Little Reviews: Lighthouse Miniature Golf and Shirl’s Drive-In

Waukegan, IL

Looking for a great mini-golf course this summer? Lighthouse Miniature Golf in Waukegan is great! The clean and colorful course is a blast for all ages.

Let’s begin with the price: believe it or not, it was only $4.00 for seniors and kids and $5.00 for adults for an 18-hole game. A family of four can play for under $20.00.

The course is very clean and kept up. There are gorgeous flowers and fountains throughout. My kids loved all of the little houses to see and the bridges to cross. The greens had fun obstacles, hills, ramps, and turns. There were a couple of holes that were multi-level, so it was fun to see where the ball would come out. Lighthouse Miniature Golf caters to all ages, with smaller clubs for kids and even some plastic clubs for very young children.

The course is reasonably shady with surrounding old growth trees. There are also some covered tables at the start of the course if you want to stop and have a snack (or bring back food from next door—see below). The course is open until 11:00 p.m. nightly (great date night!); but like any night activity, you might want to bring bug spray.

Lighthouse Miniature Golf, Waukegan

In addition to golf, there are arcade games inside the lobby area, including skee ball, an electronic basketball hoops game, and air hockey. Games cost around 50 cents per game (you must buy tokens).

Looking for a place to have a birthday party? There are party packages! Starting at $10 per person, party guests get a round of golf, a meal from Shirl’s (hotdog, drink, fries, and a sundae), and a pass to return for another game of golf.

Least busy time to go? Weekday afternoons. We just went on a Friday afternoon, and it wasn’t crowded at all. Lighthouse Miniature Golf is definitely a hidden treasure.

Lighthouse Miniature Golf, Waukegan

And what better way to end the day than ice cream? If you ever run into someone from Waukegan, just say the word Shirl’s and see what response you get. I made the mistake of asking Waukeganites on Facebook what their favorite thing to get at Shirl’s is. In just three days, I received over 150 comments! Everyone loves Shirl’s.

Located right next door to the mini-golf, Shirl’s Drive-In is the place to go. Favorites for a meal: definitely their cheese grub (loose ground beef), gyro, or pizza puff, but they have quite an extensive menu. Check out their daily special as well.

And you cannot leave Waukegan without getting soft-serve ice cream from Shirl’s. There is always chocolate and vanilla and usually one other flavor. You must return in the fall for their pumpkin-flavored soft-serve—the best stuff ever. I have never ventured from a cone, but they are also known to have great malts and shakes (many people get the “monster” size). Another popular dessert item: the Boston Shake (shake on the bottom and a sundae on top!). Although there are a couple of tables inside, out front, and in the back, on a warm day, it can get pretty busy. BUT IT’S WORTH IT.

Both Lighthouse Miniature Golf and Shirl’s are open from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. every day (weather permitting for the golf course). Enjoy a day of fun in Waukegan!

Lighthouse Miniature Golf
2126 N. Lewis Ave., Waukegan | (847) 623-9009

Shirl’s Drive-In
2132 N. Lewis Ave., Waukegan | (847) 623-8484 | Facebook

What’s your favorite treat at Shirl’s?

About Natalie Rompella 37 Articles
Natalie is the mom of two humans and one nonhuman. She is the author of more than forty books and resources for kids, was a teacher and a museum educator, and will always be a Lake County native. Natalie enjoys insects, sled dog racing (observing!), crafting/experimenting with her kids, and forming a world safe from peanuts. Find out more about her and her books at

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