Gah, LavaLinks is good for a laugh, I guess, but really, it's pretty awful mini golf. Honestly, if the Walker isn't doing Artist Designed minigolf this year (which they aren't) and you've already done the Big Back Yard at the Science Museum too many times (two or three will do it), there's only once place to go. You need a car and a bit of patience with the 30 minute drive to get there, but Big Stone Mini Golf (http://bigstoneminigolf.com/) in Mound is fantastic! The only disappointing thing is that there are only 13 holes, but they are all fun and creative, designed around installation sculptures made of steel, granite, tree trunks and even an upside down iron hulled ship! The course is challenging, the scenery is great and you can feed the goats for only fifty cents. Yes, that's right. Awesome outdoor mini golf and goats. Pfff, LavaLinks.
BEST GOLF COURSE (MINI) - 2002
Lava Links Family Entertainment Center
1655 W. Cty Road B2
White Bear Lake, MN 55115
"This is so junior high," our friend groans as we tee off beneath a papier-mâché dinosaur head. True. But Lava Links, located next to an army recruiting station in a down-at-heel Roseville mini-mall, remains one of the few places around to get your putt on during the endless winter. True, also, that Lava Links is no Robert Trent Jones masterpiece: This volcano-themed 18-holer has none of the ball-munching Rube Goldberg machinery typical of more ornate outdoor courses (the principal hazards here are, in fact, more likely to be frayed carpeting and small children wandering across the fairway). But if you have a healthy appreciation for kitsch--or, better yet, if you have wee'uns that need entertaining--this course, and its attached video arcade, may put you in mind of pizza parties of yore. If you're looking for a cheap date (green fees are $5), it might be worth mentioning as well that the secluded, black-lit back nine is a prime spot for any number of other junior-high-level diversions.