By Sue Colerick
Cold weather will soon be behind Chicago, and that means it's finally time to get back outside with the family. Soak up a little sun and take the family out for a day of fun putting around a mini golf course. These, the best miniature golf courses in the windy city, offer everything from professional practice courses to views of the city's stunning skyline.
Par-King Skill Golf
21711 Milwaukee Ave.
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
Price: $7.50 weekdays/$8.50 weekends
Hours: from mid-April Sat to Sun by reservation; starting second week of June daily – 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Click here for Par-King's calendar of upcoming events
For a miniature golf experience like no other, Par-King Skill Golf is the place to take your family. Par-King's 18-hole course is filled with obstacles, water holes, mechanical objects and lots of elevation changes. There are replicas of Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), Mount Rushmore, dinosaurs and elephants. To provide the best possible experience, these courses are not for everyone. You must be at least 48 inches tall to play on the course.
Navy Pier Miniature Golf
600 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Price: $5 per person
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fri to Sat – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sun – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Click here for Navy Pier's calendar of upcoming events
Navy Pier is the place to go for rides, attractions, boat cruises and shops in addition to its mini golf. Nowhere but at Navy Pier Miniature Golf would you expect to find a course that weaves around and underneath Navy Pier's famed 150-foot-high ferris wheel. It boasts the Chicago skyline as its backdrop, and features Chicago-themed golf holes. Not a particularly hard course, families come here to keep young kids entertained and enjoy the phenomenal view.
Novelty Golf and Games
3650 W. Devon Ave.
Lincolnwood, IL 60712
Price: $8 before 6 p.m./$9 after 6 p.m.
Hours: spring hours (April – May) are weather permitting daily – 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; summer hours (Labor Day thru Memorial Day) daily – 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Novelty Golf and Games has been a Chicagoland landmark for more than 60 years. It has two 18-hole courses that are perfect for families members of all ages. The courses feature fairy tale props (such as Humpty Dumpty and a castle), dinosaurs and other novelty props including Frankenstein. This golf course caters to children and has the perfect club for all sizes. Don't miss out on lunch or dinner at the Bunny Hutch right next door.
145 S. Clow International Pkwy.
Bolingbrook, IL 60490
Phone: (630) 378-8888
Cost: $7.95 adults; $6.95 kids (12 and under); $2.00 to play the second course
Hours: spring hours Mon to Fri – 12 p.m. to dark; Sat to Sun – 10 a.m. to dark; summer hours daily – 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Wilderness Falls has not one, but two fun-filled courses. The bear course features a 35-foot waterfall, has you play through big foot's cave and walk across a rickety bridge. The eagle course is just what the name refers to: an eagle's-eye view atop a 40-foot mountain. This course has you golfing and walking around the rivers of Wilderness Falls and preparing for the final hole, called frenzied funnel.
The Greens at Grant Park Putting Course
352 E. Monroe St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Cost: $12 adults, $6 children
Hours: call (312) 540-9013 for tee times and reservations
The Greens at Grant Park Putting Course is not your average miniature golf course and is designed for golf enthusiasts looking for an adventure. The course has been designed to look like a proper golf-on-the-green style golf course including sand traps, spectacular elevation changes, lush green turf and winding pathways. There is no other course like it in the Chicagoland area. It's perfect for players with minimal experience and seasoned golfers alike.
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