You could call mini golf the ultimate short game - an adventure for kids and adults that takes a fraction of the time a full-sized 18-hole outing takes, with wonderful obstacles and fun challenges. Get the family out to enjoy some time on the "greens." Below are five of the most enjoyable mini golf options in the city.
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Take the ferry from Manhattan or Brooklyn to Governor's Island in the middle of New York Bay for what the New York Post called the "wackiest" mini golf course in the U.S. It has 11 holes on the Parade Ground, each hole created by an artist as part of the nonprofit Figment project. The themes run from an iPhone charger, to a watermelon picnic to a mousetrap. This is the 10th iteration of mini golf by Figment on Governors Island. It is open through August and is free. While on the Island, be sure to take advantage of the bike rentals and experience a 360-degree view of the city.
Flushing Meadows Golf Center
100 Flushing Meadows Park
Flushing, NY 11368
Not only is the 18-hole course open all year 'round, but it also has lights, so it remains open until midnight during late spring and summer. There is a full service snack bar and picnic tables. Accessible by subway, Flushing Meadows is a sprawling multi-use park. The center also includes a pitch-and-putt facility not far from the mini golf course. Nearby are the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (home of the U.S. Open) and the New York Mets' Citi Field.
Randall's Island Golf And Entertainment
1 Randall's Island
New York, NY 10035
This complex has two 18-hole courses, with a waterfall, a cave, a stream and natural landscaping. Even expert mini golf enthusiasts should enjoy this location. A trip to the island, located close to Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens, is perfect for kids' birthdays or beer with a few buddies. Randall's has a family friendly patio with great post-game eats. Bring out-of-towners here for a beautiful view of the East River and uptown Manhattan. There is also a shuttle to and from Manhattan.
Pier 25 In Hudson River Park
North Moore St.at Hudson River
New York, NY 10013
This 18-hole course is the only one in Manhattan. It's located in Tribeca, downtown within the greenway that runs along the borough's west side. The terrain features a waterfall stream, foot bridges, sand traps and a cave. Also at Pier 25 are a beach volleyball court, a skate park and a snack bar, meaning a family can spend hours here. It's also the home port of the historic tugboat called Tug Pegasus, built in 1907.
Brooklyn Golf Center
3200 Flatbush Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11234
Located in the Marine Park area of south Brooklyn, this pleasantly rustic course was renovated in 2010. It includes all the fun features you would expect, with a full 18 holes. Visitors who wish to hold a party at its picnic area are welcomed. When the mini golf game is over, you can also hit a few buckets at the adjacent driving range.
Grace Lichtenstein is an author and former New York Times reporter. She writes principally about books, music and sports. She contributes to the Washington Post, NYCityWoman.com, Aspen Magazine and other publications. She is a board member of Bike New York, as well as a member of the Authors Guild and the National Book Critics Circle.
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