Review + Giveaway: Upscale Bowling from Kings North Hills in Raleigh

Who wants to be king for the day? I can tell you that you will be treated like one when you go to Kings North Hills, a classy bowling joint that just opened in Raleigh. Kings is a place where you go to eat, and you stay to play! This is the first Kings to open in North Carolina, and you will not be disappointed.


Raleigh has needed a bowling place like this for a really, really long time. Kings North Hills is in the former Sparian’s Bowling spot. But I can tell you right now, you won’t even recognize it. Kings North Hills did a total makeover, keeping in line with its retro modern look and open concept feel. The 30,000 square foot facility is a mecca for anyone looking for a good time, whether it is to be entertained, drink or to eat. (Be sure to check for times, because it is for 21+ after 7PM during the week, and 6PM on Saturday’s).


Let’s start with their award-winning menu. Kings has been awarded “Boston’s Best” 10 years in a row. They pride themselves by making most of their food items from scratch from the finest ingredients by their executive chef.

This is probably one of the best sampler plates I have seen in Raleigh. And both my 12 year old and 9 year old really enjoyed it as well. The sampler platter is a signature dish that featured mac & cheese bites, sesame ginger “lollipop” chicken wings, buffalo wontons, and southwestern spring rolls and is perfect for sharing.


Also, on the menu, besides appetizers, you can find burgers (try the Angry Burger), entrees such as baby back ribs, scallops and “Kings” Famous Steak Tips, pizzas, salads, and sandwiches. There is also a kids menu.

And as my kids put it, keep a little dessert pocket ready. Milkshakes, sundaes, cakes and more. Might want to make a separate trip just for dessert here.


To go with all that amazing food, you can find a variety of local (Lonerider and Big Boss) and national beers.

Kings also offers an innovative twist to nostalgic classics when it comes to their cocktails. I tried the Strawberry Pop Rocktini, and I have to say I have never had a drink like this in Raleigh. Citrus Vodka, St. Germain, Strawberry Puree, Fresh Lemon Juice, topped with sprite and rimmed with pop rocks. A little surprise with every sip. My friend had the Pink Pin which was mango, vanilla and coconut rums, pineapple juice, grenadine and topped with champagne.

IMG_8882Of course, if you are in a sharing mood you could order one of the “Big Balls”, made for two or more (but can be made for one if you desire). You can choose from three options served in huge glasses, but I was told the crowd favorite is the Fish Bowl, which has coconut rum, vodka, blue curaçao, blueberry energy drink, lemon juice, sour mix and Swedish fish! I chose the Raspberry Lime Rickey to taste.



What I really loved about Kings, is the idea that you can come together with family and friends for some good interactive games.

Face to face, no high tech electronics necessary. First of all, you will find 18 ten-pin bowling lanes.


But let’s say you are not in the mood to bowl. You can also find a regulation shuffleboard and bank shuffleboard table,  six pool tables, three ping pong tables, foosball tables, dart boards, 4-player and 2-player air hockey tables, and more!



I can’t think of a better way to spend time with people outside of work, than to have an company event at Kings. They have space for 2 people to 775 guests. You have three different VIP private rooms to choose from, A/V system to accommodate presentations and branding needs, and customer service to keep you relaxed and enjoying your team. It really is a place to have fun, get energized, and overall good experience.

IMG_8860You can join the “Dude” for your chance to win a FREE BOWLING PARTY for SIX PEOPLE, including pizza and soda!



The giveaway is for a free bowling party for six people (including pizza and soda) from Kings at North Hills. The giveaway will end Thursday, November 27th at 11:59pm EST and the the winner will be announced Friday, November 28th.

I received VIP treatment from Kings at North Hills at no cost to me for the purpose of this post. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

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Movie Review: Should I Take my Tween to See St. Vincent?

MV5BMTk5NzI5OTA4MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjc4NTM3MjE@._V1_SX214_AL_Should I take my tween to see the movie St. Vincent? This weekend it was just the girls. Me and my 12 year old as the boys braved it by going camping. Perfect girls day to go shopping at the Streets of Southpoint Mall, dinner at Zinburger, and see a movie! Maya chose St. Vincent, I checked out the reviews and saw that it was PG-13 and said let’s go!

Official Synopsis:

Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her adopted 12-year-old son, Oliver, move next door to war veteran Vincent (Bill Murray), but when Oliver (Jaden Lieberher) gets locked out after school one day, Vincent allows him to stay at his house until his mom gets home. Because he has bills up to the ceiling and is desperate for cash, he tells Maggie he’ll babysit Oliver every day after school. Vincent, is a cynic, who introduces Oliver to his lifestyle, including gambling, drinking, and his relationship with a Russian prostitute (Naomi Watts). 

My Thoughts:

I liked the movie, and thought the theme was appropriate for discussion with my 12 year old. What I was not expecting, and wish I was prepared for was the opening scene. Daka, the Russian prostitute, on top of Vincent. Bed rocking, she is in a bra, and he has a tee on. But still, it made me second guess my decision and check to see if I misread the movie rating. Nope, still PG-13. There is also quite a bit of profanity throughout the entire movie. Honestly, if you can make it through the first scene, the rest of the movie is probably nothing new to your tween. You can see more of a parents guide here.

My daughter is mature enough to see this type of movie. And we were able to have a discussion afterwards, more than the usual do not judge a book by its cover.  I do not think I would take my son at 12 years old, because I am not sure if he would be mature enough. There are a lot of mature topics: alcoholism, sex, gambling, and profanity. It is not a heart-warming movie at all. So use caution if you decide to take your tween to see this one!

Bill Murray does an outstanding job. It is not just a comedy (you will laugh out loud at times), but it is a drama as well. And I did cry at one point in the movie, which always is an indication to me that the movie is good if it gets an emotional response out of me.

St. Vincent is rated PG-13 and is 1 hour and 42 minutes.

GIVEAWAY: FlyWheel 5-pack Giveaway + FlyBarre Review

When I was contacted to to come in and give FlyWheel Sports Raleigh in Cameron Village a try, I was excited! Spinning is something I can do. But when I was also gifted a FlyBarre membership, well my excitement turned into hesistation. I have never, EVER attended a barre class of any type. And I was a bit hesitant about going to a class where I thought everyone was going to be a ballerina in a former life. Even though I have been taking Pilates classes, I knew that my core is not my strength. I had a feeling this class was going to be a challenge. Of course, I was right!

I went online to see the Flybarre schedule times and instructors. I made my reservation, and picked my Flybarre mat.


When I entered Flywheel Sports the day of my reservation, I conveniently checked myself in and confirmed my Flybarre mat. I put my belongings in a complimentary locker, and then I preceded upstairs to the Flybarre Studio.

My instructor, Morgan, greeted me outside of the studio. She let me know that I would need a towel and weights. There are three different weight sizes to choose from (one pound, two pound, and three pound weights). I chose the one and two pound weights, which was wise on my part, and a towel and then I entered into the studio.

IMG_8850I found my mat, dropped my weights and towel and waited for the one hour class to start. The warm up did not waste anytime getting us ready for the high-energy, fast-paced class.

FlyBarre is a total body sculpting class that blends the best of light weight training, dance, and core strengthening exercises. Using small intense interval exercises choreographed to immersive and inspiring music. Morgan and the rest of the instructors change the music for every class so that participants do not get bored.


FlyBarre quickly reshapes the body for lean, strong, and elongated muscles. So to get that lean, strong look I probably need to attend this class 5 times a week.

I felt it was very challenging. Definitely hard for the first timer. I had to take mini-breaks during the intense workout. Though one of the regulars told me that she could not do half of the exercises in the beginning, and now she goes five times a week because she loves the workout and the results.

I was sore the next day, and the next day! I find that a good sign that I used muscles I have not been using.

Looking for a class to challenge you? Or maybe you need a workout to change up your daily routine. I highly recommend you give FlyBarre a try. I promise you will leave this class sweating, and ready to go back for some more.

****GIVEAWAY****: The giveaway is for five classes at Flywheel Sports Raleigh in Cameron Village. Classes are valid for three months from the win date. The five pack is a total value of $95. The giveaway will end Thursday, November 13th and the winner will be announced Friday, November 14th.

Note: Your first Flywheel and Flybarre classes are FREE, so if you haven’t tried it yet, there’s your perfect excuse! Create an account in your city and you’ll see one credit for Flywheel you can use to book a class. You won’t see a Flybarre credit, but call or visit the location and tell them it’s your first time and they’ll hook you up.

I received a FlyWheel package at no cost to me for the purpose of this post. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

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