T-shirts and ripped jeans. Make sure you’re comfy, but don’t worry about your shoes – remember this is bowling, those are provided.
Since cosmic bowling occurs under black light, wearing clothing, jewelry, and other accessories that maximize the glow factor are essential. White and neon colors, especially yellow, orange, and green, are your best bets.
Add some flair with glow-in-the dark nail polish or makeup to really stand out! Certain makeup brands have created products that glow in the dark or when viewed under black light. There are a variety of options including body and face paint, mascara, eyeliner, lip gloss, nail polish, and even hair dye!
What Colors Glow Best in the Dark for Cosmic Bowling?
White is the best color to wear under black light.
Fluorescent compounds added to most white clothing react to the ultraviolet black light and cause our eyes to view the otherwise invisible wavelength – that’s why it looks like your clothes are glowing! If you launder your clothes with detergent containing whitener or use whitening strips on your teeth, you’ll glow even brighter!
Neon yellow, orange, and green are must-have additions to your cosmic bowling wardrobe. Blues, purples, and pink don’t glow quite as bright, but can still add some pop if the shades are fluorescent enough.
Just remember – go as neon as possible; dark colors do not glow!
Avoid wearing red or black which doesn’t glow at all. Although you could get creative and intersperse these colors in your wardrobe to create an “invisible” vibe for certain parts of your body.
Don’t forget about your classic glow-in-the-dark paint. You can create your own fashion statement by purchasing glow-in-the-dark paint at your local craft store and decorating your T-shirts, pants, and socks. There are also pre-made glow-in-the-dark clothes that definitely get you noticed in the cosmic bowling alley.
Certain everyday materials such as fishing line, white paper, cotton balls, craft pipe cleaners, and most generic plastics also glow under black light, so get creative with your accessories. Pick up some glowstick jewelry and glow-in-the dark nail polish on your way to the bowling alley and glow it up! You can get a ton of glow in the dark accessories for under $10 at local dollar and/or party stores.
Why Is It Called Cosmic Bowling?
Also called glow bowling, cosmic bowling gets its name from the environment in which you play the game. It occurs at night with only ultraviolet black lights and laser lights to see by and encourages glowing equipment and clothing to give the experience an outer space – or cosmic – vibe.
Imagine watching glow-in-the-dark bowling balls racing towards glowing pins, while the neon figures celebrate strikes in the dark. With all those indeterminate glowing shapes fluorescing in a dark bowling alley, how could you believe you’re anywhere else except bowling among the planets and stars?
Did you know that Storm bowling balls have tons of different fragrances available for their bowling balls? This Storm bowling ball is widely popular due to its birthday cake fragrance!
Who Invented Cosmic Bowling?
In the early 1990s, the Brunswick Corporation, a leading company in bowling outfitting, invented cosmic bowling to attract younger generations to the sport. They encouraged alleys nationwide to adopt the galactic experience in order to keep bowling alive.
They discovered a way to equip bowling alleys with black lights and glow-in-the-dark lanes for an easy-to-use cosmic bowling setup for only $3000-4000, and rolled it out to about 50 alleys across the country to start.
Since neon colors and top 40 music were defining features of the ‘90s, cosmic bowling became a sensation among young twenty-somethings.
Surprisingly, veteran bowlers also supported the movement. Although it was focused more on recreation than the sport itself, it provided good practice amid distractions such as the laser lights and loud music to help tone up their game.
Almost thirty years later, cosmic bowling remains a staple in most bowling alleys across the nation.
Now you know what to expect when you and your friends decide to switch up the fun on a Saturday night and walk into the realm of cosmic bowling at your local bowling alley.
Be prepared to bowl your heart out to the pop hits the DJ pumps out as the fog machines and laser lights create a spectacular scene to make you feel as if you’ve landed among the stars.
Don’t forget to rock your whitest T-shirt and don as much neon as your closet holds to make a stellar impression while cruising the lanes and scoring that intergalactic strike!