Mini-Golf, Maximum Fun

It's not summer without a trip to the local putt-putt for a round of eighteen.

(Editor's note: Due to a production error, the version of this list that ran in our June issue was incorrect. Josh Burdick's title was also incorrect in previous versions.)


Inspired by the Japanese game Pachinko, Hole 15 on this eighteen-hole course is the closest thing you’ll find to vertical pinball. Just a gentle tap sets the ball careening down the turf ramp, where it zigzags among the red, blue, yellow and green wood blocks on its wild ride to the hole. Operations manager Josh Burdick reports that one in eight shots make a hole in one, remarkably. Also on site: Poppy’s Carousel (look for Narragansett Nessie, the sea dragon), batting cages, bumper boats, Go Karts and Bankshot (a new handicapped-accessible basketball game). You can also grab a scoop or two at Burdick’s Ice Cream, which serves up Garelick Farms flavors and free sprinkles for all!

Adults $7, children under five $5. Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, weather permitting. 112 Point Judith Road, Narragansett, 789-0030,

Mulligan’s Island

Choose from two eighteen-hole courses here: red or blue. Kids love blue Hole 4: It stretches across three greens connected by logs — and overlooks a shipwreck run aground (eliciting a “wow” from the six-year-old in our party). On the red course, Hole 2 cascades down a steep hill and Hole 8 is a treat: you’re putting inside a working volcano (propane substitutes for Mother Nature). While the nautical touches are appreciated — treasure chests, a whimsical treehouse, wooden tiki statues, and pier footings — there might be too many water hazards. Even adults struggle to keep their balls on the green. That said, you’ll enjoy the variety and theme. Also onsite: a par 3 course, pitch and putt, batting cages, driving range and beach volleyball courts.

Adults $10, children ten and under $8; replay same day for $5 per person . Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, weather permitting. 1000 New London Ave., Cranston 464-8855,

Pavilion Steak House

Take a trip around the world for cheap at this charming mini-golf just off Exit 1 on Route 95. The holes present kid-friendly challenges — bridges, curves, bumps and obstacles — but there are show-stoppers here, for sure. At holes 4, 13 and 16, golfers “visit” the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the stone Moai of Easter Island and the towering Greek Parthenon, respectively. You can’t help but dream up a travel itinerary mid-putt. Little girls love the final hole, especially, where Antarctic Emperor Penguins bid you adieu. A full restaurant and bar, ice cream depot and driving range round out the experience. If you visit on the weekend, the tented outdoor pavilion hosts Friday night barbecue and a Sunday lobster and steak fry.

$5 per person. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, weather permitting. 15A Frontier Road, Hopkinton, 377-9900,