mini-golf in pittsburgh

11 great places for mini-golf in Pittsburgh and beyond

This is an updated version (with new reporting by Meg St-Esprit) of a 2022 story by NEXTpittsburgh. Photo above courtesy of Sunset Mini-Golf.

From bumper cars and bowling balls to rocketships and gigantic roosters, mini-golf in Pittsburgh goes way beyond the usual windmills and ponds. Local courses are a fun and affordable way to spend an evening outdoors, and they’re full of puzzling challenges and surprising quirks. The region is packed with classic courses families have been enjoying for generations as well as new spots to explore. It’s also a pretty affordable family activity, with most courses under $10 per person.

The best courses are tricky enough that some combination of skill, luck and concentration is required — and everybody has a chance to win, even younger kids. Here are some of our favorites:

mini-golf in pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of Kniess Mini Golf.

Kniess Mini Golf, Ross

Kniess (say it out loud) is really nice. This course, which features a pleasant creek on one side and a busy stretch of Babcock Boulevard on the other, opened in 1930 as Tom Thumb Miniature Golf. That makes it one of the oldest spots for mini-golf in Pittsburgh. Most holes on Kniess’s two 18-hole courses come with a theme, which is often taken to extremes. In one, there are actual bumper cars as obstacles; in another, you’ll find bowling balls. In the nautical-themed hole, there’s a giant fiberglass shark; in an aerial-themed hole, a World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane. For the pirate-themed hole, there’s an entire scene of pirate skeletons (but they’re not too scary) marooned with their hoard of gold doubloons. Prices range from $4.50 to $6.75 per round.

mini-golf in Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of Forsythe Miniature Golf & Snacks.

Forsythe Miniature Golf & Snacks, Carnegie

If you want a mini-golf course that’s perfectly Pittsburgh, you can’t skip this spot in Carnegie. It’s carved into the side of a hill and takes full advantage of its challenging topography. There’s one hole that goes “off the grid” entirely, where you just have to hit the ball down a rough hillside and hope it hits the green. This course is great for kids with a competitive streak (or folks who really don’t mind ending up with high scores): Most courses have one “hole of doom” which wrecks your score. Forsythe has more of those than it has regular holes. However, even those who don’t win can cheer themselves up afterward with sweets — candy and ice cream sandwiches — from the shop out front. This is a pretty place for night-time family fun, because in the evenings it’s illuminated by strings of tiny lights threaded through the trees. The cost is $5 for kids, seniors, and military members, and $8 for anyone else.

mini-golf in Pittsburgh
Sunset Miniature Golf. Photo by Mike Machosky.

Sunset Miniature Golf, South Park

This classic course is filled with quirky mischief, making it worth the drive. One hole has goflers put through the Penguins’ goalie’s pads. Several others have secret squirt guns that blast golfers with water while they are trying to putt. There’s also a giant pirate ship to climb aboard for a few holes as well as a Wild West-themed hole that propels the ball through a maze of mineshafts with rushing water. The challenge level here ranges from easy to “just be lucky.” There’s also a driving range on site. The cost is $8 per person, with the second round at half price.

Glen’s Custard and Mini Golf. Photo by Mike Machosky.

Glen’s Custard and Mini Golf, Springdale

This is a nice little, inexpensive course that has two remarkable features. It’s attached to Glen’s Frozen Custard, which is a must-visit place for anyone embarking upon a summer ice cream tour of western Pennsylvania. (Seriously, try the banana custard and the limoncello ice cream cookie sandwiches). The second bonus is that the course is easy and quick, with two sections separated by a hill and a parking lot. If you go, don’t forget to pick up a few pints of custard to go. Quirky detail: Glen’s sits literally in the shadow of the staggeringly massive Cheswick Power Plant, which is now closed. It’s a startling juxtaposition between the tiny mini-golf course and the massive reminder of Pittsburgh’s industrial past. Adults cost $6 per round and kids just $4.

Willowbrook Mini Golf. Photo by Shaunna Machosky.

Willowbrook Mini Golf & Driving Range, Greensburg

If you’re out east, this classic mini-golf course is a great one for all ages. There are some ramps where your ball will jump over ponds, and there’s a lighthouse hole and a rocket ship hole. This course can be played fast, but there’s no need to hurry: Willowbrook’s minigolf doesn’t seem to attract large crowds, so you can take your time. Keep in mind that there’s not a lot of shade on this course, so it’s great to wear hats, stay hydrated and bring sunscreen. Adults are $7 and kids are $6, so it’s one of the more affordable courses. Bonus: Adults pay the child price before 4 p.m.

mini-golf courses in Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of Scally’s Golf Center.

Scally’s Golf Center, Moon

This is another spot that has a lot more going on than just mini-golf, including batting cages, a par-3 course, a golf shop and golf lessons. They even offer a night game with glow-in-the-dark balls on the par-3 “pitch & putt” course. This mini-golf course is classic and simple, with lots of giant fiberglass statues — a grizzly bear, Pinocchio, a gigantic rooster and well-kept water features, including a waterfall, so there’s plenty here to keep the whole family busy. Prices range between $7 and $8.

Monroeville Par 2, Monroeville

An effective strategy for a warm-weather game like mini-golf seems to be packaging it with an arcade, go-karts, bumper cars and batting cages. This course has a wild animal theme, complete with giant fiberglass elephants and giraffes on faux rock outcroppings. The holes themselves are fairly standard — lighthouses, caves, etc. All this adds up to a good, not-too-frustrating course for kids and beginners. If you’re considering night-time golf with older kids, keep in mind that 9:30 p.m. is the last tee-off time.

mini-golf in Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of Cool Springs.

Cool Springs, Bethel Park

Cool Springs has revamped their mini-golf course, which has been a popular destination for decades. It looks pretty great, with large water features and lots of varied, rocky terrain. This course comes highly recommended, and it’s part of a sports complex that includes everything from a driving range and indoor golf simulators to a giant indoor soccer field. Prices range from $4 to $9.

North Park Batting Range, Miniature Golf, Driving Range and Par 3, North Hills

Just like it says in the title, there’s a lot going on here. The batting cages, located right across the road, are actually the main draw. But while the mini-golf course isn’t terribly original (Hey! there’s Humpty Dumpty, sitting on a wall!), it can be a lot of fun on a nice summer day. So if your whole family wants to do a few fun things at once, this is a good option. Adults can try the par-3 at North Park, an easy 9-hole real golf course that’s great for beginners and putting practice. And the park itself, with it’s beautiful lake, has plenty of picnic pavilions. You can end the day with a frosty treat from nearby Kool Cones. Prices range from $8 to $9 for cash, with a credit card fee. Additional rounds are discounted.

Courtesy of Puttshack.

Puttshack, Strip District

In a city as rainy as Pittsburgh, indoor mini-golf is a great option. Puttshack uses digital scoring, not a par system, to rate players on their game. It’s a fun change for some kiddos, but prep them first. Finding a bonus or hitting a harzard can change your score, much like in a video game. Kids under 12 are $9 and everyone else is $12, but joining their loyalty program can offer discounts.

Puttery Pittsburgh, Strip District

Another new addition to the Pittsburgh indoor mini-golf scene, Puttery has family hours and adult-only hours, so check the website for specific times and events. The course is $18 per round or $25 for unlimited play for adults ($15 unlimited play for kids under 18). The courses are creative and unique, and the food is perfect for kids and adults.

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