Brothers playing mini golf at Interbay Golf Center in Seattle. Credit: JiaYing Grygiel
Get your putter out for summer
Summer’s in the house — woot woot! — and so are the long open hours at the golf course. If you’ve got early birds who are up at the crack of dawn (even when dawn is around 5 a.m.), here’s an idea:
Summer hours at Seattle's Interbay Golf Center are 6 a.m.–10 p.m.
It’s very pretty, very entertaining and very cheap ($6.50 per kid). Trifecta!
Interbay Golf Center is one of four public golf courses owned and maintained by Seattle Parks and Recreation. We recently played a round of putt-putt with rampant cheating and complete disregard of the rules. At times, I wasn’t sure if we were playing putt-putt or field hockey, but everyone was having so much fun, I went with it.
The mini-golf course at Interbay is nicely landscaped, featuring mature trees, mini waterfalls and fountains. It’s peaceful and green and in the middle of the city. A round of 18 compact holes was just right for my kids' attention span. Walk-ins are welcome all day, though we suggest going in the morning when it’s typically less crowded.
Read on for details on our Interbay experience, and page ahead for our list of mini-golf courses around the Puget Sound region where you'll find the ideal putt-putt outing for your family.
Get your bearings
Upon arrival at Interbay, I left the kids waiting outside and went into the pro shop by myself to pay for our round. They’re taking payment by card only, no cash. Masks are optional inside for the fully vaccinated. There’s a whole rainbow of balls so you can pick out your favorite color, then select the right-sized putter. The flags were removed from the holes last year, but they’re back now.
The café inside is open, too; just take your food to eat on the patio outside. These are the best seats anyway, because you can eat your snacks while watching the big boys practice their swings.
All ages can play
One great thing about mini golf is that it’s fun for all ages, and there’s no prerequisite skill set. They’ve even got toddler-sized putters. The teen behind us worked on his grip and technique; the little kids in front of us had just as much fun throwing their balls into the hole instead of using their putters. When you’re flexible about the rules, the game is fun for everyone.
If you’ve still got energy after finishing the putt-putt course, the two-story driving range is also surprisingly affordable: $6 for a small bucket of 35 balls, up to $15 for a jumbo bucket of 160 balls. My kids love the view from the second level, but you might want to stay downstairs if you’re worried about runners falling over the edge.
Page ahead for all 8 great mini-golf courses for Puget Sound-area kids and families.