Outdoor Adventures

Let's Play Mini Golf at Smuggler's Cove

A round of mini golf might just become your new fun family holiday tradition.

By Allison Forsyth December 9, 2020

Play your way through caves, waterfalls and pirate ships at Smuggler's Cove adventure golf course, which has two locations: one on U.S. 41 in Sarasota and one on Cortez Road in Bradenton. Each 18-hole course is open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, making it a fun holiday tradition to start with family and friends.


3815 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, or 2000 Cortez Road W., Bradenton


Usually, the courses are open 9 a.m.-11 p.m. daily, but the hours vary on holidays. The Sarasota course is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Christmas Day and 9 a.m.-10 p.m. on New Year's Eve. The Bradenton course, meanwhile, is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, noon-11 p.m. on Christmas Day and 9 a.m.-10 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Adult entry is $13.99; children 12 and under are $11.99. A second round special is available for $3 more until 10 p.m. at the same course on the same day.

What to Bring

Bring a bag to hold your belongings while playing the course, plus extra money to purchase snacks and drinks at the concession stand and to feed the live alligators at the end of your round. Bring your phone or camera to take photos.

What to Expect

When you first arrive at the course, pay for entry and then choose your clubs and golf balls. Then, grab a score card to keep track of your game. Play through twists and turns, complete with waterfalls, trap doors and shortcuts that will have your whole group getting competitive (hopefully in a friendly way). 

After your game, count up your scores to see who won. Then grab a snack and feed the live alligators sunbathing in the nearby pond with a fishing pole and bait that you lower down.

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