Do you have a child who loves adventure—or who can often be found scaling walls or scrambling up trees? While a family hike is always a great outlet for these high-energy kiddos, you might want to up the ante with a day trip to an adventure course, where they can safely climb to their hearts’ content (without giving you a heart attack). Massachusetts is home to a number of obstacle and zipline courses with a range of age-appropriate challenges that will excite thrill-seekers young and old.
Ultimate Obstacles - West Boylston
Looking for big adventure? Take the kids to Ultimate Obstacles, New England’s largest indoor training facility dedicated solely to Ninja Warrior and obstacle race training. With more than 12,000 square feet, the facility offers two separate obstacle courses—one for adults, and one for kids. Ultimate Obstacles also offers classes for kids wanting to become a Ninja Warrior or Obstacle Warrior, starting from age 6.
Action Athletics offers more than 25 obstacles designed by American Ninja Warriors. Courses at Action Athletics are changing constantly so that participants never get bored. The facility welcomes beginners, American Ninja Warriors, and obstacle course racers. For committed ninjas, Ninja Kids classes for kids aged 6 to 13 teach obstacle and ninja skills and conclude with a competition.
Eagle Obstacles - Dedham
If your kid likes fresh-air adventure, consider Eagle Obstacles, an outdoor training facility. With more than 30 obstacles, the course was designed and run by a personal trainer with extensive experience as a obstacle course competitor. With a season from April to October, Eagle Obstacles also hosts its own obstacle races.
Photo courtesy of MetroRock Boston
MetroRock Boston - Everett
MetroRock's Everett location has a specially designed kids’ course for ages 4 and up, made up of 13 separate elements at 10 feet high. Admission is hourly, allowing kids to run the course as many times as they can handle. Parents are invited to join the kids or try out the adult course, which claims to be the region’s largest indoor obstacle course.
BeanStalk Adventure Ropes Course - Reading
If you want big thrills, take your kids to the furniture store. It sounds crazy, but Jordan’s Furniture offers an exhilarating ropes course at their Reading location. BeanStalk offers two options: 12 or 24-foot-high ropes with zig-zag beams, spaghetti hand lines, rope ladders and more. The course also includes a 69-foot-long zip line and BeanSprout, a special course for children 2-7. BeanStalk participants must be at least 48” tall or 42” with a chaperone, and BeanSprout climbers must be less than 48” tall.
TreeTop Adventures - Canton
Take your kids to one of Massachussetts’ largest zipline parks, just a half-hour south of Boston. TreeTop Adventures offers 15 ziplines and more than 130 aerial challenges. Families with kids 7 and older will love zipping through the 10 color-coded trails for varied levels of difficulty.
Zoar Outdoor Deerfield Valley Canopy Tours - Charlemont
All year long, visitors to Zoar Outdoor in Charlemont can take the 3-hour-long zipline canopy tour that Yankee Magazine named “Best Place to Soar." With 11 ziplines, two sky bridges and three rappels, the zipline gives riders a spectacular view of the Deerfield River Valley. Zoar also offers whitewater rafting and kayaking tours.
Photo courtesy of Berkshire East Mountain Resort
Berkshire East Canopy Tours - Charlemont
What better way to see the Berkshires than by whizzing through the forest? With three tours featuring some of North America’s longest ziplines, Berkshire East Canopy Tours has been named one of the top 10 ziplines in the country by USA Today. Tours range from an hour to 3.5 hours of heart-pumping excitement for the whole family. For families traveling to the Charlemont region, the resort also offers a mountain coaster, an aerial adventure park, and a bike park for more thrills.
Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort Aerial Adventure Park - Hancock
Jiminy Peak’s self-guided aerial forest ropes course consists of six elevated courses and a course with three ziplines including the “Leap of Faith.” The courses vary in elevation and difficulty, including rope bridges, ladders, and cargo nets. Courses are designated by age and participants must be at least six years old and 48” tall.
The Adventure Park at Heritage Museums & Gardens - Sandwich
Headed to the Cape? Spend the day at Sandwich’s Adventure Park, hidden away in four acres of woodland. Kids 7 and older will love the aerial ropes course with five trails for different levels of difficulty. Each aerial trail has ziplines and bridges between tree platforms with more than 65 challenges. After exploring the treetops, visitors can wander through the Heritage Museums and Gardens.
Top photo courtesy of TreeTop Adventures