Mini golf was almost trumped in popularity by mini baseball in the early ’40s, a fate only averted when the entire shrunken roster of the Dodgers got lost in the outfield for two weeks. Celebrate the triumph of putt over pitch with today's Groupon to Novelty Golf & Games in Lincolnwood. Choose between the following options:
• For $4, you get an 18-hole round of mini golf for one (up to a $9 value).
• For $16, you get an 18-hole round of mini golf for four (up to a $36 value).
With more than 60 years of entertainment experience, Novelty Golf & Games' dual 18-hole mini-golf courses still brim with retro flair and challenging holes. All manner of eclectic set pieces dot the landscape, including fairy-tale characters, miniature versions of the Statue of Liberty, and the ghosts of early Roman mini golfers. Though not included in this Groupon, visitors can also check out the more than 25 classic games in the arcade or swing for the bleachers in the batting cages. Novelty Golf & Games operates seven days a week from 11 a.m. to midnight through Labor Day and until 10 p.m. during the fall.
Novelty Golf & Games
Several years ago, during a filming of WTTW's Wild Chicago, Novelty Golf & Games owner Craig's brother stood next to a 10-foot fiberglass chicken and lamented, “This is the world’s loneliest chicken.” Its match had recently been stolen, and every fiberglass fox in the city had a solid alibi.
Shortly after the taping, a viewer called in with a tip: he’d seen the missing hen roosting in a backyard, clearly visible from the window of the Brown Line train. Boarding the "L" himself, Craig confirmed the spotting, and soon enough, the Loneliest Chicken's counterpart was on its way back home in the bed of a pickup truck.
Thus reunited, the two chickens stand proudly today over the 36 mini-golf holes at Novelty Golf & Games, along with the full menagerie of bears, elephants, mermaids, circus seals, and dinosaurs that the course has accumulated over the years. Some of the attractions are as old as the course itself, including a 15-foot fiberglass shoe hand-built over a chicken-wire frame. While the statues are often replicated, Craig and his staff continue to design new obstacles the only way they know how, often sharing margaritas as they sketch their designs on cocktail napkins. “We change things,” they say, “but not for the sake of change.”
The course—a Chicago landmark for over 68 years—has always been a place of innovation. In the 1960s, Craig's mother opened an onsite restaurant and promoted the rabbit statue on the 14th hole to head doorman, earning the eatery its perennial nickname, “Bunny Hutch.” Throughout the years, the family has also acquired popular games, including state of the art driving games, air hockey, an authentic photo booth, and a 1950s metal-stamping machine. Though they welcome each new addition, they strive to maintain the course’s classic appeal, insisting that “you can’t improve on perfection.”
On the same token, you can't just sit idly by when perfection flies the coop.
3650 W Devon Ave.
Lincolnwood, Illinois 60712