Bullwinkle’s Family Fun Center
Fore! With spring in the air—and with every other fun activity from a Normal American ChildhoodTM having been already co-opted for ironic enjoyment then played out—over the next week WW brings you reviews of Portland-area putt-putt courses. We're also pretty excited about Brewvana's putt-putt event on Saturday.
29111 SW Town Center Loop W., Wilsonville, 685-5000.
Cost: $7.25 for 18 holes, or $3.00 for 18 holes during the “happy hour” special, 5 – 8 pm on Wednesdays.
Other club amenities: Go-carts, bumper boats, batting cages, laser tag, Sky Trail, arcade, rock wall, cyber coaster, Kidopolis playland and family restaurant.
Our scorecards: Mine: 58 strokes, with a whopping 8 strokes on hole 10. See “biggest challenges” later. My companion's: 56 strokes, handicapped with a cast on his right hand.
Overall ambiance: Outside the headache-inducing arcade and the family restaurant lie the mini-golf and go-kart courses, bumper boats, batting cages and Sky Trail ropes course. The park is made for sunny summer evenings; the water on the golf course and bumper boats carries a cool breeze across the grounds and there’s an easy view of the sunset. The course itself is Western-themed and brings to mind what the perfect backyard would look like for a couple of cowboy-obsessed 8-year-olds. For some inexplicable reason, totem poles line either side of the first hole, but the rest of the course features a miniature general store, hotel and mill in between caves, fountains and bridges over a rushing creek.
Clientele: The business as a whole is mostly targeted towards the 13-and-under crowd, but the mini golf course says otherwise. During my visit, out of 15 people on the course, only one person looked to be under 13.
Biggest challenge: Keeping up the pace on this surprisingly busy course—on a Wednesday night, there were five groups scattered across the course and we all stacked up at the end. The 10th hole sat atop a 2-foot raised square that was also quite difficult for a mini golf amateur like me, taking me eight strokes until I made it.
Pro tips: I would recommend hitting softer than harder—you don’t want to lose your ball in the fountains or streams that weave their way throughout the course.