Zip lines and obstacle courses are popping up all around New Jersey and beyond!
Be warned: if you’re afraid of heights, you should pick a place that allows kids to climb on their own—otherwise you may find yourself on a platform with only one way down! Here’s a list of places to go in #HipNJ, courtesy of New Jersey Family.
The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo has lions, tigers, bears and a nature trek that helps you see wildlife from a new perspective. Take the fam to new heights in a crawly, winding journey along wiggly bridges, netted walkways and wooden towers. For an adrenaline rush, swing by the Zoo’s Treetop Adventure climbing obstacle course. Designed for explorers ages 7 and up, this challenging climb takes you through a sustainably created aerial ropes course. For those who love to zipline, strap in for a 400-foot long ride across the Bronx River. Participants must be between 50 and 275 pounds and be able to reach up to five feet six inches with their feet flat on the ground. Climb and zipline packages for $59.95 per person and $39.95 per Wildlife Conservation Society member.
Camelback Mountain Adventures
Geared for older kids (ages nine and up), the Treetop Adventure Course means serious business. Integrated zip lines, cargo nets, high wire walks and super steep ladders make it a pretty big challenge. Kids ages six to 10 can navigate a mini version of this, called the Explorer Course. They can also try the Twin Zip-Flyers (ages eight and up), side-by-side racers that look like swings, and 1,000-feet-long Dual Zip Lines (ages six and up), perfect for racing their friends. There’s also the Mountain Coaster, great for parents and kids, and a FreeFall jump, where kids eight and up leap off platforms into a giant air bag. Or you can shoot down the Pocono Pipeline Mountain Slide—where kids race on carts down a 2,800-foot mountain track. Advance tickets for the obstacle courses are recommended. TreeTops Adventure Course is $50 and $40 if you get there for a 9 am start; Kids Explorer Course is $30; Twin Zip Flyer is $35; Dual Zip Line is $15; the Mountain Coaster and Slide are $12.99 each and two jumps off the FreeFall are $5.
A four-story metal structure is one of the first things you’ll see when you pull into the parking lot. It’s really high! Kids work their way through criss-crossing balance beams and bouncing bridges to see if they can make it to the top, where they’ll find the most precarious obstacles. It’s also totally cool to hang on the lower levels and take different pathways. Kids must be at least 48 inches to climb solo, or 42 inches to venture out with a parent. Entry is included in admission, which starts at $29.95 for visitors over 42 inches.
Essex County Treetop Adventure
If you’re spending a day at the ever-expanding Turtle Back Zoo, take a cue from the monkeys and spend an hour or two climbing in the trees. The aerial obstacle course is massive. Start with the junior course (for ages six and up), which is still a challenge at 10 feet off the ground. Kids will make their way through 15 obstacles, like tricky rope cargo nets and wobbly balance boards. The adult course (open to anyone over 54 inches) is double the size with 30 elements and three times as high at 35 feet. Kids will also love the zip line, which lets them soar at 40 feet high over the length of a football field. They need to be over the age of six and at least 80 pounds to give it a try. Reserve in advance (especially on busy summer weekends!). The adult course is $28; the junior course is $18 and the zip line is $13.
The new indoor ropes course here is the largest in NJ thanks to a huge reno last spring. The Sky Trail features zig-zag beams, cargo nets and vertical rope ladders for little adventurers (since they’re almost 20 feet off the ground!). And there’s a Sky Tykes course perfect for beginners ages two to seven that’s just under three feet high made up of rope bridges and zig-zag beams, so you can walk alongside your little ones to make sure they’re extra safe. Sky Trail is $10 and Sky Tykes is $5.
Liberty Science Center
Not quite ready to tackle an entire obstacle course? Start here, where they can scale the Walk the Steel structure in the skyscraper exhibit. It’s for kids four feet and up, so they’ll walk on a steel beam a story above the ground, just like a real construction worker. They can also make their way through the Infinity Climber, a one-of-a-kind netted jungle gym 35 feet high, where children move from platform to platform. Tickets start at $17.75 for kids ages two to 12 and $21.75 for adults.
Palisades Climb Adventure
Hanging in the middle of the enormous Palisades Mall, just over the NJ border, is this unique obstacle course. Because of how it floats, the course starts at 85 feet high on the fourth floor, making it the world’s tallest ropes challenge course. Work your way down to lower levels while shoppers watch you navigate across vertical rope ladders, a tremor bridge and onto a balance beam that sticks out in mid-air. Not ready to tackle those heights yet? Try Sky Tykes, great for children two to seven years old and under 48 inches. It’s only three feet high, so parents can guide their kids. The full climb is $16.99. Kids must be 42 inches to go with an adult or 48 inches to venture alone. Sky Tykes is $8.99.
Pocono TreeVentures & Pocono Zip Racer
This course is perfect for beginners and pros alike since you can choose-your-own adventure based on your experience. Each of the five levels boasts tree swings, swaying bridges and tightrope walks, all at varying heights. Kids over seven can tackle most courses, but children under 12 are kept off the more difficult levels. Racing zip lines are 1,000 feet long and make you feel like you’re flying. And don’t miss the new climbing “walls” where you get to shimmy up a tree like a lumberjack. Be sure to try the new night climb this summer and zip through obstacles ‘til 11 pm, a perfect treat when the kids deserve to stay up late! Two hours on the ropes course is $46 for adults (ages 12 and up) and $41 for juniors (ages seven to 11). Add $5 per zip line ride. TruClimb is $12 per 30-minute session.
TreEscape Adventure Park at Mountain Creek
Enjoy a day (or night) of climbing along rope tunnels, rickety bridges and wooden platforms perched high in the trees of Vernon. TreEscape even offers a kids ages 4-6 a climbing area, plus night climbing excursions for any night owls in your fam. Tired from a day of climbing? Stop by the park’s clubhouse for cocktails, sandwiches and burgers. Minimum height for adventurers is 36 inches. General admission is $40 for climbers over 6 years old and $25 for climbers 4-6 years old. For non-climbers who want to cheer their squad on, admission is $20.
Tree to Tree Adventure Park
Amidst the beaches and boardwalks of the Jersey Shore lies a team-building, heart racing ziplining adventure. Tree to Tree Adventure Park features zip lines, nets, Tarzan swings, rock walls and fun for explorers of every age. Enjoy a girl’s night out with their “Zip, Sip, Hooray!” package, which combines line zipping and wine sipping. If you’re going with the whole fam, the park offers different obstacle course packages based on age group and weight, including the adults course (ages 11 and up) for $50, junior course (ages 10-13) for $40 and the kids course (ages 7-13) for $30. The zipline only course, for ages 11 and up, costs $35 per participant.
Zoom Ziplines at Mountain Creek
Not into obstacles and want just zip lines? This is the place to go. Take the two-hour guided tour, which includes four circuits (that range in length from 200 to 1,500 feet) over a mountain lake. You can also walk over a suspension bridge and take a ride in an open-air truck up to the top! Guests must be over 60 pounds and 48 inches and be able to carry their trolley (the 10 pound metal device that makes you zip!). Rates start at $59.99 for adults (14 to 64) and $49.99 (13 and under).