Exploring Can Can Wonderland — an adult playground with drinks and games

This artist-renovated warehouse in St. Paul feels like a lively combination of carnival and sculpture garden.

Rachel Takazawa watches as Rod Dockter putts the ball into Hole 16 at Can Can Wonderland in St.Paul on Thursday, Jan 16.

Easton Green

Rachel Takazawa watches as Rod Dockter putts the ball into Hole 16 at Can Can Wonderland in St.Paul on Thursday, Jan 16.

Katie Lauer

Can Can Wonderland — an artist-created mini golf course/arcade/bar/ adult playground — opened earlier this month in St. Paul’s Hamline-Midway neighborhood.

Arriving at the slightly creepy warehouse, I immediately thought I was lost. The spooky factor only increased when inside , red arrows provided the only direction through the winding halls.

As soon as you get to the main room, however, the slight eeriness is worth it.

My brain couldn’t focus on just one thing: A waist-high, neon carousel was on my left, the walls were covered in bright graffiti and two bars flaunted churning hot chocolate and fluffy cotton candy.

I felt like Charlie in the chocolate factory.

While mini golf seemed like the logical place to begin, there was a waitlist to start putting. This wasn’t worrisome — it offered time to explore.

Around the back, more than 20 classic pinball and older arcade games made me wish I had brought a pocketful of quarters. Also hidden away was Cardboard Adventure — a life-sized fort to wander through. Be prepared for darkness, small spaces and potential cardboard cuts. I felt 7-years-old again.

When the time finally came to explore the 18-hole course, I felt like I was walking around the sculpture garden.

Can you hit your ball past a rotating fabric tornado that goes all the way up to the ceiling? Yes, you can.

Can you try to knock your ball up into the mouth of a giant fiberglass lizard with glowing eyes? Yes — yes, you can.

Each hole is a new adventure created by a local artist with themes ranging from the St Paul Saints to “Gramma’s Living Room.” I was honestly stumped by how some of the features were created.

Soon, time on the green turned to time spending green. Without a “proper” kitchen, Can Can Wonderland’s menu is right out of an amusement park. They had nachos, mini donuts and sandwiches galore. I opted for the Bahn Mi hotdog, because “why not?” While the $9 dog wasn’t filling, it was delicious.

The operation’s two bars serve your standard fare, but their cocktails are something else entirely. Certain drinks include edible sand, sparklers and something called “smoked dragon’s blood.”

One drink in particular is aptly named “That Carrot Drink.” The rum and sherry drink is served with edible dirt made out of Oreo cookies and chocolate graham crackers. The beverage is garnished with tiny plants and served in a mini gardening pot. Tasters said the drink offered a strong, earthy taste.

Though the $14 price tag seems a little high, you’re paying for novelty. The live band helps cure sticker shock.

Even on a Thursday, the warehouse echoed with laughter, “wows,” and the occasional expletive. From grandparents to grandchildren, the energy never wavered.