I am not sure how it happened. Or even when it happened, but somewhere along the lines mini golf became one of our family's "things". When we would travel we would carve out a little time to play a round of mini golf on a local course, but then we found ourselves living just a short walk from Chicago's City Mini Golf and it became something we did regularly in our hometown too.
What makes this course worth coming back to again and again?
Here are 5 reasons we think City Mini Golf of Chicago is the best and worth a visit:
1) Location, Location, Location
Beyond being in one of the most iconic cities in America this course is nestled in the heart of downtown, right inside beautiful Maggie Daley Park. This makes the course incredibly easy to work into a visit to some of your other favorite downtown spots, but it is also fun to play when you look around and see yourself surrounded by Chicago's beautiful skyscrapers. Parking is available in the Millennium Park Garage, but it is also very accessible by foot, bike, ride share or public transportation.
2) Course Difficulty
City Mini Golf consists of 18 holes which are designed in a way that are challenging, yet not too frustrating. This is what makes the course a great destination for guests of all ages and abilities and especially for families! By the end of the 2020 season each member of our family had one hole where we achieved a hole in one and (at least) one hole that we look forward to mastering in 2021!
I am what's known as a "homer" - someone who thinks their town is just the best and City Mini Golf calls to my love of Chicago with each hole. Yes, that is right - many of the things that I love most about Chicago are built into each hole. From the iconic Chicago Theatre sign to our beloved baseball teams - this course is like a love letter to Chicago. Each season a new hole will be given a theme - last year we saw the Wells Street "L" Train Bridge, Chicago White Sox and Merit School of Music themed holes be added to the course. We can't wait to find out what comes next!
4) Locally Owned
Supporting our city's locally owned businesses is something our family loves to do and not only is City Mini Golf locally owned but the owner's passion for mini golf and his business is infectious. If you have played the course then there is a good chance you have met the owner, Rob Long. I asked Rob once "why mini golf" and it turns out that even as far back as 7th grade he had an interest in designing and owning his own mini golf place. Over the years through college, grad school, time spent as a teacher and being involved in his church's bible study group a series of opportunities guided Long to a one year trial with his mini golf course in Maggie Daley park. Years later the course and theme have evolved into what you see now.
City Mini Golf is also NOT part of a chain of courses. We discovered quickly that a pirate themed course can be a lot of fun, but can also be found in multiple states across the country. City Mini Golf is one of a kind in the sea of mini golf courses.
5) Priced Right for Family Fun
Chicago isn't exactly known for being budget-friendly, but City Mini Golf may be one exception in my book. Standard admission is $11 for anyone aged 5 and up and anyone younger gets to play for free. If you happen to be a teacher, senior 65+ or in the military you will get a discount admission of $9. Want to play again in the same day? You can do that for only $5.50! One of our favorite days out during the summer involved packing up a lunch, hopping on our scooters and going to Maggie Daley to play mini golf together, have a picnic and then I would sometimes let the kids play a second round before heading back home.
Note: City of Chicago ordinance still requires all visitors to the park to wear masks. This includes during your miniature golf game play.