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

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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.

Rating:

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.

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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.
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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

Pros:

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.

Cons:

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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