Looking for something fun and potentially education to do outside without getting sweaty? Think mini golf at the Minnesota Science Museum. It just opened last weekend; so we took a foursome out to the course to check it out. The location is beautiful – the golf course is between the Science Museum and the River. It’s a 9-hole course. I don’t think it took us an hour to play.
Our group included a first grade a couple of adults and a few in between and we all enjoyed the game. We did institute the six-stroke rule. Once you get to six strokes on any given hole, you’re out. So that keeps the game rolling along – but we didn’t use it every hole. There’s a mix of luck and skill involved in the game. (Although I can tell you that the most skilled player did win the game!) A few holes involve water traps, which I’m sure will be even more welcome in the hotter months. There are a few sandboxes too for younger players who may need to regroup between shots.
Each shot contains a key lesson. For example, in the second hole, you have to hit your ball through running water to get to the hole – but since flowing water acts in predictable ways on materials (such as golf balls) the hole isn’t as tough as it looks. If David Hume can use the pool table to tech probability, the Science Museum can use miniature golf to teach about ecology. Also there are various notes about the surrounding area. Apparently the bushes surrounding the course will bear fruit later in the season and players are welcome to eat what they can reach to pick.
One note – you have to pay to get into the Museum and then pay for the mini golf so if you’re not a member, it can get expensive. But after 5 pm, you can get in for just $5 per person and forget about the museum fee.