The following is a selection of miniature golf courses in the Washington area. (To locate courses in other parts of Maryland and Virginia, check out the online directories listed under Resources.) Arrive at least an hour before the designated closing time. All sites accommodate birthday parties and group outings and are handicapped accessible. Call ahead if weather conditions look iffy and to confirm closing times at courses in parks, which generally stay open until dusk.
Anne Arundel County
ARUNDEL GOLF PARK -- 1501 Dorsey Rd., Glen Burnie. 410-761-1295. www.arundelgolf.com. Open all year, daily except Christmas. Open daily 9 to 9 through September; hours vary seasonally. $4.75 adults, $3.75 ages 12 and younger; $4 ages 55 and older. A stream and pond accent the naturally landscaped 18-hole, par-42 course. Other highlights include batting cages, a driving range and golf lessons.
Nine-year-olds Evan Cernea, left, and Jonny Davis, both of Bethesda, fish a ball out of a water hazard at one of South Germantown Recreational Park's two miniature golf courses in Boyds.
(Cathy Kapulka -- The Washington Post)
NIGHT HAWK GOLF CENTER -- 814 Route 3 South, Gambrills. 410-721-9349. www.nighthawkgolfcenter.com. Open all year. Hours daily 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., most likely through October; hours vary seasonally. $4 adults; $2.75 children 9 and younger. A replay costs $2; play all day before 5 for $6.50. This 19-hole, par-45 course features natural accents, such as a waterfall and ornamental grasses. The site also offers a driving range, batting cages, a nine-hole, par-3 golf course, a game arcade and Bankshot Basketball, a miniature-golf-type game using basketballs.
PASADENA GOLF CENTER -- 4358 Mountain Rd., Pasadena. 410-439-4653. www.pasadenagolfcenter.com. Open all year. Open Sunday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; hours change seasonally. $5.50 adults; $4.75 children 12 and younger; ages 3 and younger free. Baltimore magazine this month named this 18-hole, par-41 course the best in the Baltimore area. The heavily landscaped, two-year-old course features several fountains, waterfalls and bridges, and an island green surrounded by water. The most difficult hole, No. 15, requires putting to a higher tier. The golf center also includes a driving range, batting cages, arcade, pro shop and snacks.
SEVERNA PARK GOLF CENTER -- 1257 Gov. Ritchie Hwy., Arnold. 410-647-8618. www.spgc.net. Open all year. Open daily 8 to 10:30; hours change seasonally. $4.25 ages 10 and older, $3 ages 9 and younger. This beginner-oriented, 18-hole, par-45 course features traditional obstacles such as a windmill, church and barn. Other site highlights include a nine-hole golf course, batting cages, a driving range and vending machines.
COLUMBIA SPORTSPARK MINI GOLF COURSE -- Harper's Choice Village Center, 5453 Harper's Farm Rd., Columbia. 410-715-3054. www.columbiaassociation.com/text-sports.shtml#sportspark. Through Aug. 30, open daily noon to 10. September through Oct. 31, open Monday through Thursday 3 to 8, Fridays 3 to 10, Saturdays noon to 10 and Sundays noon to 8. Closed November through February. Columbia Association members with package plan cards play for free; $6 per game for nonmembers. Natural settings and waterfalls accent this six-year-old, 18-hole, par-44 course. The most difficult hole, par-4 No. 7, features a hill and water hazard. The SportsPark also offers a skate park, batting cages, video games, a snack bar and a playground.
ROUNDING THIRD FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTER -- 6600 Amberton Dr., Elkridge. 410-796-0800. www.rounding3rd.net. Open all year. Hours Monday through Thursday 11 to 10, Fridays 11 to midnight, Saturdays 10 to midnight and Sundays 10 to 9; hours change seasonally. Ages 4 and older $6.25, younger than 4 free. Putters at this 19-hole course hit the ball under logs and around rocks, among other natural obstacles. Other highlights include go-karts, laser tag, batting cages and a game arcade.
CITY OF GAITHERSBURG MINIATURE GOLF AT BOHRER PARK -- Bohrer Park, Summit Hall Farm, 510 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg. 301-258-6420 or 301-258-6350. www.gaithersburgmd.gov; click on "Parks, Recreation and Culture," then "Miniature Golf Course." Open May through October. Hours Friday and Saturday are 11 to 11, Sunday 11 to 10. Monday through Oct. 31, open Fridays 4 to 10, Saturdays 11 to 10 and Sundays 11 to 8. Open Sept. 6 (Labor Day) 11 to 8. $4 ($3 for seniors) per game or $5 for unlimited play for Gaithersburg residents, free for children 4 and younger; nonresidents pay an additional $1. An unlimited swimming and golf pass, available at the entrance to the adjacent water park and valid for one day, costs $7 for residents, $8.50 for nonresidents. A waterfall and terraced garden pond with goldfish and aquatic plants accent the 10-year-old, 18-hole, par-36 course, which has recently undergone recarpeting on several greens. Hole No. 5, with a rock obstacle, proves most challenging. Other park attractions include the water park, a skate park and indoor activity center.
SOUTH GERMANTOWN RECREATIONAL PARK MINIATURE GOLF AND SPLASH PLAYGROUND -- 18056 Central Park Cir., Boyds. 301-601-3580 (recording), 301-601-3581. www.mc-mncppc.org/parks/activities/splash_announce.shtm. Open April through October. Miniature golf hours through Sept. 6 are Sunday through Thursday 10 to 9, and Fridays and Saturdays 10 to 10. Hours Sept. 11 through Oct. 31 are Fridays 4 to 10, Saturdays 10 to 10 and Sundays 10 to 8. $5 adults, $4 ages 10 and younger, free for ages younger than 2. A discount book offers 10 tickets for $45; a combination discount book has five tickets for golf, five for the neighboring Splash Playground, $38. Two hilly, landscaped championship-style miniature golf courses feature natural hazards such as ponds, along with simulated sand traps, roughs and typical full-size golf course features such as sloping greens and undulations. The par-42 Blue Course, with holes marked by blue flags, is a little more challenging than the par-40 Red Course. The adjacent Splash Playground, open different hours, features a variety of walk-through water activities. The park also offers vending machines, picnic areas and, just down the road, a huge adventure playground.
WHITE FLINT GOLF PARK -- 5451 Marinelli Rd., Rockville. 301-230-7117. www.whiteflintgolfpark.com. Open all year. Summer hours, through mid- to late September, are Sundays and Tuesday through Thursday 8 to 11, Fridays and Saturdays 8 to midnight and Mondays 11 to 11. Hours change seasonally. $5 for ages 8 and older, $3 for ages 4 to 7, free for ages 3 and younger with paying adult. A two-course ticket is $7 for ages 8 and older, $4 for ages 4 to 7. Multi-game tickets also are available, starting at $20 for five games. A weekday all-you-can-play special costs $6 for play from opening to 5. Arrive before 1 on Saturdays or Sundays and play unlimited games for $10. The North Course and South Course, each par 44, feature challenging water hazards, roughs and stone obstacles. Waterfalls and creeks accent the nine-year-old course's natural landscaping. The most difficult South Course hole, par-4 No. 17, boasts a slope and huge drop. On the North Course, the par-3 No. 8 hole has a large water hazard and a "dogleg," or angled fairway. Other features at the park include a driving range, demo center, golf pro instruction and snacks.
Prince George's County
GOLFZILLA DRIVING RANGE -- 3601 Brinkley Rd., Temple Hills. 301-630-4653. www.golfzilla.com. Open all year. Open Monday through Saturday 10 to 9:30, Sundays 10 to 8. $4 adults, $3 ages 10 and younger, $2 for replay, free for additional replays. The lowest scorer in each group of four or more players receives a free round. Built in 1961 by Italian stonemasons, this 18-hole, par-42, old-style course features traditional, recently rebuilt obstacles such as a church, schoolhouse, gristmill, windmill, lighthouse, pinball machine and clown. Tough holes include one where players putt through a cannon, which frequently traps balls. The facility also offers a 54-stall driving range, golf store and club repair, as well as snacks.
LAUREL GOLF AND RECREATION -- 9801 Fort Meade Rd. (Route 198), Laurel. 301-725-4646. www.laurelgolfcenter.com. Open all year. Open weekdays 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; hours change seasonally. $6 per game for adults, $4 for children 12 and younger, $5 for seniors ages 60 and older; replays are $4 for adults and seniors, $3 for children. This 12-year-old, par-45 course, designed for challenging play in a setting resembling an actual golf course, includes lots of undulations. A par-4 hole adjacent to a waterfall features two levels and a "dogleg," or angled fairway. Tall ornamental grasses and rocks accent the natural landscaping. The facility also offers a driving range and batting cages.
WATKINS MINIATURE GOLF COURSE -- Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Dr., Upper Marlboro. 301-218-6757. www.pgparks.com/places/parks/watkins.html, click on "Watkins Miniature Golf Course." Open Memorial Day through September. Tuesday through Sunday 10 to 6:30 through Sept. 5, then Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 6:30. $3 per game for residents of Prince George's and Montgomery counties, $3.50 for non-county residents. The 18-hole, par-45 course features such entertaining obstacles as a water-spitting turtle, wishing well, house and loop. Other attractions at the 500-acre Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission area include a miniature train, antique carousel, the Old Maryland Farm, nature center and a playground.
CAMERON RUN REGIONAL PARK MINIATURE GOLF COURSE -- 4001 Eisenhower Ave. 703-960-0767. www.nvrpa.org/cameron.html. Open April through October. Through Sept. 6, open Monday through Thursday 10 to 9; Friday through Sunday and Labor Day 10 to 10. Sept. 10 through Oct. 31, open Fridays 4 to 8, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays noon to 8. $5.50 ages 13 to 59, $4.50 ages 12 and younger and 60 and older; $2 per replay game; $38.50 for 10-game discount book. One of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority's two deluxe courses -- the other is Upton Hill, listed below -- the 18-hole layout features sloping hillsides and a water garden. Other park attractions include a large water park, batting cages, fishing pond and picnic shelters, including a new corporate shelter.