My nephew and godson, Connor, just celebrated his ninth birthday, and his party was held at an indoor miniature golf course and arcade called Monster Mini Golf. Functionally, it was like a lot of indoor playground venues. This one had an indoor mini-golf course, a suite of arcade games, and accommodations for a disc jockey. What set it apart was the theme. The place looked like a set from the Hilarious House of Frightenstein, and the staff were dressed like stereotypical mad scientists and “Igor” types. The decor was predominantly black, with splashes of day-glo paint everywhere. The private party room looked like it was pulled from the set of the old Addams Family TV series, with all manner of tacky and hilarious decorations. And finally, the bad puns that were incorporated into the murals and other artwork would send most English majors into cardiac arrest.
It was a totally zany and fun place to have a children’s party. Near as I can tell, everyone had fun. My daughter likes one of the place’s mascots, a ghoul-girl named Stella Skellarella (pictured above), who looks like a recent graduate of Monster High.
I hope this place lasts for a while. I’ve been to a number of places like this over the years, and sadly, they don’t last very long. They are often set up in response to a particular fad or pop culture trend, and do very well for a while. But once the fad runs down, the business goes down as well. Sometimes the owners of these places see the changes in the wind and react accordingly. The business may close for a month, then re-emerge with a whole new look and theme. Or they find a creative way to re-invent themselves anew. Or, sadly, they fall off the radar and quietly vanish. I thought this place was rather fun, so I’m hoping it does not suffer that unpleasant and all-to-common fate.
But I must make one confession regarding those hideous puns. I wish I had thought of them first.