Miniature Golf is such a great summer sport, whether you’re taking kids for their first trip, or having a great time with a group of adults. The north shore boasts a number of fantastic miniature golf courses, ranging in difficultly. The best part? They all include an ice cream stand, and many of them serve Richardson’s ice cream, a local staple. Keep in mind, north shore mini golf courses tend to be a little more serious and less silly than your average tourist area mini golf course, so be prepared for a challenge.
Castle Creek Adventure Land
100 Swampscott Road, Salem MA
Seniors and Kids under 12- $7, Adults $8
If you weren’t looking for this hidden gem of a mini golf course, you would never know where it was. Nestled on a side street off of Highland Ave in Salem, Castle Creek has gone from a little mini gold course to a family entertainment center. The best bargain is their daily special, which includes a go-cart ride, a round of mini golf, and an ice cream, all for $16.
One of the best features of Castle Creek, aside from the price, is that it is rarely terribly crowded. They do a steady business, considering the arcade and the go-carts along with the mini golf, plus the requisite Richardson’s Ice Cream, but you’re not going to find yourself waiting for hours to play. The mini golf course is fairly challenging- kids will have a tough time with some of the holes, especially putting uphill, but experienced mini golfers will not have too much of a challenge. In the tradition of local mini golf courses, there aren’t too many goofy features to this course, despite the castle.
156 South Main Street, Middleton MA
Ranging from $4 for toddlers to $7 for adults
Located right next to the Middleton Richardson’s Ice Cream stand, you may not realize that this complex is separate. Golf country boasts two miniature golf courses, a driving range, and batting cages. Beware, this course often becomes incredibly crowded, and expect to wait for 15-20 minutes between holes on a nice day.
There are two different miniature golf courses. The Mill Pond course is slightly more challenging- if you’re playing with young children there’s a significant risk of hitting golf balls into the water. The Stone Bridge course is a more relaxed play. Again, in the style of eastern Massachusetts miniature golf courses, you’re not going to find spinning windmills, silly characters, or anything more exciting than a version of a red barn. It’s worth it, though, if you’re looking for a course that will challenge you as you hit uphill, bounce your ball off of rocks, or hit into a tube!
The best value is to go ahead and buy the ticket to play both miniature golf courses, it’s a bit of a drive to get out here from most areas on the north shore, so you might as well stay and enjoy yourself. An adult ticket to play both courses is $12. Don’t forget to stop for ice cream and hot dogs afterwards at Richardson’s Ice Cream.
Paradise Mini Golf
25 Lonergan Road Middleton MA
Children and Seniors $5.50, Adults $7
This course is the exception to the North Shore rule of relaxed golf courses. The Paradise Mini Golf course is silly, with a sort of tiki/island theme going on. It’s also challenging! Easily the most intentionally difficult of the North Shore mini golf courses, if you’re an avid mini golfer looking for a challenge, this is the place to go. Highlights include having to intentionally hit your ball into the water to have it taken downstream.
Paradise also boasts a unique driving range that might actually get you interested in using it. You can try to hit your ball onto floating islands in the middle of the range, which is a really entertaining challenge. Small children will enjoy feeding the koi in their pond– these fish are disturbingly friendly and will come right up to the side of the pond! For Salem ice cream loyalists, Paradise has Treadwell’s ice cream on site. They also tend not to be too crowded, so if you don’t want to fight the crowd at Golf Country, head back down the street to Paradise.