Best Miniature Golf - 2009
Tee Time Family Fun Center
Landlocked as we are in St. Louis, we don't have the faded boardwalks, funhouses and amusement parks that dot the Eastern seaboard. Those ramshackle buildings stand as a testament to a simpler time, one of fantasy and eternal summers. Think of the miniature golf course as a Midwestern stand-in for the carnival midway: It's a slice of Americana that seems plucked from a daydream and colored in Day-Glo. The eighteen holes at Tee Time aren't going to wow you with flashy automated distractions or some clumsy overarching theme. Instead Tee Time demands that you bring your A game: precision is a must. The course favors Technicolor AstroTurf — purples, blues and reds color the "greens" and fairways — and most holes feature tricky contours, dips and ramps as you putt-putt toward the hole. The incongruities of the course make it lovable — a blue rhino, a smiling alligator and a mighty grizzly bear all stand sentinel along the links — and the burbling water features make you forget that you're honing your short game in the shadow of Interstate 55. Hours are noon-10 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Greens fees are $5 per round; $4 for kids age nine and under (free for children under three with an adult).