Timeout New York Kids

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Mini golf for NYC kids

Families take aim at these cool courses around the city.

  • The course at South Street Seaport Water Taxi Beach

  • The course at South Street Seaport Water Taxi Beach

  • Figment at Governor's Island

  • Figment at Governor's Island

  • Figment at Governor's Island

  • Figment at Governor's Island

  • Figment at Governor's Island

  • Rocket Park Mini Golf

  • Rocket Park Mini Golf

  • Rocket Park Mini Golf

The course at South Street Seaport Water Taxi Beach


It may bring to mind coastal boardwalks and touristy resort towns, but miniature golf has a strong presence in NYC. Before setting out on your next links-bound excursion, check out our field guide to the most challenging, inventive and flat-out fun holes in the city.

Figment
For the sixth summer, the nonprofit artist collective Figment is making mini golf its passionate project, and has asked creative collaborators to design a brand-new course on Governors Island. This year's theme is "State of the Art" and it debuted on the island during the Figment Festival in early June. There are nine holes plus a tenth bonus hole, an obstacle course of old computer scraps called Yesterday’s Past. Keep an eye out for the futuristic eighth hole Golf Adventures in the Third Dimension and the super cool Mini Golf Matrix, which is designed to resemble a QR code. Governors Island (figmentnyc.org). Open Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays through Sept 22, 10am-7pm. Free.

Flushing Meadows Mini Golf

Hole #5 at this course is situated next to a waterfall. Kids have to control the speed of their shot to escape the drink, but often they have even more fun when their ball falls in. A stream carries errant golf balls into a pond, where players use nets to fish them out. 100 Flushing Meadows--Corona Park at Meridian Rd, Queens (718-271-8182, golfnyc.com). Open daily May-October 8am-midnight, end of October-April 9am-dusk. $8.25, kids under 12 $6.75.

Hudson River Park's Pier 25
Pier 25 returned in 2011 after being under construction since 2006, and despite the reservations many residents have had, it's better than ever—especially for families. The built-from-scratch, 18-hole mini-golf course features waterfalls, fountains and mini-gardens. Pier 25, Hudson River at North Moore St (hudsonriverpark.org). Open daily 10am-10pm. $5, kids 13 and under $4.

Randalls Island Golf Center
Its two leafy 18-hole courses offer ample opportunities for kids and adults to perfect their technique. If you've only got the time (or the patience) for one round, choose the links with the waterfall. Hidden away beneath a long, cavelike archway you'll find hole #9, where a dark approach provides a straight shot to the cup—the perfect chance to sink that elusive hole in one. 1 Randalls Island (212-427-5689, randallsislandgolfcenter.com). Mon 10:30am-11pm, Tues-Sun 7am-11pm. $9, kids 12 and under $7.

Rocket Park Mini Golf
The New York Hall of Science's course is a nine-hole beauty set in sight of two authentic NASA rockets and designed to illustrate laws of motion and chart the steps of a space journey. Players need expert timing to crack the "Launch Window"—if you hit your ball at the wrong moment, it will collide with revolving celestial matter. New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St at 47th Ave, Flushing Meadows--Corona Park, Queens (718-699-0005, nysci.org). July-Aug and March 26-April 2 open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, weekends 10am-6pm. April 3-June and Sept-Dec open weekends 10am-6pm.  $6, under 18 $5 (General museum admission ticket required: $11, under 18 $8).

Staten Island GoKarts
For older kids who are more interested in mastering their stroke than clanging their ball through windmills, this course provides 18 holes where the challenge comes from curves, walls and changes in terrain instead of gimmicky obstacles. One of the toughest holes to master is #14, where a 40-foot approach leads to a raised green. If you hit with too much force, your ball will sail right over the other side. There's no better way to learn the art of finesse. 215 Schmidts Ln between La Guardia Ave and Manor Rd, Staten Island (718-982-5576, sigokarts.com). Mon-Fri noon-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-10pm. $6.

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