- Angel Madison
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!
Camelback Mountain Adventures
243 Resort Dr., Tannersville, PA
Geared for older kids (ages nine and up), Treetop Adventures Poconos is 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 Kids Explorer Treetop Course. They can also try the Soaring Camel 4000′ Twin Zip Flyer (kids must be accompanied by an adult; it’s the longest in PA!), side-by-side racers that look like swings; and a 1,000-feet-long Double Barrel Zip Line (must go with an adult). Advance tickets for the obstacle courses are recommended. The adventure course is $50 and $40 if you get there for a 9 am start or only take on half the course. The kids Course is $30. The 4000′ twin zip is $30-39 and the double barrel is $10-15.
100 Pinedge Dr., West Berlin
The four-story Ropes Course 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. Don’t skip the recently added Soaring Eagle Zipline ($6/rider), which offers a stunning view of the park from 130 feet up before a 700-foot ride along the line. Entry is included in admission, which starts at $29.95 for visitors over 42 inches.
110 Schanck Rd., Freehold
The Sky Trail High Ropes Course features zig-zag beams, cargo nets and vertical rope ladders for little adventurers. And there’s a Sky Tykes Kidz Ropes Course perfect for beginners ages two and up that’s just under three feet high, featuring rope bridges and zig-zag beams. Walk alongside your little ones to make sure they’re extra safe. Pricing varies based on ticket or ride package.
Liberty Science Center
222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City
Not quite ready to tackle an entire obstacle course? They can 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 surrounded by 19 miles of hand-threaded wire protective mesh. Up to 50 climbers can explore at once, so it’s great for big groups or climbing with friends. Included with admission; $19.99-27.99/kid.
1575 Fairway Blvd., East Stroudsburg, PA
This course is perfect for beginners and pros alike since you can choose your own adventure based on experience. Kids over seven can tackle most courses, but children under 12 are kept off the more difficult levels. Pocono KidVentures offers two courses for thrill-seekers ages 4-7 featuring tightropes, rope climbs and wiggly platforms. Racing zip lines at Pocono Zip Quest make you feel like you’re flying; nine lines are offered and connected by a ladders and bridges. Don’t miss the climbing “walls” at TruClimb, where you get to shimmy up a tree like a lumberjack by belaying in a harness (24- and 40-foot climbs available). KidVentures will cost you $26-28 including TruClimb, while the zip line will cost you $20. Add-on attractions are offered at a discount when you buy multiple admissions.
Essex County Treetop Adventure
560 Northfield Ave., West Orange
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 (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 tall) is double the size with 30 elements and three times as high at 35 feet. Kids will also love the zip line (min. age 6), 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 $30, the junior course is $20 and the zip line is $15 (discounts available by package.
Zip Tours and TreEscape at Mountain Creek
200 McAfee Vernon Rd., Vernon
Take on TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park’s 10 ropes courses, or soak up next-level views of the tristate area on a Zip Tour from 200 to 1,500 feet long. Keep an eye out for Night Climb dates on Saturdays in July, when the courses come alive with twinkle lights. Zip tickets go for $49.99 while the park will cost you $25/kids ages 4-6 and $40/ages 7 and up.