Miniature golf probably reminds you of your middle school outings, and in some cases, the venues haven’t changed much, with the same antiquated arcade games along the walls and warped Astroturf on the course. But in other cases, they’ve grown to amusement park-proportions, with an over-stimulating variety of activities to choose from. Either way, the kids still love to get their tee-time, and birthdays on the mini-green can be convenient for you and fun for them. Here are a few possibilities:
Celebrating a rainy November b-day? No problem. Super Franks in Pleasanton has indoor mini-golf with a glow-in-the-dark jungle theme. Super Franks touts being created “by parents for parents,” and their party hosts are a big hit with parents who want to enjoy the celebration with their kids and let someone else do all the work. Mini-golf parties at Super Franks are $249.00 on weekdays and $299 Fri-Sun. Along with a party host, your guests will receive glow-in-the-dark face paint, pizza in a private party room, arcade time, and of course, first dibs on the 10-hole “Frank and Bean’s Putting Greens.” Located at 5341 Owens Ct. in Pleasanton.
For more traditional mini-golfing, check out McInnis Park Golf Center in San Rafael. There’s a 9-hole course with views of Mount Tamalpais for big golfers, and for the whole family, there’s room to romp on an 18-hole miniature golf course in a garden setting, with artist-designed castles, dragons, snails, and the like to steer your ball through. Birthday parties are hosted at the Snack Bar, and groups of ten get $2 off on regular admission, at $6 vs. $8 per golfer. Located at 350 Smith Ranch Rd. in San Rafael.
This golf course is oft-forgotten, with its surrounding distractions of beaches and coaster-studded boardwalk. We’re talking about Neptune’s Kingdom in Santa Cruz, if you’re up for the adventure. Also indoors, the two-story, 18-hole course has a pirate theme in a Buccaneer Bay setting, with the Captain’s Game Deck and the Smuggler’s Arcade nearby. Birthday groups find their own way, as parties aren’t hosted here. Costs, though are lower than at most mini-golf venues, at $5.00 per golfer, with groups of 20 getting a steal of $2.95 per person. Located at 400 Beach Street in Santa Cruz.
—Renee M. Rutledge