KISS by Monster Mini Golf
At a Glance
What is it?
An entertainment complex with an indoor glow-in-the-dark, 18-hole miniature golf course using the rock band KISS as its theme; a video game arcade; a rock gift shop; a KISS Gallery; the “Hotter Than Hell” Wedding Chapel; a private VIP Room; and more.
Where is it?
At the Rio Las Vegas just off The Strip.
Is it worth the cost?
It’s free to walk in and browse around and the mini-golf is only $11.95 per half hour, so why not?
What else do I need to know?
This attraction was a lot of fun when it was at its Harmon Avenue location and while I haven’t visited this one there’s no reason to think it has lost anything in the move.
What’s the bottom line?
I’m not a fan of Kiss but this whole thing is just so silly, in the best ways that Vegas can be, that it’s verging on brilliant.
Note: This attraction recently moved to the Rio Las Vegas. The review below is based on its former incarnation but I believe it to still be fairly accurate. I’ll update the review when I have had a chance to visit the new digs.
I have to admit that despite being a child of the late 70s and early 80s, I never really “got” the rock band Kiss. I mean, I understood the concept – “I want to rock and roll all nite… and party every day!” – but I was more of a disco/pop/R&B type of kid. Mirror balls and Donna Summer, I understood. Platform shoes and Gene Simmons, not so much.
But that lack of appreciation for the band and its music didn’t stop me from enjoying Kiss by Monster Mini Golf, an indoor amusement park that is devoted to all things “Detroit Rock City.”
Memorabilia lines the walls and fills display cases, from photos and records to automobiles. The hardcore fan could probably spend an hour just looking at all the “stuff” but most folks can give it an appreciative nod and move on to the gift shop that has logo merchandise in just about every form possible. Looking for a Kiss golf ball? They’ve got you covered.
A small video game arcade breaks the all-things-Kiss mold by offering up various amusements that have nothing to do with “Beth” or the people who sang about her.
Beyond that is the main attraction – the 18-hold, glow in the dark, indoor, Kiss-themed miniature golf course. Stop and appreciate the lunacy of that concept for just a moment before I tell you that no matter how ridiculous it sounds, it actually kind of works.
The course itself isn’t all that challenging – the holes are pretty standard and only a few involve obstacles that will strand those whose dexterity and sobriety are intact. But there are a few fun ones including putting through a giant guitar and the final hole where you have to knock the ball up Gene Simmon’s tongue. Well, not his real tongue, but a larger than life simulation of same.
A live DJ spins nothing but Kiss tunes and occasionally pops up to announce giveaways and to heckle golfers.
The facility also has a private room for meetings or parties, a VIP room complete with comfy couches and a big screen TV, and a wedding chapel where you can have a Gene Simmons lookalike perform your nuptials. I actually witnessed such an event – the union of a heavily tattooed woman and her biker boyfriend – and it was both as silly as you’d expect and unexpectedly sweet.
Entering the facility, browsing the memorabilia, and looking through the gift shop are free endeavors. The miniature golf will cost you $11.95 for 30 minutes, which is plenty of time to work your way through the course.
This is exactly the kind of wacky attraction that helped to define Las Vegas and even though I might have preferred a Prince by Monster Mini Golf, I still found Kiss to be an entertaining diversion.
Sorry… now I’m picturing the Prince themed miniature golf course.