Warm, sunny days are not required to tee up with the kids at Monster Mini Golf, a spooky-themed, indoor mini-golf course and arcade with four locations in New Jersey. Featuring glow-in-the-dark decor and recently upgraded arcade games, Monster Mini Golf brings some Jersey-style boardwalk fun indoors.
Step inside the black-lit space and watch your kids' eyes widen at the sight of fluorescent ghouls and skeletons haunting the 18-hole mini golf course. Designed as a cartoonish graveyard, the simple course features headstones and coffins as obstacles and an enormous, creepy clown face as the final hole. Golf balls glow in the dark so they are easy to spot on the dark turf, and day-glo painted curbs border each hole.
Younger kids may want to head straight for the arcade, where flashing lights and big-screen digital games beat anything they've played on your phone or iPad Mini. At the newly upgraded arcade in Fairfield, my son loved the wall-sized Pac-Man, Crossy Road, and Fruit Ninja games. He gleefully took up a yellow mallet to bop some Minions on the head in a new version of Whac-A-Mole. Classic race car and motorcycle course games were also a hit. Older gamers will love playing Typhoon and Jurassic Park, and tweens will beeline for the digital photo booth.
Monster Mini Golf franchise owner Nick Mastrandrea says a new laser maze slated to open in the Paramus arcade in February is sure to be a big draw. At Monster Mini Golf's other locations in Edison and Eatontown, arcades feature neon-lit air hockey tables, skeeball lanes, and basketball hoop games, in addition to arcade classics like Pac-Man, race cars, and the claw game.
All arcade games are equipped with digital card readers, so rather than fumbling with coins, parents can load a few bucks onto each child's card and let them swipe away until the balance hits zero. Prize points are tallied automatically on the cards for easy redemption at the counter. After playing about $7.50 worth of games, my son cashed in his card for two tiny erasers. Then he begged me to buy him a tiny Beanie Boo from the nearby sales display. In short, be prepared to drop a little extra cash.
Things to know before you visit Monster Mini Golf:
- Toddlers may be frightened of the cartoonish monster decor.
- Children with sensory sensitivity may not feel comfortable with the flashing lights or black-lit features.
- Food is not available, though it may be brought in for private parties.
- One round of golf is $9 per child and $10 per adult.
- Most arcade games range from $0.50 to $1.50 per play.
- Open weekdays at 2 p.m.; weekends at 12 p.m. Closing times vary by location, so check the website.
- To beat the crowds, try visiting late on a Saturday afternoon.
- Most locations offer daily deals such as 2-for-1 Twisted Tuesday, when you get 36 holes of golf for the price of 18.
Planning a birthday party? All four Jersey locations have spooky-themed party rooms with a haunted house vibe. Check website for party package prices and details. For even more birthday ideas, check out our party planning guide.
And when the weather warms up, be sure to check out our round-up of the best miniature golf courses in New Jersey.
Top photos: Monster Mini Golf. All photos by the author.