Chicago's Best Mini-Golf Courses
Whether you're the star of the Windy City fairways or clueless with a club, it's all about the putt at Chicago's best mini-golf courses.
Par-King: Give your golf ball an adventure at Par-King, where a stroke from your putter will send your purple, blue or pink golf balls into the twists of a roller coaster (made from more than 750 wooden pieces), under a replica of Mount Rushmore, beneath a gigantic guitar and into a roulette wheel. Par-King calls itself "the world's most unusual miniature golf," and it just might be right. If you want to see more after 18 holes, you can, because Par-King has two, 18-hole courses with completely different props, sculptures and fun obstacles -- except for the giant roulette wheels that everyone gets to try out on the 18th hole.
$7 per person on weekdays; $8 Sat-Sun. For safety reasons, kids must be at least 48 inches tall to play.
Open noon-5pm Sat.-Sun; summer hours, which start during the second week of June, run 10:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Mon.-Thurs. and, 10:30-11p.m. Fri.-Sat. and 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.
21711 Milwaukee Ave. in Lincolnshire; 847-634-0333
Navy Pier: If friends and family come to visit this summer and it's their first time in Chicago, there's no doubt they'll want to see Navy Pier. And there's no doubt that after a couple of hours you might want to get away from the hordes of people meandering the Navy Pier shops. Just climb up the stairs to Pier Park and take a respite from the crowds with the Navy Pier mini golf course. The course, with natural-looking boulders and smatters of water, weaves around the Pier's famous Ferris Wheel and boasts the backdrop of Chicago's breathtaking skyline.
$5 per person
10 a.m. - 8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. -10 p.m. weekends
600 E. Grand Ave.; 312-595-7437
The Green at Grant Park: Take a break from work or just putt around near Buckingham Fountain at the mini-golf course at the Green at Grant Park. The course, with its winding, twisting turns, is not for the putting enthusiast who doesn't appreciate frustration. Set amid tranquil trees that hover below the city's skyscrapers, the course might send your scores rocketing up, with some holes requiring a laughable number of strokes get the ball in the hole. (Think 10 to 15 strokes for some holes instead of 2.) Made of Player's Turf, the course sits nearby the Green at Grant Park patio and restaurant, where you can grab a sandwich and watch Buckingham Fountain's water display as you recover from the putting challenge.
Opening times and dates to be announced and dependent on the weather. Call 312-540-9013 for more info.
352 E. Monroe St.; 312-540-9013
Hidden Cove Sportsplex: A red and white lighthouse shoots up from the mini-golf courses at the Hidden Cove Sportsplex, giving the holes a tranquil feel at this suburban sports playground. Dotted with shrubs, ponds and streams of water, Hidden Cove offers up to 36 holes, splitting its two 18-hole courses into the Pirate's Course, for more casual putt-putt and the Captain's Course, designed for those looking to challenge their putting skills.
$5.25 per person on weekdays; $6.25 per person Fri.-Sun.
4p.m.-8 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. weekends; Starting in mid-June, hours are 11a.m.-8p.m. daily
70 Ken Hayes Drive in Boubonnais; 815-933-9150
Novelty Golf and Games: If you want to golf amid Humpty Dumpty, a green Apatosaurus and an enormous head of Frankenstein, head over to Novelty Golf and Games. The course features props that are the stuff of fairy tales -- there's a castle, too -- and a host of structures that entertain while you try and beat par (and your friends).
Prices range from $7 to $9 per person.
Open 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily
3650 West Devon in Lincolnwood; 847-679-9434