Adventures in Mini-Golf….our day trip to Destin and The Track

   When I’m not exploring our fair city with the Littles in tow, I moonlight as a wine advisor for a company called Wines for Humanity.  (www.winesforhumanity.com) I do private, in home, wine tastings and part of the money from the sale of our wine goes to help local charity (thus the ‘humanity’ part).  So one day last week I had to deliver some wine to a gal in Destin and I decided to make a day of it.  Why not, right?  I Googled the area and decided to give “The Track” a try.  It is billed as a “family entertainment complex” but truth be told, it’s really geared to kids that are a wee bit older than the Littles.   That said, I check out their website and prices, saw that there was a kiddie area and that mini golf was FREE for the Littles.  So we loaded some snacks and drinks into the car and off we went.

One good thing about going last week was that it’s obviously the off season, so it was pretty dead.  (This proved to be helpful on the mini-golf course.  That was some good comedy!)

We arrived, parked and walked into the arcade area where you purchase “points” loaded onto a card.   This is where I learned a fascinating fact.  Really little kids think arcade games are awesome even when they aren’t turned on.  This can be a big money saver.  Let ’em sit in the car game and pretend to drive it…without putting in any coins.  Genius!  We purchased the smallest card of points…It was $13 and after paying for my mini golf game, there was enough points left for 3 of the kiddie rides just outside.  In hindsight, I wish I’d bought the next package up, so the kids could have ridden a bit more.  Each kiddie ride is 3 points and the points cost .87 each individually.  The biggest money saver was the family pack that gets you 144 points and is only $90.85 if you pre-purchase it online. There were also several packages in between.  The points apply to all of the rides and attractions.  Only the arcade games operate on a separate token system. 

So, obviously “The Track”s main attraction is their go-kart track.  I’m looking forward to when the Littles are old enough to ride them, because it looks pretty neat.  There’s also bumper cars, the big arcade, mini-golf and a pretty cool area called “Kids Kountry.”  There are some HUGE thrill rides as well as some water based rides that weren’t open in the off season, too.  We rode the Carousel and almost made it onto the flying airplanes.  There was a train ride, swings, a bounce house and a few other cute rides.  Think traveling carnival type stuff, only safer!  I think we could have skipped the golf and hung out in this area all day.  But, we ‘d already paid for my round at least, so off we went.

Let me just say that by this point I realized that my vision of trying to teach them to play mini-golf was lofty and unrealistic.  (Have I mentioned that they are only 17 months apart?  I’m a first time Mommy with them both!)   So, I set my expectations aside, was really glad there was no one else there, and we grabbed our clubs and balls and were off.    There are 2 course to choose from…the mountains or the beach.  The kids wanted the mountains at first, but I pointed out all the cool animals on the beach and they quickly changed their minds.   There’s a zebra, rhino, giraffe, elephant and her baby, and gorillas and some gators in the water.)

The first few holes were surprising,  as they both were actually interested in trying to learn how to hit the balls into the hole.  That didn’t last very long!  Pretty soon Spencer just started picking up the ball and dropping it into the hole.  Then Spencer just wanted to hit the ball wherever he could and Sam decided that her golf club resembled a broom (she named it her ‘cleaning fing’) and set out to “sweep up” the greens.    So we traipsed from hole to hole, saying hello to all of the animals and tossing the balls around from time to time.  Again, so glad they were free and that the course was empty!  It took us about 20 minutes to frolic around all 18 holes and wind up back at the arcade.  There were some giant goldfish in the water and the kids probably could have stayed and watched them forever.  Obviously they get fed a lot, because it looked like they wanted to eat the kids!

I think all together we spent about an hour or so at The Track and only spent about $14.  I didn’t see any food but I did try to buy the Littles and Icee, but they declined.  We left there and delivered the wine and then grabbed lunch at “Old McDonald.”  (yes, that’s what the kids call it and no we don’t eat there but maybe once a month.  It’s awful, I know.  But they LOVE it.  And if it’s a Tuesday or Thursday, Happy Meals are $1.99.)

So, what do we think about The Track?  Well, we still have some credits and they are already asking about going back.  I think we will wait until it’s warmer and all the attractions are open.  And we will probably go next time with the whole family, so my 14 year old can enjoy some of the bigger rides.  I’m sure it’s a zoo once the summer rolls around, though.  What are your thoughts on this Destin tourist attraction?  Do you have a different ‘go-to’ spot for when the family is over in Destin?  Let us know!  We’d love to hear from you!

Hmm. One million dollars!

She was more interested in the pretty flowers.

Sam sitting on the baby elephant. I’m pretty sure this is against the rules!