Monday, July 7, 2014

The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring, MD


Whenever I take my family out for an activity, the three main things that I look for are that the place is safe, fun, and has a friendly and helpful staff.  The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring fulfills all of these requirements and more! While most ropes courses have guides tagging along with you, or have a group of people taking turns while allowing one person to climb at a time, the technology at the Adventure Park allows for many climbers to be moving through the courses safely and effectively without feeling attached to a group. The ability to go with friends, but to also have freedom, make this park unique and exciting!

Upon arrival, you are greeted by a large number of friendly staff members. You can fill out the safety waivers online in advance, or sign up on their tablets at the front desk. Once you’ve paid, participants can go over to the harnessing area, get harnessed, and pick up a set of gloves (or you can bring your own gloves). Once they walk you through their training session, which is well run and efficient, you then have the opportunity to climb the main platform to the starting point for 13 different courses. There are 6 different levels of obstacle course which are color coded like a ski slope. The most basic levels (purple) allow kids as young as 5 years old to climb (with an adult), and each course offers different types of obstacles, ranging in difficulty, and including climbing, balancing, and zip lining challenges. They also range in height from 10 feet to 65 feet up in the air, so there are options for novices as well as for the more extreme daredevil type. In addition to the many options to attempt in the Aerial Forest during the day, they also offer several special events during the summer such as Glow in the Park, which is a night time climbing opportunity on the ropes course for a discounted price. The forest is well shaded during the day, and absolutely stunning when lit up at night. 

In addition to the Aerial Forest, this park also features the Labyrinth which is a separate structure designed specifically for groups, parties, and corporate events, as well as a newer area called Monkey Grove. Monkey Grove allows kids to climb 10 different trees that are covered with rock climbing wall grips. Climbers can tackle trees of varying levels of difficulty, and are given an hour of climbing time. The special equipment used, make it safe and fun to harness in, and climb to the top as many times as you would like during the hour.  Participants must weigh at least 35lbs to climb, and my 5 and 7 year old boys were able to make it to the top of several of the trees during our time there. I cannot say enough about how well trained, happy, and encouraging the staff was. At the end my boys were begging to come back again, and this is definitely a place that we will try to visit again!

Aerial Forest Adventure Park Tickets
3 hours of climbing + 30 min initial orientation period. Max weight limit 265 lbs)
  • Age 12 & older: $49
  • Ages 10–11: $44
  • Ages 7–9: $39
  • Ages 5 – 6: FREE (Each child must be accompanied on course by an adult age 18+. One adult per child, not available online)
Twilight Ticket Hours
On sale 3 hours prior to closing, all ages 7+. Valid for remaining time that day-typically max 2.5 hrs. Not available for advanced reservation.
  •  All Ages:  $29   (Monday – Thursday/summer only)
  •  All Ages:  $36  (Friday-Sunday & Holidays)
*Please note that our hardest courses (blues and blacks) close first. During Twilight Ticket hours harder courses may not be available to climb. 
Labyrinth General Admission Individual Tickets
2 hour climbing ticket + 30min orientation; weight limit max 265lb
The Labyrinth is typically available by group reservation only–however on Friday & Saturday afternoons, families have the chance to challenge themselves on this unique climbing structure! Max 24 seats per session–due to the limited space available, it is recommended to book online, in advance.
  • All Ages:  $29
Monkey Grove Climbing Tickets
1 hour climbing ticket; min 30lbs/max 265lbs )
  • All Ages:  $19

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