Northeast Times

The Monster Mash

The Mon­ster Mini Golf is at 1045 Bustleton Pike in Feasterville. KEV­IN COOK / FOR THE TIMES

Like mini­ature golf? Here’s something dif­fer­ent … this one glows in the dark.

Eric Hunn watched a friend and former busi­ness part­ner open an in­door mini­ature golf course in North Jer­sey and de­cided to look in­to the ven­ture.

The concept is Mon­ster Mini Golf, based in Provid­ence, R.I.

Penny Hunn, Eric’s wife, also was on board.

“We did all the re­search, went up to Provid­ence, and they liked us,” Eric Hunn said of com­pany of­fi­cials. “They as­sisted us in find­ing a place.”

The Hunns found their loc­a­tion in a shop­ping cen­ter on Bustleton Pike in Feasterville. They began work­ing on the site — a former fur­niture store, Hal­loween store, bar­gain-book ware­house and dis­count gro­cer — in Janu­ary and opened for busi­ness in April.

The center­pieces of the 30 Mon­ster Mini Golf loc­a­tions across the na­tion are the 18-hole, glow-in-the-dark mini­ature golf courses.

“The glow-in-the-dark has a cool ap­peal,” Eric Hunn said.

The golf course in­cludes flat sur­faces and loops that make it more chal­len­ging. It is not in­ten­ded as a haunted house.

In­stead, each loc­a­tion fea­tures de­cor and props rep­res­ent­ing the loc­al geo­graph­ic­al area and loc­al per­son­al­it­ies. Thus, the Hunns have in­cluded scenes of the Liberty Bell, Rocky Bal­boa on the Art Mu­seum steps, M. Night Shyamalan dir­ect­ing The Sixth Sense, the pop sing­er Pink and the Delaware River and bridges.

Em­ploy­ees, also known as “mad sci­ent­ists,” wear white labor­at­ory coats.

A disc jockey plays mu­sic that ranges from Johnny Cash to the Cul­ture Club, while mix­ing in tele­vi­sion theme songs like The Flint­stones.

“You won’t hear rap or Ri­hanna or Lady Gaga here,” Eric Hunn said.

The Hunns be­lieve they’ll be suc­cess­ful, in part, be­cause of their back­grounds.

Eric, a nat­ive of Bustleton’s Sun Val­ley sec­tion, has busi­ness ex­per­i­ence. Penny, who grew up in Philmont Heights and handles the day-to-day op­er­a­tions, has worked at sum­mer camps and as a teach­er at Penn Treaty Middle School in Fishtown. Their chil­dren, 14-year-old Eth­an and 11-year-old Lexi, also help out, as do Penny’s par­ents.

“It’s a good mix,” Eric said.

The couple, who live in Rich­boro, track where their guests live. The top six areas are the Lower Bucks County towns of Ben­s­alem, Feasterville, Hol­land and Levit­town, along with Hunt­ing­don Val­ley in Mont­gomery County and the North­east.

There were eight birth­day parties sched­uled for Sat­urday, and the young­sters hailed from Bustleton, Mor­rell Park, West Mount Airy, Hunt­ing­don Val­ley, Churchville, Hol­land and New­town (two of them).

The loc­a­tion was se­lec­ted be­cause it’s in a grow­ing county and so close to the North­east and Mont­gomery County.

“There’s so much pop­u­la­tion here,” Eric Hunn said.

The suc­cess of the busi­ness de­pends largely on wheth­er people want to go in­side to en­gage in an activ­ity usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with warm out­door weath­er. Out­door soc­cer and base­ball sea­sons are mostly over, and kids don’t ride bi­cycles as much in the winter.

Eric Hunn is not aware of any oth­er 18-hole, in­door mini­ature golf course in the area. 

“People like to play mini­ature golf,” he said. “Now, it doesn’t mat­ter if it’s rain­ing, snow­ing or 95 de­grees with high hu­mid­ity.”

Mon­ster Mini Golf is geared to people of all ages. The cost is $7 for “little mon­sters” and $8 for “big mon­sters,” and gift cer­ti­fic­ates are avail­able.

“Two-year-olds play, eighty-year-olds play and every­body in between,” Eric Hunn said. “Every­body has fun. It’s very in­ter­act­ive.”

Even Phil­lies gen­er­al man­ager Ruben Am­aro Jr. has made an ap­pear­ance, get­ting some free un­so­li­cited ad­vice on how to fine-tune the team in the off­season.

The DJ en­ter­tains the crowd by ask­ing trivia ques­tions, play­ing Name That Tune, or­gan­iz­ing dance and air-gui­tar con­tests and giv­ing out prizes for holes-in-one and closest-to-the-hole con­tests.

Mon­ster Mini Golf is open six days a week, with Monday hours on hol­i­days and ex­ten­ded hours dur­ing school breaks near East­er, Thanks­giv­ing and Christ­mas.

“It gives par­ents and kids something to do,” Eric Hunn said. “It’s a good al­tern­at­ive in any weath­er.”

Amen­it­ies in­clude two spe­cially dec­or­ated party rooms, where cel­eb­ra­tions take place for 90 minutes be­fore guests hit the links. Vet­er­an croon­er Charlie Gracie sang at a re­cent adult birth­day party.

The en­ter­tain­ment ven­ue has at­trac­ted field trips, fund-rais­ing events, cor­por­ate gath­er­ings and vis­its by Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Brownies, sum­mer camps and youth sports teams. Chil­dren with aut­ism have done well in the set­ting, ac­cord­ing to the own­ers. And two wed­ding couples have even in­quired about hold­ing their re­cep­tions there.

The rest of the place fea­tures a gift shop and an ar­cade that in­cludes games like skee ball, pop-a-shot bas­ket­ball, air hockey, Pac-Man, Wheel of For­tune and Deal or No Deal, with tick­ets won re­deemed for prizes.

“This place is awe­some. It’s really cool,” said Jam­is­on res­id­ent Dani­elle Brooks, who brought two boys, ages 5 and 8, whom she babysits. “When the weath­er’s cold, this is the per­fect place to go.”

That’s what the Hunns like to hear.

“There are a lot of op­tions for people to en­joy the fa­cil­ity,” Eric Hunn said. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

Join the club …

Mon­ster Mini Golf is loc­ated in Feasterville Plaza, at 1045-7 Bustleton Pike in Feasterville.

Hours are 2 to 9 p.m. Tues­days through Thursdays, 2 to 10 p.m. on Fri­days, noon to 10 p.m. on Sat­urdays and noon to 8 p.m. on Sundays. It is closed on Mondays ex­cept hol­i­days. There are ex­ten­ded hours dur­ing the hol­i­day school break from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2.

Call 215-396-6700 or vis­it www.mon­ster­minigolf.com/fran-pa-feasterville

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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