News & Politics

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
  • 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.