Whether you’re an amateur or a pro mini golfer, you know the joy comes from shepherding the ball through unlikely — and often beautiful — obstacles and terrain into holes that are often cleverly camouflaged. It’s all about the fun of a shared family outing, and the best mini courses challenge everyone just enough to bring them back for more. These are some of the best mini-golf games Boston has to offer.

Foursquare Favorite: Castle Creek Adventure Land
100 Swampscott Rd
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 825-9056
Read all the tips on Foursquare

Play a round of mini-golf around a moated castle, inside a cave, and underneath a waterfall. That’s not enough for you? There’s also a high-speed outdoor go-kart track. Top it all off with a heaping scoop of ice cream from the North Shore’s favorite, Richardson’s Dairy.

Photo Credit: kimballfarm.com

Kimball Farm
400 Littleton Rd. (Rte. 110)
Westford, MA 01886
(978) 486-3891

Hours:   Apr 1 to May 28 (Memorial Day) daily – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; May 29 to Oct. 8 daily – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Price:  $11 adults/$6 replays/$8.50 children 12 and younger/$6 replays

Kimball Farm, which has established a reputation for its luscious homemade ice cream, has not one, but two 18-hole mini, adventure-style golf courses with cascading waterfalls, drawbridges and mines. With its animal adventures, grand slam batting cages, a bumper boat pond, old sawmill arcade, and an outdoor grill and seafood shack, there’s more than enough here to keep the whole family occupied for an entire day.

Photo Credit: Paradiseminigolf.com

Paradise Mini Golf
25 Lonergan Rd.
Middleton, MA 01949
(978) 750-4653

Hours: Apr 15 to May 28 (Memorial Day) daily – 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; May 28 to Sept 3 (Labor Day) daily – 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sept 4 to Oct 8 (Columbus Day) daily – 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Columbus Day to April 14 daily – 9 a.m. to sunset

Price:    Adults – $7 adults/$5.50 children 11 and younger, seniors 60 and older

Paradise Mini Golf features an 18-hole tropical course with a 35-foot-high tree hole and a river hole that carries golf balls downstream. The facility hosts birthday parties for up to 20 children in its pirate ship, and offers a snack bar that serves Russ Treadwell’s locally made ice cream, Richie’s slush, as well as pizza, hot dogs and other kid-friendly food. Parents may relax at the koi fish pond adjacent to the course for a break from the fun.

Related: Family Fun Guide to Boston Area Farms

Photo Credit: theorangedinosaur.com

Route 1 Miniature Golf
1575 Broadway
Saugus, MA 01906
(781) 233-2811

Hours:  April to October daily – 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Price: $6.75 adults/$5.75 children 12 and younger/$5.50 seniors 60 and older

Route 1 Miniature Golf is been the home of the orange dinosaur, an iconic fixture to Rte. 1, for more than 50 years. Its classic, 18-hole mini golf course features oversized wild animals that are sure to delight young kids and adults alike who are looking for an afternoon of fun and escape. Players who shoot a hole in one by ringing the siren on the 18th hole win a free game. Enjoy the arcade, batting cages and dairy castle serving 26 flavors of Richardson’s ice cream as well.

Related: Weekend Family Fun Guide to Metrowest

Photo Credit: gamesandgolf.com

Golf on the Village Green
315 Worcester Rd., Rte. 9
Natick, MA 01760
(508) 653-4671

Dates: April 13 to Sept 3
Click here for Hours
Price: $7 adults/$5 children 8 and younger/$4 replays

Golf on the Village Green brings visitors back in time to Boston’s Revolutionary War period with a freedom trail theme dotted with miniature replicas of colonial buildings such as the Old North Church, Paul Revere’s house and Faneuil Hall, cobblestone paths, and signs with historical trivia. It may not be the most challenging mini-golf course in the area, but it’s certainly the most educational, and sure to please out-of-town visitors who are here to soak themselves in history. CBS Boston Insider’s Tip: Don’t come hungry – there are no food concession stands on site. 

Photo Credit: mulligansminigolf.com

Mulligan’s Miniature Golf
124 Leominster Rd. (Rte. 12)
Sterling, MA 01564
(978) 422-5022

Dates:  March 31 to Oct 31
Click Here for Hours
Price: $8 adults/$6 children 4 to 12 years old/free children 3 and younger/$6 seniors 55 and older/replays half-price

Mulligan’s mini course offers 18 holes, each of which is named for a native woodland animal. It is best known for its “Moonlite Madness” evenings during July, August and October, when players use glow-in-the-dark balls, tees and cups. Hungry players may grab snacks, drinks and soft-serve ice cream at the red Moose Caboose on the deck overlooking the venue. Fun fact: A local golfer at Mulligan’s established the Guinness world record for most holes of miniature golf played in 24 hours back in 2004.

Maureen Harmonay wears many hats. She is a real estate agent who specializes in country estates, antique homes, and horse properties in the metrowest suburbs of Boston. With certifications in Feng Shui and as an Eco-Broker, she is keenly attuned to how energy affects the health of a home and its occupants, both humans and pets. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.