Open since 1967, Putting Plus is a beloved Omaha leisure facility that brings out the inner child of adults, the inner teen of adults, and the inner golf-baller of any-aged folks. In all, there are three family-friendly miniature-golf courses ($5–$6 per course), featuring 18 holes of challenging curves, drops, water hazards, and mysterious holes that, when you reach in to retrieve your ball, cause your hand to pop out of another hole 20 yards away.
The winner of 14 professional titles, Skip Tredway is a former PGA tour member with 38 years of experience as a golf instructor. Tredway's Scoring School program causes scores to plummet by revealing tips to improve all phases of a golfer's short game, from pitching and chipping to digging friendlier hole sizes. In a 60-minute session, Skip can sharpen students' putting skills by reviewing gripping and balance techniques or improve their chipping by identifying hiccups in their swings. Diminish scores further by learning to escape bunkers using only a trained sparrow.
Scandia Family Fun Center flings open the doors to youthful fantasy in a lush space that has continued to blossom since opening day in 1988. Much of the management has been on staff for more than 15 years, evincing a love of fun that is reflected in the manicured grounds and impressive wealth of games. Juniper and magnolia trees shade shingled cottages and castles rise from mossy rocks on the two 18-hole mini-golf courses. The sounds of splashing and laughter indicate both the birth of another pirate and a direct hit from a Blaster boat's front-mounted water cannon, backdropped by go-karts rumbling on the Li’l Indy Raceway and bats cracking in the batting cages. Inside, the arcade illustrates the evolution of gaming with more than 150 machines. A limited-edition Tron pinball machine crowns the collection of vintage games, and modern play is represented with multiplayer dance simulators, Quadair hockey tables, and cinematic experiences such as Terminator: Salvation, which screens on a 100-inch monitor. Visitors who left their pizza-flavor chew toys at home can check out Scandia's Viking Pizza.
When it opened in the late 1970s, Fun-Plex enticed patrons with a single go-kart track. Since then, the park has accumulated a wealth of attractions, including a tilt-a-whirl, bumper boats, and Nebraska's only roller coaster. Kiddie Land accommodates youngsters with a mini coaster and express train; Wet & Wild Water Park soaks visitors with a lazy river, kiddie pool, and two five-story water slides every summer from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.
After toweling off, guests can take to the 18-hole miniature-golf course to putt past water hazards, sand traps, and gophers on vacation. Visitors craving indoor fun can try their hand at pinball or Pac-Man in the arcade or wander through a haunted house during the Halloween season. When it's time to reenergize, patrons can choose from four restaurants with food ranging from carnival snacks to pizza and breadsticks.
The 18 wide fairways at Papio Greens Golf Center stretch toward smooth, par 3 greens designed to be manageable and challenging for both beginner and advanced players. Groundskeepers and staff have styled the complex as a place where families can take to the links together. Young golfers can be found preparing for their upcoming junior-league tournaments on the facility's water driving range, and adult players await their tee time by rehearsing bunker chips on the nearby practice green. Certified teaching pro Mike DeBoer teaches onsite clinics and private lessons that help beginners sharpen their swings and cut down on balls lost to the water hazards and intergalactic wormhole framing the course. Night or day, players can practice their putting beneath the lights that illuminate 36 holes of miniature golf.
Go-karts hug the twists and turns of a 1/4-mile track. Six batting cages hurl baseballs and softballs at speeds between 50 mph and 80 mph. An 18-hole miniature golf course coaxes putted balls down greens ranging from 75- to 185-feet in length. Elsewhere, water balloons fired from a launcher soak opponents stationed at battle zones. For 20 years, Papio Fun Park has enraptured families with abundant outdoor and indoor activities and games.
The indoor facility hosts trampoline-hopping players at Spaceball or Jumpshot, while an arcade brims with quarter-operated air hockey, pool tables, and laundry machines disguised as video games.
Competitive and casual merrymakers alike will find Boulder Creek Amusement Park an action-packed spot for mini-golf and regular-sized batting cages. Putting extraordinaires can outmaneuver the obstacles of two Boulder Creek courses: the sport course offers long greens, sand traps, and a more traditional golfing experience, while the adventure course sends ball-tappers past waterfalls and a drawbridge, which they may only cross after playing rock/paper/scissors with an 800-year-old wizard. Stick to the prototypical 18 holes ($7) or putt till sunset by mini golfing for 36 holes ($9). Those who want to practice their power-swing can step inside Boulder Creek’s batting cages ($1.75 per 15 pitches), which test batters with slow and fast pitches. Mountain-challengers can attack the Mt. Boulder 24-foot vertical wall ($4 for two climbs, $5 for three), which serves as suitable practice for conquering your closet’s Mt. Laundry.