Mini golf. Putt putt. Goofy golf. Whatever you call it, we call it fun! Kick off spring with a family-friendly competition at a miniature golf course near Washington, DC. The closest course? The one in your own backyard!

Mini Golf Course at East Potomac 

One of the oldest continually operating mini golf courses in the country (and open year round!), this place is on the National Record for Historic Places. It opened in 1931, but don’t worry, it’s undergone renovations a few times since then. Situated between the Washington Channel and Potomac River, the course offers scenic views as well as a fun time. Note: moms, dads and grandparents play for free on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Grandparents’ Day, respectively.

Safety regulations: Please practice socially distancing while on the course. BYO Clorox to self-sanitize balls and clubs.

Cost: $6 for ages 18 and under and 60 and older, $7 for adults 19 to 59
Where: 972 Ohio Dr. SW

Fairfax County Park Authority Mini Golf Courses

Several of this government agency’s parks have courses to challenge growing golfers. Burke Lake Park’s course ($5 to $8) has clubs to fit kiddos as young as 2. Make a day of it and rent a canoe to take out on the lake or pair mini golf with a 10-minute ride on the mini train. Jefferson Falls Mini-Golf ($6 to $8) features waterfalls, while Oak Marr Mini-Golf ($5 to $8) sits near soccer fields and a nine-hole par three real course.

Editor's note: Oak Marr is open year round. Burke Lake and Jefferson Falls will re-open April 2021. Lake Accotink Lucky Duck will re-open mid-June 2021. 

Cost: $5 to $9
Where: Multiple locations

Laurel Golf Center

Take a swing at the mini golf course here and navigate obstacles and fountains as you go. If you’re looking for something more professional after your inspiring round, check out the golf range ($6 for a bucket of 52 balls) or sign up for a Junior Golf Clinic, offered weekend mornings for ages 6 to 17.

Cost: $7/adult, $5/senior citizen, $4/kid 12 and younger for 18 holes; $9/adult, $8/senior and $7/kid for 36 holes
Where: 9801 Ft Meade Rd., Laurel, MD

Splash Park and Mini-Golf of South Germantown

Part of Montgomery County’s Parks Department, the 18-hole course with natural and manmade obstacles sits next to an awfully tempting water park that might be too good to bypass when the temperature heats up again.

Safety regulations: All putters and balls are sanitized between guests. Patrons must wear masks. For more updates on current rules and regulations, go here.

Cost: $4
Where: 18056 Central Park Circle, Boyds, MD

photo: iStock

Miniature Golf at Bohrer Park

Handicapped- and stroller-accessible, the course has hole locations that change every day. Try to snake past a lion and pose for a selfie by the city’s only waterfall.

Editor's note: This course will re-open May 1. 

Cost: $6/resident, $7/nonresident, $5/resident 55 and up or $6/nonresident 55 & up
Where: 514 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg, MD

photo: Dulles Golf Center

Dulles Golf Center and Sports Park

Good for kiddos 3 and older, the 18-hole has 10 replicas of famous lighthouses, including those in Assateague and Cape Henry, VA. There’s also the more typical stuff like fountains, moguls and stone traps.

Cost: $9/adult, $7.50/ages 3 to 12, free for 2 and under
Where: 21593 Jesse Ct., Dulles, VA

The Magic Putting Place

Choose from two courses here. The Magic Castle features a – wait for it – magic castle and saw mill, while the Windmill course has – wait! – a windmill and shade trees. Family-friendly music serenades you as you go.

Safety regulations: Balls are sanitized after each use. One-use plastic sleeves are placed on putters (guests are welcome to bring their own clubs). There is a maximum of 50 people allowed on the course at one time. The Magic Putting Place is currently allowing waiting guests to place their name on a call sheet. 

Cost: $4 before 6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; $4.50 before 6 p.m. Sat., Sun. and holidays, $5 after 6 p.m.
Where: 8902 Mathis Ave., Manassas, VA

NOVA Parks Mini Golf Courses

Five of the locations this organization runs – it represents Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties, and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax – offer mini golf. The 18-hole course at Fountainhead Regional Park ($3/player) has a wooded setting, Upton Hill ($3.50 to $6) touts itself as having “one of the area’s most interesting miniature golf layouts in Northern Virginia,” and Treasure Island Mini Golf at Pohick Bay ($3/game) has a pirate theme.

Cost: $3 to $6
Where: Check website

Monster Mini Golf

Get glowing with this monster-themed indoor glow golf facility. These indoor courses feature animated props, an in-house deejay and arcade rooms, in addition to private party rooms in case you decide to make this a group outing. Other activities include mini bowling and a laser maze. It's the perfect way to fill a rainy day. 

Cost: $9.98 to $10.98 in Chantilly & $9.99 to $11.99 in Gaithersburg
Where: 14130 Sullyfield Cir. Chantilly; 7351 Assateague Dr., Jessup; 9116 Gaither Rd., Gaithersburg

Your Own Backyard

If you want to play a round of putt-putt without leaving your property, there are a number of companies that will bring the course to you. These party companies will set up your game of miniature golf inside or out and—the best part?—you can play unlimited games for the day (or night). If you want to take a swing at unlimited games year round, you can invest in your own set. We like this adorable floral and animal obstacle course. For extra at-home fun, we like to toss a few light-up golf balls in the mix (these feature LED lights).

Cost: $10 & up
Where: Your own backyard