Adventure Parks, Ropes Courses, and Zip Lines near NYC
While New York City might not be the epicenter of adventure parks, there are plenty of zip lines near NYC for families to visit. We're particularly fond of the Bronx Zoo's Treetop Adventure Course and a seriously high-flying outdoor zip line in Queens. Meanwhile, there are dozens more ropes courses and zip lines near NYC worth exploring.
So, read on for our top picks for ropes courses and zip lines near NYC, and pencil in a visit before the school year takes over. Be sure to bookmark our Guide to Outdoor Adventures for more fun ways to entertain active kids.
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Most of these adventure parks, ropes courses, and zip lines near NYC are seasonal, closing during the cold and snowy winter months and reopening in the spring. Please call ahead to confirm hours and book tickets, and pay careful attention to height and age requirements, as well as the dress code, which usually includes closed-toe shoes.
Adventure Courses and Zip Lines in NYC
1. Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure – Bronx Park, the Bronx
Ages 7 and up, between 50 and 275 lbs, able to reach 5-foot-6 with feet on the ground
This ropes course at the Bronx Zoo includes a zip line that travels 400 feet across the Bronx River and back at a height of 50 feet(!). Best of all? It's located right next to the best zoo anywhere. Find out everything you need to know with our detailed Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure piece. Little ones aren't totally left out: There's a smaller Nature Trek inside the Bronx Zoo. Tickets must be booked in advance.
Climb high on the ropes course at the Alley Pond Park Adventure Course. Photo courtesy of NYC Parks
2. Alley Pond Park Adventure Course – Oakland Gardens, Queens
Ages 8 and up
Alley Pond Park is famous for its amazing educational programs—and an increasingly well-known, top-notch Adventure Course. The course includes a zip line, a "trust fall" station, a climbing and bouldering wall, swings, nets, and balance stations. Because the Adventure Course is so large, it can accommodate all abilities. Best of all, Sunday programs from June through October are FREE for families. High demand means families must register through a lottery. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Adventure Parks, Ropes Courses, and Zip Lines near NYC
3. The Adventure Park at The Discovery Museum – Bridgeport, Connecticut
Ages 5 and up
While the Discovery Museum is an "adventure in art and science," the five-acre aerial adventure park behind it offers more visceral thrills. This adventure park also hosts special Adventures in Stem and Glow in the Park events. That's all in addition to 14 trails (coded by levels of difficulty), 36 zip lines, and 186 challenge bridges. Our Connecticut Mommy Poppins team visited and had a blast. Sessions are three hours long, and reservations are required.
The Adventure Park at Long Island offers magical "glow" nights during the summer.
4. The Adventure Park at Long Island – Wheatley Heights, Long Island
Ages 7 and up
This Long Island ropes course is barely an hour from Midtown (closer if you're in Brooklyn or Queens) and visitors can climb and zip among the trees. Guides are available and are happy to assist, but you're encouraged to explore what interests you after your safety orientation. Aerial "trails" stretch from tree to tree, and each provides a new type of challenge. There are 49 zip lines, 14 trails, and more than 200 "challenges." Everyone in your group can pursue appropriate activities because there are five color-coded levels of difficulty. Reservations are required.
The spectacular ropes course at WildPlay Jones Beach gives climbers thrilling views of the beach.
5. WildPlay Jones Beach – Wantagh, Long Island
Ages 5 and up for rope courses. Minimum age is 7 for zip line.
About one hour from Midtown, this fun-filled attraction, situated at Field 4 of Jones Beach State Park, features three courses with ropes, bridges, and tunnels, a 40-foot bungee jump, and a 700-foot long zip line. While the courses are quite rigorous and take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to complete, depending on which you choose and your speed, there are other activities with varying degrees of intensity. Afterward, reward the kids for their hard work with a run through the nearby splash pad or a cool dip in the ocean.
6. Kalahari Resorts & Conventions – Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania
Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
In addition to a huge indoor water park and an outdoor water park, this resort is home to the Gorilla Grove Treetop Adventures. Be sure to check out the adventure course along with the Legends of the Lost Jungle Mini Golf and zip lines. Reservations are required.
Mountain Creek's adventure park adds to its appeal as an all-seasons destination.
7. TreEscape Aerial Adventure Park – Vernon, New Jersey
Age and height minimums vary; see full details here.
About an hour and a half from New York City, this ski resort is a great place for year-round fun (you may recall its '80s heyday as Action Park). It may genuinely have everything kids think is fun—a bike park with mountain trails, a water park, zip lines, and now an aerial ropes course and a zip line tour. Reservations required.
The Pocono TreeVentures & Pocono Zip Racer offers thrills for preschoolers to big kids.
8. Pocono TreeVentures & Pocono Zip Racer – East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Ages 4 and up
Want to tailor a course to your ability? This is the place for you! You can choose from swaying bridges, tree swings, and tightrope walks. Two visitors can race on the zip lines (though this is in a different location), and then tackle "tree climbing walls." Pocono KidVentures is geared toward kids ages 4-7, but older and more advanced kids can tackle a series of zip lines connected by bridges and ladders. It's about an hour and a half drive from New York City. Zip Quest has limited availability, and reservations are required.
9. Turtle Back Zoo TreeTop Adventure Course – West Orange, New Jersey
Ages 6 and up
Located next to the popular New Jersey zoo, this recently-expanded aerial park (the adults-only zip line measures more than a football field in length) offers junior courses: 15 unique challenges with an average run time of 30-45 minutes. Parents are welcome to join their kids on the smaller elements. It's a one-hour drive from New York City, and reservations are highly recommended for guaranteed admission. If you're visiting this zip line near NYC with multi-age kids, take the little ones to the zoo while the big kids zip along, or tempt little ones with the nearby playground and nature trails.
Cruise down the mountainside on a zip line at Camelback Mountain Adventures.
10. Camelback Mountain Adventures – Tannersville, Pennsylvania
Ages 8 and up; children must reach a height of 4-feet-4-inches to participate.
About an hour and 45 minutes away from New York City, this park is specially designed for fun-loving types because it offers zip lines, adventure courses, and mountain rides like the mountain coaster and sun bowl tubing. Reservations are strongly suggested. A stay at the resort isn't required, but an overnight might free you up to visit the water park, too!
The indoor Palisades Climb is open for adventures year-round.
More Adventure Parks and Zip Lines near NYC
We've mentioned a few favorite spots above, but the greater NYC metro area is loaded with adventure parks, especially if you're willing to drive a bit further. We loved the zip lines near NYC at Hunter Mountain. If you're staying in the Hudson Valley, there's an outdoor ropes course in Peekskill, overlooking the water: Spins Hudson. For indoor picks, don't miss the Palisades Climb, the 85-foot, five-level ropes course at the Palisades Center in West Nyack, New York. At the Jersey Shore, Jenkinson's Boardwalk includes a mini zip line with a complimentary sea breeze.
Unless noted, photos courtesy of the parks/venues
A version of this article was published in 2018, but it is updated annually.