Big Back Yard at MN Science Museum – St. Paul, MN


Played August 23, 2013

Reviewed by the Pink Putter

Just behind the Science Museum in downtown St. Paul sits the Big Back Yard, a 9-hole EarthScapes mini golf course that serves as a hands-on exhibit about landscape erosion and bio-diversity.


Birdie – We love when mini golf meets education and this course does it well. A variety of water features combined with hills, pipes and rolling landscapes makes for a quick and fun adventure. Signs on each hole give educational facts about the terrain. The course is also surrounded by native Minnesota plants complete with a course plant guide. And the bonus? You can explore the whole museum when you are done putting.

Hole 1, Source-to-Sink
Mini Golf gets you thinking.
Mini Golf that gets you thinking.
Glacial terrains makes for a random and unpredictable pathway.
Terrains makes for a random and unpredictable pathway.

Play through the water!
Hydraulic Jump

Large barrel.
City Storm Sewer
Hole 5, Draining the Fields
Hole 5, Draining the Fields
Natural landscaping.
Natural water landscaping.
Hole 7, Meandering River
Hole 9, Gulf of Mexico
Hole 9, Gulf of Mexico
View of the Camera Obscura
View of Panning for Gems and the Camera Obscura


Educational and Fun
Well themed
Next to the river
On Science Museum premise, which means you can make a day of it
Panning for Gems and Large Camera Obscura activities that you can play in at the end of the course.


Short course
Hard to find (but a hidden gem when you do!)

Nerdy Notes:

  • Flags in holes
  • Rubber covered putters
  • 9 holes, par 19
  • Open from the end of May to beginning of September, 10am-dusk
  • Additional charge of $3 for kids ages 4-12 and $4.50 for adults with museum admission, or $5 after 5pm without museum admission

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