Saturday evening Anne and I met at Walker Art Center for Mini Golf with Kids. Despite the heat and long wait, it was a really good time for everyone. I would highly recommend getting out for a round or two before it ends. Labor Day is the last day to play. You can learn a little from our visit below:
Walker on the GreenMinneapolis Sculpture Garden Now through September 1, 2014 Thursday–Saturday, 10 am–10 pm; Sunday–Wednesday, 10 am–8 pm. Single Course (9 Holes): $12 adults, $10 students ($9 Walker members, children ages 7–12). Full Course (18 Holes): $18 adults, $15 students ($13.50 Walker members, children ages 7–12). Free for ages 6 and under with paid adult. EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: $2 off each ticket, Monday–Thursday, 10 am–1 pm. Every ticket includes free gallery admission (up to $14 value) for each golfer. Tee times are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis; no advanced reservations.
Lesson Number One: Kids Under 6 Play Free.
Anne and I agreed to meet in the evening to play Mini Golf. We each had two comp tickets. She planned to bring her 9-year-old and leave the rest home. I chose to bring the whole family but only have my husband and 4-year-old play. I am glad I brought the whole family, but I had to listen to my 9-year-old pout and complain the whole time and I ended up getting more exercise chasing the two-year-old than if I had played golf myself. As it turns out, children 6 and under play free with a paid adult. All of my kids could have played.
Lesson Number Two: Be Prepared to Wait
We golfed in the early evening on a Saturday. Our wait time was an hour and twenty minutes. I understand it is almost always like that. Walker offers an early bird discount if you arrive before 1 p.m. on Monday through Thursday. This is probably your best bet for short lines. One mistake we made was that we planned to show up, golf, and then go out for pizza. We quickly changed pizza to hot dogs at the hot dog stand. Not my ideal meal. Had I known about the wait, I would have eaten before heading out or brought a picnic. However, our wait went fast. We didn’t even get to spend as much time in the sculpture garden as the kids would have liked. Plus, I didn’t even know about lesson number three until it was too late.
Lesson Number Three: Gallery Admission is Free with a Paid Ticket + Kids are Always Free At Walker
It’s been a long time since I’ve paid to go to the Walker; we’ve either had a membership or we went on free days. It turns out the price of admission has gone up considerably since my last paid visit, but children under 18 are always free. That makes for a pretty good deal for parents with multiple children. While you wait for your tee time, you can visit the Walker galleries — and come back afterwards if you play early enough. This is a nice option for really hot days.
Lesson Number Four: Bring Provisions
This shouldn’t be a lesson for seasoned parents, but apparently I’m a slow learner. Since I believed it was going to be a short visit, I came sans diaper bag and without food or water bottles. There is a hot dog stand, like I said. However small bottles of water are $2.75 and after gallery hours there is no place to refill it. The sculpture garden also happens to be a perfect spot for a picnic. Had I planned ahead, we would have done that.
Even without knowing all the things I know now, we had a really great evening. We’ll be back for more mini golfing as long as Walker brings it back every summer!
Complimentary Golf Tickets were provided by the Walker. Opinions and lessons are my own.