Concierge.com's insider take:
Legend has it that this esoteric sport, with its squat pins and light, melon-size bowling ball, was invented a century ago in Baltimore. It's been a popular mid-Atlantic pastime ever since. Just east of Little Italy, Mustang Alleys sports four duckpin and eight regular lanes. A classy venue with a well-stocked bar, high-def TV screens, and upscale comfort-food menu (crab nachos, lobster mac 'n' cheese), it's open daily until midnight and attracts an under-30, professional crowd. About a mile east, on the outskirts of Fells Point, family-friendly Patterson Bowling Center has been setting down pins since 1927, making it the oldest operating duckpin alley in the nation. Its 12 lanes are open for league play as well as walk-ins. There's a small snack bar, but you can also bring in your own food—and beer.
Mustang Alleys open Mondays through Wednesdays 4:30 pm to midnight, Thursdays through Sundays noon to midnight.
Patterson Bowling Center open Mondays 1 to 9:30 pm, Tuesdays 9:30 am to 9:30 pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays 1 pm to 9:30 pm, Fridays 10 am to 12:30 am, Sundays 2 pm to 9 pm.