Extreme Sports and More Thrilling Activities for Kids Near DC: Go-Karts, Axe Throwing, and More!

Axe Throwing isn't just for grown-ups! Photo courtesy of Bad Axe Throwing
Axe Throwing isn't just for grown-ups! Photo courtesy of Bad Axe Throwing
8/11/23 - By Jennifer Swope

If you have an adventurous kid who likes to climb to great heights, race as fast as they can, and try new (and maybe a little scary) things, extreme sports like aerial arts, axe throwing, and go-karting might be right up their alley. Extreme sports may seem, well, extreme, but they're totally safe and quite thrilling for kids who need a little adrenaline rush. They're also perfect things to do with teens and tweens who may roll their eyes at less exciting activities.

We've rounded up the best extreme sports and activities in the DC area, from flying trapeze and indoor skydiving to archery and whitewater tubing. For even more thrills, check out our lists of trampoline parks, ninja warrior and parkour gyms, skate parks, and rock climbing gyms near DC.


Extreme Sports for Kids Near DC: Capitol City Circus
Reach new heights by learning circus and aerial arts. Photo by Rich Riggins courtesy of Capitol City Circus

Aerial Arts/Circus for Kids Near DC

1. Capitol City Circus (formerly TSNY-DC) — Washington, DC

The magic of circus is for anyone willing to try it, whether it's high in the air on the trapeze or down on the ground juggling. Capitol City Circus teaches passion for flipping, flying, and spinning in classes and camps for youth and mixed ages, 6 and older. Offerings include flying trapeze, silks, static trapeze, trampoline, juggling, and more.

2. Monarca in Flight — Falls Church, VA

Monarca in Flight instills in people the joy of circus arts. Classes such as silks, trapeze, lyra, and sling teach the skills and techniques needed to help students achieve their desired level of expertise and fitness. Regular classes are for participants ages 14 and older, while Aerials for Kids is a 10-week workshop for children ages 8-11.

RELATED: Where to Go Paddleboarding, Canoeing, or Kayaking Near DC

Extreme Sports for Kids Near DC: archery and fencing at Invicta Sports Club
Kids ages 7 and up can learn archery and fencing at Invicta Sports Club. Photo courtesy of the club

Archery and Fencing for Kids Near DC

3. Invicta Sports Club — Gaithersburg, MD

Invicta offers family-friendly introductory classes and training programs in archery and fencing for people of all skill levels, ages 7 and older. Participants can try one of the sports or make a day of it and do both. Age-appropriate equipment is provided.

4. Terrapin Adventures — Savage, MD

Learn the basics of archery from skilled instructors at Terrapin Adventures outdoor archery range. Participants must be 8 or older, and children need to be accompanied by an adult. All equipment is provided, making this a safe option for extreme sports.

RELATED: 7 Best Ski Resorts Near DC for Kids and Families

Extreme Sports for Kids Near DC: Bad Axe Throwing
Kids of all ages can get in on the action at Bad Axe. Photo courtesy of Bad Axe Throwing

Axe Throwing for Kids Near DC

5. Bad Axe Throwing — Washington, DC and Fairfax, VA

With two locations in the DC area, Bad Axe helps families fall in love with the sport of axe throwing. Accepting walk-ins and reservations, Bad Axe can accommodate throwers of all ages.

6. Axe House Annapolis — Annapolis, MD

Axe throwers of all ages are invited to try hitting targets with not just axes, but also with ninja stars, knives, throwing cards, and more. Families can book lanes for an hour or two of throwing fun coached by an axe master, and bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages.

7. Kick Axe Throwing — Washington, DC

With both axe throwing lanes and food service, Kick Axe Throwing is a great place for families to spend time testing their skills and aim. An expert provides participants with a 10-minute lesson. Throwers must be age 8 or older.

8. The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring — Sandy Spring, MD

The Adventure Park recently unveiled Adventure Axes, its outdoor axe throwing facility. Throwers ages 10 and older can play tic-tac-toe and other fun games as they hone their skills. Kids ages 5 and up can also tackle the Aerial Forest, which features 14 sky-high courses, seven difficulty levels, and over 200 climbing and zip lining elements.

RELATED: Best Snow Tubing Near DC for Families

Extreme Sports for Kids Near DC: Autobahn Indoor Speedway go-karting
Tweens and teens who feel the need for speed will love go-karting at K1. Photo courtesy of K1 Speed

Go-Karting for Kids Near DC

9. K1 Speed — Dulles & Manassas, VA

This indoor go-kart facility offers high-speed birthday parties for tweens and teens. Kids must be 48 inches or taller and able to safely operate the kart in order to race. Parties include a reserved party area, a medal package and podium ceremony, pizza and soft drinks, and digital photos. The Manassas location is inside the Manassas Mall, and the Dulles location also has an arcade.

10. Crofton Go-Kart Raceway — Gambrills, MD

See what it's like to drive a downsized Formula 1 race car at Crofton Raceway, Maryland's largest outdoor course. This half-mile track thrills drivers with its 20 spine-tingling turns. Drivers ages 8 and older are welcome.

11. Go Kart Track — Bladensburg, MD

Drivers at Go Kart Track can experience the rush of speed, adrenaline, and friendly competition on a top-of-the-line go-kart racing track. The race is eight laps and a distance of 1.25 miles. Drivers must be at least 8 years old.

RELATED: Best River Rafting Trips for Kids of All Ages

Extreme Sports for Kids Near DC: River Riders Family Adventure Resort
Whitewater rafting and tubing are two of the extreme sports offered at River Riders Family Adventure Resort. Photo courtesy of the resort

More Extreme Sports for Kids Near DC

12. River Riders Family Adventure Resort — Harpers Ferry, WV

With activities including whitewater rafting, tubing, zip lining, an aerial adventure park, and more, River Riders is fun for the entire family. Flat water tubing is available for those who desire a calmer experience. Tubers must weigh at least 30 pounds and be at least 4 years old.

13. iFLY — Gaithersburg, MD and Ashburn, VA

Want to try skydiving without jumping out of a plane? iFly offers the sensation of flying in its vertical wind tunnel. Safe for everyone ages 3 and older and with all experience levels, indoor skydiving at iFLY is a family-friendly activity.

14. Harpers Ferry Adventure Center — Purcellville, VA

Take in the scenery of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers from a tube, the perfect way to cool off on a hot day. Whitewater tubing is available for the adventurous, while flat water tubing is also offered for those seeking slightly less of a thrill. For even more adventure, stay for zip lining, ropes courses, and more. Tubers must be 5 years old, weigh more than 50 pounds, and know how to swim.

15. Go Ape Zip Line & Adventure Park — Rockville, MD and Springfield, VA

In Go Ape's Treetop Adventure, guests ages 10 and older climb rope ladders into the trees, cross wobbly bridges and other obstacles, conquer Tarzan swings, and ride zip lines back down to the forest floor. Younger kids and beginners can tackle the Treetop Journey, which includes over 20 less-difficult obstacles and two zip lines. All participants wear safety harnesses.

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Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park - Rockville