Anyway, it took a little while since the new one here opened up but the wife and I finally got the chance to check it out. We were babysitting our friend's kids and decided to take them there to keep them occupied.
The first thing you notice when you walk in is that the entire place is bathed in black-lights. This gave the building a cool ambiance, making it different from all of the rest of the mini-golf places out there. Of course, the biggest difference is that most mini-golf places are outside and would be impossible to bathe in black-light but that's beside the point.
The front of the building houses a small arcade with a few racing games and some crane machines. There's also an air hockey table. The left side of the room has a little retail shop where you can get a few obscure trinkets, the kind of stuff you wouldn't expect to find at a place like Monster Mini-Golf, as well as some stuff that you would. They have a few t-shirts (including KISS shirts) some little toys and a Doctor Who cookie jar. There was also a bunch of Nightmare Before Christmas swag and a couple of boxes of Disney Vinylmation toys. But one of the coolest things they had was a Candy Sand dispenser, where you can fill a plastic bag with different colors of candy sand. Real gimmicky, but I like gimmicks.
Then we get to the mini-golf portion. I have to say I wasn't too impressed with this portion. It definitely had something to do with the size of the venue. As I said before, most mini-golf places are outdoors, allowing them ample space to design really great courses with all kinds of bells and whistles. Monster, though, has to deal with whatever space they have so the result is 18 holes of one long, winding course with a few hills and some fiberglass obstacles.
|And Swamp Thing|
Besides that, though, the Monster Mini-Golf was fun. I loved the way that the building was decorated, with everything painted in Day-Glo orange, purple and green to react with the overhead black-lights. There was also a pretty cool Phantom of the Opera setup with a multi-colored organ and a freaky-ass mannequin. Top this off with a smattering of creepy pumpkins everywhere and Monster Mini-Golf makes a pretty cool Halloween destination.
In addition to all of the graveyard themed decor, the franchise owner makes great references to the township of Edison. As you've probably guessed, Edison is named after the famous inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, who set up his first workshop in Menlo Park. The guy who opened the Monster Mini-Golf here painted a few murals on the walls (in Day-Glo paint, naturally) showcasing Edison as a mad scientist-type partaking in a few crazy experiments. My favorite mural showed Edison battling fellow inventor and bitter rival, Nikola Tesla, in a light-saber duel, each one using electricity from their specific inventions. When I spotted that, I was pretty much awestruck by the creativity of the decoration.
I can't see myself going to Monster Mini-Golf every weekend, or every other weekend for that matter, but I'm glad that it's close enough so that I can kill some time on a lazy, rainy Saturday when there ain't shit else to do. If you're in the Edison area, or happen to have one near where you live, I'd definitely recommend checking it out. They also have a party room that you can rent for a kids birthday party which makes it a refreshing change of pace from the regular Chuck E. Cheeses outings.