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Mini-Golf and Barbecue Return to the National Building Museum for Summer (Photos)

The popular exhibition features two high-concept courses.

Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.

This is not your mother’s mini-golf, and it may not even match what you experienced growing up. The mini-golf exhibition at the National Building Museum, back for a second year, features sensational one-of-a-kind holes on two courses, green and blue, designed by some of the Washington area’s best known architects, landscape architects and contractors. The museum’s president, Chase Rynd, calls the designs “architectural marvels.” Hole three on the green course, for example, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, is holographic—once you stand upon it the buildings emerge from below your feet. Another, from Design Foundry, features a geodesic dome that changes color when the ball hits the mark, and is called the 19th Crater.

It doesn’t require a rainy day to make the indoor courses a smart destination for families or individuals of any age, though players do have to be at least four years old. If you come on Wednesday through Sunday, there’s the advantage of a “backyard barbecue” hosted by Hill Country on the lawn adjacent to the museum’s entrance.

Here’s what you need to know to plan a trip for mini-golf and barbecue:

  • The National Building Museum is at Fourth and F streets, Northwest, a block over from the Verizon Center. The nearest metro stops are Judiciary Square on the Red Line and Gallery Place-Chinatown for Yellow and Green lines. There is on-street metered parking.
  • Regular hours are Monday through Saturday 10 to 5 and Sunday 11 to 5. The courses will stay open until 9 on June 6 and 27, July 11 and 24, and August 8 and 22.
  • The cost is $5 per person, with a discount for museum members.
  • Hill Country’s “backyard barbecue” operates Wednesday through Saturday noon to 11 and Sunday noon to 9.
  • The program runs through Labor Day.
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