For many families, mini golf is a quintessential spring and summer activity that they look forward to every year. My son loves it, so we've tried just about every putt-putt course in the tristate area.
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. And as sports go, it's typically fairly inexpensive—often as little as $5 a round for kids. Another bonus is that it's one of those rare activities that parents and kids can play together. You can even host a birthday party at most of these spots.
Read on to find out where to play mini golf with the kids in the city, and I'll see you on the green!
Alley Pond Golf Center – Douglaston, Queens
232-01 Northern Boulevard
In addition to a driving range and a pro-shop for grown-ups, this Queens course boasts a 18-hole mini golf course for kids and families. A $3 million renovation revealed in 2016 included a sprucing up of the mini golf section, too.
Brooklyn Crab – Red Hook, Brooklyn
24 Reed Street between Conover and Van Brunt Streets
Restaurant is open all year, golf course and backyard open from mid-April to late-October.
This funky seafood shack has an eight-hole mini golf course in its backyard along with cornhole games, sandboxes, and shuffleboard for your amusement before or after dinner. This year the games open Sunday, April 23, 2017.
Brooklyn Golf Center – Marine Park
3200 Flatbush Avenue
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.
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The annual Figment mini golf course on Governors Island changes up its theme every year.
Figment 2017 Mini Golf Course – Governors Island
Open daily late-May to late-August
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. "New York City has the Beat" is the theme of the 2017 course, which will likely debut at the Figment Festival the weekend of June 3-4. Having hit Figment's courses in years past, I want to note that they work better as interactive art installations than as mini golf. The holes are visually striking but difficult to play. Plus many kids 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 year-round with longer hours in from May-October
Another gorgeous spot, this 18-hole course is lined with waterfalls and exudes serenity. It's open late for older kids, well-lit at night, and relatively inexpensive. Bonus: If you're heading there by car, parking is free.
Jewish Children's Museum – Crown Heights
792 Eastern Parkway near Kingston Avenue
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 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.
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Hit the links at Pier 25's 18-hole course before a playground romp.
Pier 25 in Hudson River Park – Tribeca
North Moore Street and the Hudson River
212-766-1104 extension 228
Weekends in March; daily April through mid-November
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. Note: It's cash only!
Randall's Island Golf Center – Randall's Island
1 Randall’s Island
There are two 18-hole courses on the isle and each is absolutely beautiful with waterfalls 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-November. Visit the website for current hours.
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.
The year-round Shipwrecked course features a super cool pirate and NYC theme. Photo by Stephanie Ogozalek/Mommy Poppins.
Shipwrecked Miniature Golf – Red Hook
621 Court Street, second floor
This newcomer to the putt-putt scene was put together by some well-known Brooklyn buddies, who previously banded together to build the Holiday Lights Spectacular in South Slope. The indoor, 18-hole course features four golf rooms, with theatrical lighting and mini shows that tell the story of Captain Red Hook. Once you've finished the course, spend some time in the arcade with its retro video games (Think: Frogger and Donkey Kong) for a quarter per play.
Staten Island FunPark – Staten Island
215 Schmidts Lane between Manor Road and LaGuardia Avenue
This popular destination just got an overhaul and rebrand for the 2017 season. 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. The parkwide revamp includes new games, a snack bar, and more additions that weren't yet announced.
The pretty Turtle Cove Golf Center is a popular party spot for Bronx families. Photo courtesy the golf center.
Turtle Cove Golf Center – the Bronx
City Island Road in Pelham Bay Park
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. It's among our top party spots for Bronx kids.
And while it's technically not mini golf, kids may enjoy the five-hole AstroTurf putting green in the southwest corner of Bryant Park, which is open every day, weather permitting. The park has a total of 50 free games for visitors to play.
This post originally published in June 2010 but has since been updated.
Top image: Figment NYC has a wildly inventive course that changes every summer.