Love high-soaring adventure? Now you can make it an aerial family affair.

Over the weekend, Terrapin Adventures debuted it’s new explorer’s rope course for kids. Designed for ages 5-9, the tree-level ropes course has 22 different fun elements that kids can walk, balance, swing, zip, and crawl through. {Older kids can ‘play’ on their adult ropes courses and adventure elements.}

To be honest, I didn’t think the Bug would actually complete the course. I know I have determined, adventurous kiddo… but I would also call her ‘risk averse.’ The car ride was full of questions (most of which I couldn’t answer), excitement, and anticipation of zipping across the tree line. There were also several moments when she wanted to be reassured there was “a soft, comfy spot to land if you fell.”

That would be a negative.

According to Jeryl Baker at Terrapin, the explorers’ rope course is about thirty feet tall and the rock wall is twenty feet tall. There is no giant pillow underneath; just ravine.

“Mom, I wanted to cry the whole time… But I didn’t!”

Yes, that was the first thing the Bug said to me when she ran up to the observation deck where her dad, brother and I were standing, cheering. Clearly proud that she overcame some major fear (and let’s be honest, I was pretty darn proud, too).

I don’t know that we have a budding pint-sized adrenaline junkie on our hands, but the thought that she did something she didn’t think she could was downright exhilarating.

I was impressed with how great the staff interacted with kids on the ropes. They were encouraging and entertaining while ensuring that safety was paramount. They also knew when to coax, coach and give kiddos a little extra boost — and when to say ‘uncle’ and help get a child off the course. Kids were all harnessed and wore helmets that staff adjusted themselves. The staff is still refining some of the obstacles and plans to make height recommendations. As one of the youngest (and smallest) on the course, the Bug had some trouble physically reaching some things.

The explorer’s rope course is right next to the Terrapin Towers, so the big kids (aka parents) can ‘play’ and always be in sight of their little ones. Because we were wrangling the little guy (he ran around the observation area and chilled in the stroller), and I’m hitting the third trimester of pregnancy, Patrick and I didn’t have a chance to try it out.

Sounds like a fun date night idea, no?

Terrapin Adventures Explorer’s Rope Course

Savage Mill
8600 Foundry Street
Savage, MD 20763
Phone:  443-559-9158
Hours: 9:00AM to 6:00PM everyday (seasonally adjusted)

GETTING THERE: Terrapin Adventures is located in Savage Mill, which is great because there is PLENTY of parking and after the kids work up an appetite on the ropes course, you can grab a sandwich from Chamberlain’s Factory Grille. Highly recommend the pulled pork BBQ. The kids’ meals? Come served in frisbees.

COST: The Terrapin Explorer’s Rope Course is $25, per child for an hour of high-flying fun. That includes the 20 foot rock climbing wall.

FAMILY ACCESSIBILITY: The course is only for ages 5-9, so what do you do with the younger guys? The check-in space (where you pay and get harnesses and helmets) is on the second floor of the mill and accessible by elevator. The walkway to the observation area is also stroller-friendly. But unless you are wearing your little one, they’re napping in a stroller or have a partner-in-crime to entertain a younger kiddo, you might want to leave them with a babysitter so you can take awesome photos of your older kiddo in action! Or, at the very least, bribe with a visit to the nearby Savage Park Playground.

KNOW YOUR KID:  Although perfectly safe, here is an element of “danger” to doing a ropes adventure course. You know your kid. If they aren’t the type to go walking on a beam twenty feet in the air (secured in a harness or not), this might not be the right experience for them.

BIRTHDAY PARTIES: Yep, they do them! Everything from cupcake hunts to beer + fear adventures, they have a party package to fit every age.

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