Otte Golf and Family Fun Center is a perennial fixture in Golf Range Magazine’s list of the country’s Top 100 Golf Ranges. Its 300-yard driving range houses more than 50 stalls—guests can choose between grass and mat hitting surfaces—set under high-powered lights that keep the target greens illuminated at night. The range provides a venue for independent practice or preparation for rounds on the center's 18-hole executive course, a circuit of par-threes and fours that takes a convenient 2.5 hours to complete, which gives golfers more time to trick out the vintage golf carts in their garages.
A lighthouse stands sentry over the 18-hole miniature golf course, where guests advance through flowerbeds, willow trees, and tidy rows of shrubs and hedges. Those interested in striking balls that aren't placed on tees or the noses of their best friends can visit one of nine batting cages, where pitching machines dispense a steady stream of baseballs and softballs at various speeds.
On a sweltering day with the air abuzz with mosquitos, Eddie Reznicek stood on a miniature golf course marveling at how many people were outside putting. Determined to create a more comfortable mini golfing space, he opened The Family Fun Center XL in Omaha in 1982, where guests could play indoor golf and nearly 100 video games in the arcade. These days, a new facility shelters a black-lit 18-hole course themed around video-game heroes, heroines, and the windmills who loved them, and the arcade enthralls gamers with classics such as air hockey, skeeball, and four-player Mario Kart on 27-inch flat-screen TVs.
At the Lazer Maze, participants channel their inner spy while swiftly snaking through alarm-system lasers. This spy theme also is evident in the three-level laser-tag arena, where players dodge enemy fire amid flashing lights to soundtracks from James Bond movies. Elsewhere, a 2,500-square-foot arena littered with bunkers, crumbling brick walls, and sniper towers accommodates 7-minute paintball games or bazooka-ball battles.
A gauntlet of hazards and omnipresent water reveals a pernicious design sure to challenge any golfer who traverses the picturesque fairways of the Knolls Golf Course. Players enjoy favorable lies when they stay within the verdant framework of rolling bluegrass fairways, yet those who venture astray may find themselves deep inside one of the 46 bunkers or secret caddy caves carved into the course. Four lakes and a river further complicate matters on 11 of 18 holes, culminating in the challenge on holes seven and nine, where a pond intersects the two doglegged fairways at their bends. The back nine presents a more arboreal affair, as players must steer their shots around tree-lined fairways and hope a fellow golfer isn't practicing golf-cart aerials on one of the frequent hills.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole course * Total length of 6,149 yards from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole
Controlling your hands when putting a golf ball can be a challenge in and of itself. Try to sink a testy putt after scaling a 24-foot wall, and that challenge takes it to another level. Boulder Creek Amusement Park offers the opportunity to try each. The outdoor fun center boasts an 18-hole mini golf course lined by waterfalls, streams, and greenery. On the same grounds, guests grasp holds as they ascend the climbing wall. For additional tests of hand-eye coordination, an 8-stall batting cage challenges batters with both baseball and slow- and fast-pitch softball deliveries.
The doglegs and putting greens of Milt?s Golf Center's nine-hole executive course have been challenging Omaha golfers for more than 30 years. The family-owned business is run today by golf pro Mark Ordway, whose brother Mike designed the course and made the wise decision to not include lava pits. Instead, the fairways snake around a ball-snatching lake, as bunkers stand at the ready to tack extra strokes onto players? scorecards. Before hitting the links, golfers can warm up their woods and irons at the driving range, and those interested in professional guidance can schedule lessons.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par-27 course * Length of 1,170 yards * Course rating of 22.0 * Slope rating of 80
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.