The activities our kids have growing up now are unparalleled to what we had as children ourselves. We all know that – but if only our children knew that! And how lucky they are. From rock climbing to ninja warrior to suped-up water parks, kids have more action-packed outings than ever before. And as a result, so do we, the adults. How great is it to let go of our inner child alongside them? So when my friend asked me last week if we wanted to go zip lining with her and her girls, I said absolutely! Can’t remember the last time I went zip lining…was it the tree trolley as a 10 year old?
The place we went to is called the Adventure Park at the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, CT. About 45 minutes away from southern Westchester, it’s easy to get to and parking is not a problem. The park sits on 5 acres of woods behind the Discovery Museum (which we did not go into), and is referred to as the “aerial forest park” of CT. Note it is for ages 5 and up…”adventure in the trees” does require a minimum age! Zip lining is just a part of the park – there are obstacle courses, bridges, tight ropes, tunnels, you name it, all connected by cable, rope and wood to several platforms in the trees. It’s a true “ropes” park offering various challenges for all types of levels.
This is how it works:
It’s best to book your tickets ahead of time online, as the park can fill (see pricing below). When you arrive you will check in at their indoor hut and then head down the hill to the park. From there you will be fitted for safety harnesses and then given a tutorial of how the harnesses, and their innovative “always locked on” climbing system (using interlocking carabineers, or locks) works, ensuring that you’re always locked onto the cables that run throughout the park. They don’t just teach you how to do it, you are required to do a practice run on one of their models down on ground as well. There is a bit of a learning curve in the beginning, but they have staff on hand to show you how it all works. Be patient, there are way more climbers than staff, but once you get it you will be up and running.
The park functions a lot like a ski mountain – there are different trails, or courses, at different levels, and all are color-coded. For example, purple is for beginners and double black diamond is for experts. That way you will never be entering a course without a heads up as to what level it is. Being a beginner at this, I was completely enthralled by the purple course – for ages 5-7 – and that was fine for me! I still felt challenged as far as balancing skills go, and it definitely kept my vertigo in check. My 7 year old stuck to those courses. My 9 year old took off with some friends on the more advanced courses and had a blast. They each did. We sort of felt like monkeys swinging in the trees, and I had completely forgotten how much fun obstacle courses are. Our visit got cut short due to high winds (there were some sketchy falling branches), and they had to close the park down. However, they gave us discounted passes for a future visit, and all ended well. A thrilling experience for my girls, we will definitely be returning. Perhaps during the evening, as the park stays open late for what it calls “Twilighting”. But if we want to go this fall, we better go soon, as the park closes for the winter on November 27th!
Need to know about Adventure Park at the Discovery Museum:
Hours: Park closes for the winter November 27th!
Fall: Open weekends. Friday: 3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m./ Saturday:
9:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m./ Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Check back for Spring and Summer hours.
Admission: Ages 12 +: $53/ Ages 10-11: $48/ Ages 7-9: $39/ Ages 5-6: free. Tickets good for 3 hours. Group Rates available and must be booked 2 weeks in advance.