Winter is officially here and the days are getting colder. For most parents, that means looking for indoor playspaces for the kids. I recommend checking out the BeanStalk Ropes Course nestled in the front entrance of the Jordan's in Reading; a hidden gem my family recently discovered and can't stop raving about.
It's not just the Adventure Course that awaits you – when you walk through the large, circulating door you are greeted by enormous figures made from over 25 million jelly beans. (You read that right: 25 million!) My three-year-old son was enamored by the massive ice cream sundae being plowed over by a digger, and my husband couldn't believe the replica of the Green Monster wall, complete with Wally trying to eat a Yankee's player. Since you can't eat the jelly beans on the wall, make sure to stop into the store located to the left of the Ropes Course and purchase any and every flavor Jelly Belly you could possibly imagine. They take their beans seriously at Jordan's Reading.
After getting the kids sufficiently sugared up, try out the BeanSprout, a smaller version of the larger ropes course overhead designed for ages 2-7. Although my five-year-old eventually tried the larger BeanStalk, this was the perfect course to let her feel comfortable and give her the confidence to try the harder version. Children are strapped into ropes for the BeanSprout obstacle course and parents are encouraged to walk next to them as they balance on the metal ledges. There are a variety of fun tricks and bends along the way to keep them engaged. I couldn't help but admire the look of pure concentration on my little one's face as he made his way around the beams, which are two and a half feet off the ground. You can spend as little or as much time as you like on the course, although they do ask that you move it along after 30 minutes if there is a wait. The staff is great and makes sure everyone is safe and strapped in correctly.
When our five-year-old was ready to try the main attraction, my husband accompanied her and I stood below with my son. We got to watch them cross zig zag beams, criss-cross angled rope ladders, and spaghetti hand lines. There's even a zip line!
The BeanSprout is a great starter course. Photo by the author.
1. You need to pay the upgraded difference in price to go from the BeanSprouts course to the BeanStalk.
2. You are given a wristband for the ropes courses. Once you come down and are de-harnessed, the experience is over.
3. Each course is open to all levels with no experience necessary because the overhead track allows for users to move around at their own pace.
4. If you are waiting for an older sibling with a younger child, consider using a free "car cart" to help pass the time. The carts are available to the left of the entrance.
5. There is a restaurant to the left of the ropes course with adult beverages and a salad bar. There is also a real ice cream stand under the giant sundae replica.
6. Do not miss the water light show happening to the right of the attraction as you walk in the door. Every 10 minutes or so you'll feel like you are standing outside a mini version of the Bellagio water fountains in Vegas as the water dances to lively music under colorful lights.
7. There is an IMAX theater at the Reading location and a lot of great family-friendly places to eat right around the store. Make a day of it!
BeanStalk Adventure Ropes Course at Jordan's Furniture Reading | Admission: $14 BeanStalk, $7 BeanSprout | Hours: Monday - Thursday 10am-9pm, Friday and Saturday 10am-10pm and Sunday 11am-7pm.
Top image by the author.