Sunday, September 5, 2010


Jack looking to make that hole in one!

The day my air conditioner got fixed was the day yet another oppressive heat wave ended. So, since it was too cool to go to the pool, we decided to take the kids to the mini golf course in Paramus that’s run by the County. The Paramus Mini Golf Course happens to be one of my family’s favorite courses because it’s close to home, it’s a really fun course to play, even when there’s a lot of people it doesn’t seem crowded, it has a lot of water traps, but there are nets for the kids’ to fish their golf balls out with, and every hole has a different, incredibly built, iconic homage to New Jersey. 

Come on, what would a Jersey themed mini golf course be without Frank and Bruce driving by in their sporty convertibles?
Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra

The thing to understand about my kids and mini golf is that Jack plays to win, and Katie plays to get Jack mad. In other words, a migraine is always hovering. But it’s hard to let anything upset you when you’re standing almost shoulder-to-shoulder with the Statue of Liberty.

And then there’s a replica of the Old Red Mill that still sits on Paramus Road just before the entrance to Route 4. This is where Jack’s golf ball took the first of many headers into the water.

Perhaps my favorite is the George Washington Bridge hole. You have the option of having your golf ball take the lower level or the upper level. And, there’s no traffic or toll booths!

However, the kids’ favorite is the Jersey Shore hole. There’s sand, a boardwalk, food stand, and a gypsy fortune teller. There are rakes for the sand so the kids can have some fun while they’re waiting to play through. 

And the hole-in-one was made by Jack at the toll booth. He took the EZ Pass lane and got that hole-in-one he was gunning for! Yes, he did go 15 m.p.h.

And what kind of Jersey tribute mini golf course would it be if the 18th hole didn’t have Abbott and Costello doing “Who’s on First?”

18 holes of mini golf can work up quite an appetite. If it’s just a quick snack you want, follow the path to the snack bar.

Or, if you want to sit down and have something more substantial like appetizers, or a burger, salad, open sliced steak sandwich, a BEER! then follow the path to the Nine Iron Grill--that's the place to go. It’s so family friendly (and wallet friendly) that it hurts. Many families skip the golf and just come here for dinner. In addition to having a kids’ menu, did I mention that there’s a fully stocked bar? 

And it's really casual! See? Oh, and the walls are lined with flat screen T.V.'s so you can catch every game that's playing. I'm just saying...

If you want a real treat, skip dessert at the Nine Iron and take a short drive to Van Dyk’s in Ridgewood. Van Dyk's has been making homemade ice cream for a hundred years and they don’t advertise, so if you've never been there, it may be tricky to find it. Easiest way to go: Rt 17 to Ridgewood Ave, go past Ridgewood High School and turn left onto South Maple, and take South Maple to Ackerman Ave. Turn right onto Ackerman and after a few miles (on your right) you’ll see the weathered white wooden sign welcoming you to Van Dyk’s.   

Van Dyk’s is set back pretty far from the street so be on the lookout for the sign. The ice cream parlor itself is a small yellow building with no bells or whistles—just great ice cream! 

But don’t take my word for it—just take a look at Jack. That’s one mighty big cone and one mighty happy customer!

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