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golf, shutterstock
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best mini golf courses in NYC

Tee up for these low-par (yet above-par) putt-putt destinations where you can finally ace your hole in one

By Tolly Wright
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You’re probably already taking advantage of all the cool outdoor stuff going on this summer—art, brunch, yoga, tennis and concerts—but now we’ll give you one more thing to experience FOMO over—all the awesome putt-putt courses! The warm weather won’t last forever, so grab a friend or a date and challenge them to a friendly game of mini golf with a view (or a beer)!

Mini golf courses in NYC

1. Brooklyn Crab

Restaurants Seafood Red Hook

If memories of dragging your parents to the putt-putt course after hours at the beach fill your heart with glee, then this waterfront seafood restaurant’s outdoor Reed Park will hit the spot. Challenge your friends to a round on the 8-hole course, which is decorated with a kitschy pelican and mini red lighthouse to further the restaurant’s Maine-seaside motif. If you can’t seem to make par, show off your mad skills at shuffleboard and cornhole (that’s a bean bag toss, get your mind out of the gutter). The loser should expect to buy the first pitcher of beer for the picnic table, which will go perfectly with your steamed blue crabs and various seafood rolls. Games open daily from 11:30am–9pm, weather permitting (718-643-2722, brooklyncrab.com). Free.

2. Brooklyn Golf Center

Attractions Parks and gardens Marine Park

There’s more to Brooklyn’s public green spaces than Prospect Park and McCarren; at 530 acres, Marine Park is the borough’s largest, and this Kings County destination became home to an 18-hole golf course back in 2010. The vibrant, sprawling course has holes of different skill-levels, and the center also has its own driving course if you want to further practice your swing. 8am–dark, (718-253-6816, brooklyngolfcenter.com). $8, children under 12 $5, all ages replay $4.

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3. FIGMENT Minigolf, Governors Island

Attractions Parks and gardens Governors Island

Hop on the ferry to Governors Island for this 11-hole course that combines highly-conceptual public art with the game. For the past eight summers the volunteer-powered arts program has had different artists, schools and organizations design each of the holes with a particular theme in mind. This year’s concept is transportation and has hole designs that include various shoes, representations of outer space and a rendition of the Governors Island ferry terminal. June 6–Sept 20 (govisland.com). Free.

4. Flushing Meadows Mini Golf

Attractions Parks and gardens Queens

Located off the 7 train, this 18-hole course really becomes a paradise for adults who love the activity after dark when the kids are in bed. The lit course is open until 1am (last tee at midnight) with landscaping that has plenty of trees, waterfalls and streams. The facility’s close proximity to Citi Field also makes it easy to celebrate your team’s glorious victory—or forget that crushing defeat—with a brisk, approximately 30-minute game. May–October 8am–12am (718-271-8182, golfnyc.com). $8.25, children 12 and under $6.75.

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Pier 25
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

5. Pier 25

Things to do Playgrounds Tribeca

The Hudson River Park really outdid itself with this “professional grade” miniature golf course. One of the city’s most aesthetically pleasing, the 18-hole golf course includes several water features (a pond, stream and waterfall), a cave, sandtraps and views of the Hudson River. Afterward, romantic players can take a stroll along the river, while others might want to explore the nearby sites, like historic boats or One World Trade Center. Open daily 12–6pm or later, depending on weather (212-766-1104 ext. 228, pier25.com). $5 per game, children 13 and under $4.

6. Randall's Island Golf Center

Sports and fitness Golf Randall's Island

Surrounded by trees, this shady oasis on the East River provides a beautiful escape from the city. True mini-golf aficionados will appreciate that the price includes unlimited play on two separate 18-hole courses, which have waterfalls, caves, bridges and natural landscaping. If you think you’re ready to move up to the big leagues, the facilities also offer golf lessons and a driving range. Before you leave the island make sure to enjoy one of the 27 beers on tap or a tasty burger from its well stocked beer garden. Mon 9am­–11am, Tues, Fri 8am–11pm, Sat, Sun 7am–11pm (212-427-5689, randallsislandgolfcenter.com). $9, children $7 for unlimited play.

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7. Rocket Park Mini Golf, New York Hall of Science

Museums Science and technology Queens

It wouldn’t be a fun activity at the Queen’s science and cultural institution if it didn’t include a good dose of education, too. While you could easily go through this outer space-themed 9-hole course without thinking about propulsion gravity, launch windows and escape velocity, the intergalactic holes–which include planets, wormholes and model rockets that launch—certainly inspire an interest in the mechanics of space travel. Through Oct Mon–Fri 9:30am–5pm, Sat, Sun 10am–6pm; Nov Mon­–Fri 9:30am–4pm, Sat, Sun 10am–4pm weather permitting (718-699-0005, nysci.org). All ages. NYSCI admission and mini golf $29, children $24.

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8. Staten Island Go Karts

This Richmond County amusement park has everything to make you feel like a teenager on an insane adrenaline rush: Batting cages, single and double seater go-karts and a snack bar called the Golf House with all the necessary food groups—hotdogs, nachos and ice cream. The hilly 18-hole mini-golf course has plenty of natural landscaping as well as a “babbling brook.” Through October, noon-midnight depending on weather (718-982-5576, sigokarts.com). $6 for 18 holes.

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