Whether you call it mini golf, miniature golf, or putt-putt, you'll find tons of places to play throughout New Jersey. The Garden State apparently has a thing for the game—there are dozens of mini-golf courses throughout New Jersey, and most of them have already reopened for the 2023 season.
We're highlighting nearly the best courses in the state, from the Jersey Shore to Northern NJ. These courses have imaginative themes that range from pirate shipwrecks and African safaris to a medieval castle. Read on to find the perfect New Jersey miniature golf course for you.
Play a round of mini golf at one of the best courses the Jersey Shore has to offer. Relax and take in a round or two while you enjoy the sights and sounds of the acclaimed AP boardwalk and beach. When you're done playing, cool off in the adorable Splash Park. Closed in winter months. Open only on weekends.
The only thing better than mini golf is mini golf plus ice cream. After playing through fun water hazards, real sand traps, and an 18-foot waterfall cave, head over to Cocomoe’s for its famous, tropical-themed ice cream oasis. Closed in winter months but otherwise open daily.
Feel like golfing with a humongous King Kong staring down at you? Then Congo Falls is the place for you. With three courses—Congo Queen, Solomon’s Mine, and the Lost City (indoors for rainy days)—it’s Disney World meets mini-golf. Closed in winter months but otherwise open daily.
Kids will go crazy for this adorable 18-hole course, complete with sharks and shipwrecks. The best part is that it's attached to a family-owned restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy a meal, and then head out for a round of golf. Before leaving, don't miss your chance to indulge in some ice cream. Best known for dessert, Duffers has huge sundaes, banana splits, ice cream sodas, and creamy milkshakes. Closed in winter months. No strollers are allowed on the course. Open daily.
Need a break from the summer sun? Head inside this air-conditioned, black-light mini-golf course, voted best on the Ocean City boardwalk 9 years in a row. The themed space includes a dragon, glow-in-the-dark knights, castle walls, and more. Open daily.
Check out one of the three Pirate Island Miniature Golf locations, which were named “Best of the Shore” by Atlantic City Magazine. With hanging rope bridges and waterfalls, animated pirates, and a nearly life-size wooden ship, Pirate Island is designed to please the whole family, from toddlers to Grandma. Closed in winter months; check here for hours.
Choose one of three courses at this expansive fun spot: the Beach Course, featuring the largest artificial sand dune and sand castle in the world; the Ocean Course, with giant water fountains and sea creatures; or the Boardwalk Course, with Wildwood memorabilia and trivia at each hole. Check here for hours.
Swing Time is a family fun center with all kinds of activities—but its biggest attractions are the two mini-golf courses, ranked #1 on the Jersey Shore by Night and DayMagazine. There is a huge waterfall in the center of one of the courses, and you can climb to the top and view all 36 holes. Closed in winter months but open daily from early spring to late fall.
Located on Route 10, The Clubhouse recently renovated its 18-hole mini-golf course. It also has a 55-stall range/training center and offers programs for junior golfers. Open year-round 7 days a week, weather permitting.
Putt around the gators at Essex County Safari MiniGolf.
Located on the corner of Cherry Lane and Northfield Avenue in West Orange, the Essex County Mini Golf Safari is an award-winning, 19-hole course. Experience a taste of Africa as you putt around a life-size gorilla, hippo, and other creatures. The course is conveniently located right next to the Turtle Back Zoo and on the edge of the South Mountain Reservation. Open year-round, weather permitting. Open weekends only.
Take in the view of Warren County's beautiful farms from this mini-golf course. It is very clean and well-maintained, it never gets too busy, and the friendly owners even know our ball color preferences. The driving range is also great for beginning golfers and little learners. The best part is the prized plastic trophies the winner can take home. Open 7 days a week year-round, weather permitting.
Make a day of it at the Golf Zone. In addition to a driving range and 36 of the best-landscaped mini-golf holes in Morris County, it also offers paintball and batting cages. The driving range has 65 stalls, 20 of which are heated. Plus, it is a half-mile from our favorite weekend lunch spot, The After. Check the Golf Zone’s website for pricing on the driving range, junior summer golf camps, and other activities. Open 7 days a week year-round, weather permitting.
Mount Freedom Golf is another great golf zone for beginners, with safari-themed mini-golf and two waterfalls. It offers Laser Mini-Golf every Friday night. In addition to miniature golf, a par three course, and a driving range, Mt. Freedom also offers a nine-hole Frisbee Disc Golf course. Check the website for information about summer camps and lessons. While you're there, stop by Antimo's Pizzeria and Restaurant on-site for lunch. Open 7 days a week year-round, weather permitting.
Paramus Mini Golf is a golfing and social studies course in one. Its New Jersey-themed holes include “Statue of Liberty,” “Parkway,” and “Boardwalk.” Birthday parties are also available. Closed in winter months. Opens Memorial Day Weekend.
Lucky Scotch Plains golfers have a putt-putt course practically in their backyards. Shady Rest Country Club has a simple, nicely landscaped, 18-hole course, complete with stepping ponds, a bridge, and a waterfall. Available for birthday parties, the facility also houses a nine-hole course, pro shop, and clubhouse. Closed in winter months. The mini-golf course closes 1 hour prior to sunset.
This beautifully landscaped miniature golf course is part of the country club and traverses creeks with scenic gazebos and pastoral waterfalls. This course is both fun and challenging. Open daily starting in June.
The Funplex has two courses: the family-friendly Adventure Cave and the more challenging Lost Lagoon. Its big selling point: SHADE. Both courses are covered in a lush, shaded landscape, so you can golf and not bake in the sun. Also, if you make it up the ramp on the final hole, you win a FREE game. Open daily year-round, weather permitting.
Golf Land is the perfect place to take small children for a fun round of miniature golf. Beautiful trees provide lots of shade at this fun, not-too-challenging course. They also have a Pitch-n-Putt course for beginner and junior golfers. Open year-round, weather-permitting, 7 days a week.
Miniature Golf Courses with Multiple Locations
Kids with a dark side will delight in Monster Mini Golf. Photo courtesy of The Putting Penguin.
And now for something completely different… how about 18 holes of indoor, glow-in-the-dark, monster-themed golf? Each location is custom-designed and also includes an in-house DJ and game arcade room. Visit the website for individual location information; all NJ locations are open daily.
All photos courtesy of the venues
This article was first published in 2012 and is updated regularly.