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Cure wintertime doldrums with kitschy Glow Putt in Gahanna

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Miniature golf is a recreational sport that's typically played on a spur of the moment in the summertime when urge and opportunity strike.

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But the Columbus suburb of Gahanna offers a glowing alternative that's open year round.

Glow Putt is an indoor, glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course in downtown Gahanna, at 161 Granville St. Playing the 18-hole course, illuminated by black lights, is surprisingly fun in its simplicity and silliness.

I've known about the course for years, but it took a spur-of-the-moment desire in the middle of winter to experience it. So with my 4-year-old son, Max, along for the fun, I set out.

From the outside, the joint looks like a bar with neon signs and a dark interior. Once inside, though, it's amusing and inviting.

There's not a whole lot to the design of the course. There are 18 holes, delineated by neon-colored wooden frames. Participants maneuver through the course by following arrows made of tape stuck on the floor. Each hole is clearly numbered.

The course doesn't have too many bells and whistles, as you might find at more-ambitious varieties, but we still had a lot of fun. The most thrilling features here are simple, metal loops to guide the rubber balls through.

The sparse decorations include rows of fake ficus trees, intermittent disco balls and glowing photos and cutouts of zebras, gorillas and lions. The 18th hole takes your ball. If you get a hole-in-one, you win a blinking light pin.

There also are a few skill games including my favorite, the crane game. Max and I won three toys on two crane grabs.

Cost is $7 and $5 for children 8 and younger. Hours are 3-8 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 3-10 p.m., Friday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday; and 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday.

All participants get a free glow bracelet with admission.

Party rooms are available, starting at $150 for a dozen guests to play two hours of golf.

For more information, visit www.GlowPuttOhio.com or call 614-428-GLOW.

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