Miniature Golf Courses for NYC Kids
I admit it: Mini golf is one of those things I endure for the sake of my son. I never enjoyed it as a kid and I don’t love it as an adult, but my kid could play every day. I know that for many families, mini golf is a quintessential warm weather activity that they look forward to every year. And spring is definitely a great season to play before the summer humidity kicks in.
While there are plenty of courses on Long Island and in New Jersey , you don't need to head out of town for putt-putt golf. There are currently a dozen places to play mini golf right here in New York City (including one indoor course), complete with spinning windmills, bridges, water features, you know, the works. Even the course at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park, which was closed due to damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, has reopened.
Find out where else you can play mini golf in NYC. See you on the green!
Alley Pond Golf Center – Douglaston
232-01 Northern Boulevard
Open year-round: daily 8am-9pm
$6.50 for adults, $5 for children under age 14 per game
In addition to a driving range and a pro shop for grown-ups, this Queens course boasts a nine-hole mini golf course for kids and families. As of this year, the Alley Pond Golf Center is under new management and doesn't currently have a dedicated website, so call if you need additional information.
Brooklyn Crab – Red Hook
24 Reed Street between Conover and Van Brunt Streets
Open year-round: daily 11am-dusk
$5 for adults, $4 for children under age 14 per game
This funky seafood shack has an 18-hole mini golf course in its backyard along with three cornhole games for your amusement before or after dinner.
Brooklyn Golf Center – Marine Park
3200 Flatbush Avenue
Open seasonally: daily 8am-dusk
$8 for adults, $5 for children for the first game; $4 per person for replays
This lovely 18-hole putt-putt course is part of a larger complex that features grown-up golf, a driving range and a pro shop.
Figment 2013 Mini Golf Course – Governors Island
Open June 8-September 29: Fridays 10am-4pm; Saturdays-Sundays 10am-6pm
This annual Governors Island attraction is always a hit, and not just because it's FREE. The course changes every year and always features wildly innovative holes, all designed by artists and usually fashioned out of recycled materials. "State of the Art" is the theme of the 2013 course, which will debut at the Figment Festival the weekend of June 8-9. While we don't yet know what this course will look like, having hit it in years past, it's important to note that it's usually more like an interactive art installation than traditional mini golf. The holes are visually striking but often near impossible to play. Plus many young visitors wander around, doing holes out of order. If your kids are like mine and into scoring and setting up their shots, let them know the deal in advance so they don't become frustrated.
Flushing Meadows Golf Center – Flushing
100 Flushing Meadows Corona Park Road
Open May-October: daily 8am-midnight; November-April: 9am-dusk
$8.25 for adults, $6.75 for children under age 13 per game
Another gorgeous spot, this 18-hole course is lined with waterfalls and exudes serenity. It's open late for older kids, and well-lit at night and relatively inexpensive. Bonus: If you're heading there by car, parking is free.
The Greenwich Village County Club – Union Square
110 University Place between 12th and 13th Streets
Open year-round: Saturday noon-7pm
$7.95 per person per game
This indoor mini golf course isn't really aimed at families, although they are welcome to play on Saturday afternoons. Located above the Union Square Bowlmor, this club-like play spot features shuffleboard, bocce, a bar and putt-putt golf. There are even little cocktail tables located next to each of the nine holes so you can bring your drinks with you. The course is fairly easy, which makes it great for kids (and tipsy adults), and the cool-creepy animal statues were salvaged from a '50s amusement park. Yes, it's hipstery. But if you're already bowling downstairs on a Saturday afternoon, it's worth checking it out for a quick game.
Jewish Children's Museum – Crown Heights
792 Eastern Parkway near Kingston Avenue
Open-year round: Monday-Thursday 10am-4pm, Sunday 10am-5:30pm, closed on Friday and Saturday
Free with admission: $13 for adults, free for children under 2
The most offbeat course of them all, the Jewish Children's Museum has a small Six Holes of Life Mini Golf installation on its fifth floor. Of course playing isn't the sole point; each hole is meant to teach about a specific Jewish ritual, from bris to bar mitzvah. While it won't take long to tackle this six-hole course, there are plenty of other things to do at the museum once you're through.
Pier 25 in Hudson River Park – Tribeca
North Moore Street and the Hudson River
212-766-1104 extension 228
Mid-April-mid-November, daily 10am-10pm
$5 for adults, $4 for children under age 14 per game; cash only
We are happy to report that Pier 25's mini golf has reopened and all the damage done by Hurricane Sandy has been repaired. Run by Manhattan Youth, this 13,000-square-foot, 18-hole course debuted in 2011 and quickly became a family hot spot due to it being easy, inexpensive and accessible. Even mini golf novices should be able to complete the game in less than 20 minutes, and the holes have some cute features, like the one where your ball ends up in a stream and floats back to the green. Plus there's a fantastic playground nearby.
Randall's Island Golf Center – Randall's Island
1 Randall’s Island
Open March-September: Monday 10:30am-11pm; Tuesday-Sunday 7am-11pm
$9 for adults, $7 for children under age 13 for unlimited play
This course is absolutely beautiful with a waterfall and lovely landscaping that makes you feel like you're far from the city. There's also a beer garden, a cute cafe and batting cages. If you don't want to take the public M35 bus (which doesn't come very often), there's a shuttle bus that runs from the Upper East Side directly to the center.
Rocket Park Mini Golf – Flushing
New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street near 47th Avenue
Open April-June: weekends 10am-6pm; July-August: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am-6pm; September-December: weekends 10am-6pm
$6 for adults, $5 for children ages 2-17 per game plus museum admission: $11 for adults, $8 for children
This nine-hole course boasts two real NASA rockets, making it truly out-of-this-world. Kids get to explore concepts like propulsion, gravity, escape velocity, launch window and gravitational assist while playing. Forget spinning windmills; in Splash Down, players attempt to shoot their balls across the putting green into a Skee-ball-type mechanism, with a globe as its main target. The whole park is reminiscent of the Space Age '60s, making the atmosphere super cool.
Staten Island Go Karts Mini Golf – Staten Island
215 Schmidts Lane between Manor Road and LaGuardia Avenue
Open mid-March-October: Mondays-Friday noon-10pm; Saturday-Sunday 11am-10pm
$6 per person per game
This complex is a very popular destination for families. In addition to mini golf, there's a go-kart racing track, a roller hockey rink and batting cages. The 18-hole golf course is pretty traditional, with water and sand traps that stymie players throughout. Before you go, download discount coupons on the website.
Turtle Cove Golf Center – the Bronx
City Island Road in Pelham Bay Park
Open year-round: Monday-Friday 8am-7pm; Saturday-Sunday 7am-7pm
$7 for adults, $6 for children under age 13 per game
This 18-hole mini golf course in lush Pelham Bay Park (not on City Island, despite the address) features landscaped gardens, shade trees and water features.
And while it's technically not mini golf, kids may enjoy the new five-hole AstroTurf putting green on the southwest corner of Bryant Park, which is open every day, weather permitting. The park has a total of 30 free games for visitors to play, including Kubb, a Scandinavian game that's also debuting this year.