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Go Ask Mom

Take the Kids: Climb around the tree tops at TreeRunner Adventure Park

Posted August 15, 2019 9:09 p.m. EDT

Credit: Erin Lane

— "What in the world are we going to do this weekend?" I wondered the other week. I didn’t want the kids in front of screens, and they were apparently over the pool. But I quickly remembered that we had gift certificates to the TreeRunner Adventure Park courtesy of Grandma. I made a reservation online, and we were set for a Saturday escapade for the whole family.

What is TreeRunner Adventure Park? Think obstacle courses and zip-lining in a small canopied area. They offer seven different obstacle routes of varying difficulty, lengths and heights for ages 8 and up. They also have a Junior Course for younger kids.

TreeRunner Adventure Park in north Raleigh

When we arrived, we went to a training area where a staff member helped us into our full-body harness and then walked us through how to clip into each part of the course and how to use the zip-line trolleys. The training takes about 15 minutes and then you’re released into the park.

It may take you a few attempts to get the hang of the clips (they call them click-its), but don’t worry: You’ll be a pro in no time. The neat thing about them is that they are a magnetic system where one of the two click-its is always attached, so you are always connected to the course.

All courses start off of the main deck area, which you get to via a rope ladder. From there, you can choose from three beginner courses, two intermediate courses and two advanced. You must complete a beginner course before moving on to a higher level.

TreeRunner Adventure Park in north Raleigh

We did the easiest course first, as a family. It had nine obstacles and ended in two zip-lines. My eight-year-old was pretty nervous, but after a few hiccups and tears, she got the hang of it. She and I were able to complete all three of the beginner courses, while my husband and son went on to do two of the intermediate courses. (My husband even tackled the most advanced course. More power to him; I lacked the upper body strength.)

The ticket price is for a three-hour climb, which includes your training. There are several picnic tables and I recommend bringing water bottles and snacks. They also have some snacks available for sale. Booking your reservation in advance is recommended.

If you have preschool or kindergarten-aged kids, they also have a Junior Park, which features a smaller course for kids ages 4 to 7. It’s only 2 or 3 feet off the ground, but allows kids to climb and zip-line as well. Tickets for the Junior Park are for two hours of climbing. Parents and chaperones do not have to buy a ticket.

TreeRunner Adventure Park in north Raleigh

We had an absolute blast and will be back. My son has even asked if he could have a birthday party here (yes, they do them!). Maybe next time, I’ll be brave enough to try a more advanced course.

TreeRunner is located on the campus of the Jewish Community Center at 12805 Norwood Road. Hours vary, so check the website before planning a trip.

Erin Lane is a Raleigh mom of two and writer.

Go Ask Mom’s Take the Kids series is your No. 1 resource for weekly ideas about kid-focused places to take your family in the Triangle and beyond. New articles are published every Friday.