If you are visiting Bradenton, Florida, or perhaps you already live here and you’re looking for afternoon or evening entertainment for the entire family, I want to suggest a game of miniature golf!
This is fun that either kids or adults can enjoy without totally breaking the bank. The prices do vary among the different courses, but let’s face it… If you can spend $40 on a video game for your child or give them $20 a piece to go see a movie, then I suppose the price for a game of mini golf isn’t so bad.
I do have a favorite course, but I’m going to try and give you as much information about all of them, so that you can make a decision on which one best suits you and your family.
Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf
2000 Cortez Road West
Bradenton, FL 34207
Phone: (941) 756-0043
Hours: 9:00am – 11:00pm; 365 days a year
Christmas Eve 9:00am – 8:00pm
Christmas Day 12:00pm – 11:00pm
New Years Eve 9:00am – 10:00pm
Smugglers Cove is an 18-hole miniature golf course located on Cortez Road, about 1 1/2 blocks West of Highway 41. If you live in West Bradenton, this is one of the easiest golf courses to reach, and the name says it all. It’s a smuggler’s cove or a pirate’s paradise.
There is music, access to a rest room, cold drinks and alligators, and if you want to feed them you will have to purchase gator treats for $2.99. The course is neat and laid out with tunnels, coves, waterfalls, and plenty of plants and water. Some people think the course isn’t challenging enough, and some do, but I would have to say this is strictly for fun, laughs and entertainment. It’s not meant to be golf at Innisbrook or Pebble Beach!
Adults – $11.99 plus tax
Children (12 and under) – $10.99 plus tax
2nd Round Special – $1.99 before 10:00pm
You can get discount coupons that are only available online and they are valid at any of their locations. However, they are only good for one visit. Your entire group will receive a discount and you only have to bring in one coupon. This discount is good for a group of up to six people, and of course you can not use them used in conjunction with other coupons or discounts. When you order these coupons online, you need to allow at least 5 to 7 days for delivery. If you happen to be a Florida resident, you can ask them about any extra savings pass.
If you are interested in having a birthday party, a group event, a corporate outing, or any type of event, then you might want to think about reserving Smugglers Cove. You can check with management about the terms and conditions such as pricing, deposit, packages and gratuities. I’ve discovered they can be very nice and helpful with all your questions and concerns.
The Fish Hole Miniature Golf
8111 Lakewood Main Street, Rodeo Dr,
Bradenton, FL 34202
Hours: 10:00am – 9:30pm, Sunday – Thursday
Hours: 10:00am – 10:30pm, Friday & Saturday
The Fish Hole is an 18-hole mini golf course located off of Lakewood Main Street, out next to Lakewood Ranch Cinemas and Ed’s Tavern. For those of you who live in East Bradenton this is where you might want to go. I’m not saying it’s better than any other miniature golf course, it’s just easier access for those who live in East Manatee county.
Okay, let’s get the negative stuff out of the way first. Personally I love this course, but there are some who believe that (1) the course is not challenging enough, and (2) it’s a pretty tourist trap because of the shops surrounding it! Come on folks! You can find tourist traps just about anywhere you go, and again, this is not the pros, this is putt-putt golf! Just enjoy and have fun!
The building is a two-story fishing shack with a huge fan in the window and an American flag hanging outside, but don’t let this fool you. There are misters to cool you down on hot days, and you also have access to a rest room, and a drink machine that has Coca Cola products, water and juice.The landscape and layout is very neat and clean with plenty of plants and flowers that are labeled with information about each species. There is a Koi pond filled with plants, Koi and other kinds of fish, and don’t forget to bring your quarters so you can feed the fish!
And after all that I forgot to mention that the staff are great and very helpful. Although this is the Lakewood Ranch location, there is another location of The Fish Hole where the staff are just as nice and very friendly…
115 Bridge Street
Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217
Hours: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Price: $7.50 per person
2nd Round Special – $2.00, 30 minutes before 10:00pm
You can go online and print a free coupon for a $1.00 off at their website, but you must present this coupon prior to the transaction, and it’s not valid with any other offers. If you can’t print the coupon, you can pull it up and show them on your phone.
If you want to have a party here, it has to have at least five people attending. You need to call and make arrangements with management for pricing, deposit and the type of party packages they have. If it’s a party for a child, they have a free invitation at their website that you can print and send to your guess.
Saturn 5 Family Entertainment Center
303 301 Blvd
Bradenton, FL 34207
Phone: (941) 745-5700
Hours: 10:00am – 9:00pm, Monday thru Saturday
Hours: 12:00am – 6:00pm, Sunday
Saturn 5 is basically an entertainment center where they offer not only 18 holes of black light, moonlight miniature golf, but also family laser tag, and arcade games. It’s located inside the Desoto Square Mall shopping center near JC Penny.
The course has obstacles just like the outside courses except it’s inside and they and the holes are illuminated in red, green and blue lights. You have access to a rest room and a concession bar that serves snacks, sodas, beer and wine.
Children: $5.00 (under 12)
There have been rave reviews by parents who have taken their children there to play mini golf, and how much they enjoyed it. Saturn 5 also has a facebook page where they list new entertainment that has been added as well as any discounts or specials they might have going for the week. I had a chance to talk with a member of the staff and they were very informative and helpful. I would hope they are the same with their customers.
If you want to have a golf themed birthday party or special event at Saturn 5, you can go online and download a PDF that has all the information you need to know about price, deposit, food, set-up and clean up.