Ten feet above a wooded area in Purchase, I watched as my 7-year-old son slowly but steadily made his way across a series of wooden beams suspended between two trees. I had just crossed the same set of beams a couple of minutes ago and wasn’t sure if he’d be able to follow suit since it’d been a challenge for me … but he was doing it. He was actually doing it!
We were at the newly opened Boundless Adventures aerial adventure park, located on the Purchase College campus, along with my daughter and husband, who were off exploring an intermediate course together. For those who aren’t familiar, an aerial adventure park is a series of courses built in the woods (there are nine in total here) that challenges visitors to climb, crawl, balance, and zipline across. It’s sort of like a doable American Ninja Warrior experience up in the trees, with lots of staff members around to help you out if you find yourself unable to tackle a particular element.
My husband and I have done other ropes courses before, and this one in Purchase is definitely one of the better planned ones, featuring four difficulty levels and a good mix of challenges. The minimum age to participate is 7, which seemed appropriate. Any younger than that, and your kids probably wouldn’t be able to handle the responsibility of clipping and unclipping their safety tethers onto each element of the course. Not that they would fall if they couldn’t manage, since the double locking system keeps you attached to the course at all times; they simply wouldn’t be able to move around easily.
Unless your kids are much older (or daredevils and skilled with carabiners), I would plan on getting on the course with them. While my two were eager to get out there, my younger one definitely needed lots of help from both my husband and me to get across his first course. By the second one, he was more confident and only needed me to lead the way. We did have to call down to the ground for a staff member to help once, when an aggressive looking bee started trailing him and freaking him out, but the woman that came to our rescue handled the situation quickly and smoothly, gently swatting away the bee and helping my son across that particular course herself. She was a lifesaver!
Conquering these ropes courses is an invigorating way to spend the morning and will no doubt be a popular activity this summer. Bring a snack or lunch to eat on the picnic tables afterwards, as you will work up an appetite! If this is something your family would enjoy, you should definitely go and take advantage of Westchester’s very first aerial adventure park. We’ll definitely be back to try out the more difficult courses as the kids get older.
Boundless Adventures, Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, 914-893-4550