Update: March 18, 2019. Since our visit, ZOOm Air is now called CFZ Seminole Aerial Adventures, but it looks to still be run under the ZOOm Air umbrella.
We’re an outdoorsy kind of family, and I’d like to think we’re up for most adventures… that can accommodate young kids.
The idea of trying out a ropes course with zip lines was one of the first things that caught my attention when researching family-friendly things to do on our upcoming trip to Seminole County, Florida.
And I found one that was suitable for even my youngest child!
ZOOmAirTreetop Adventure Park has two locations in Florida – one in Daytona and one in Sanford, just outside the Central Florida Zoo. I’ve never found a zip line outfitter that offered courses suitable for children young as 4 until ZOOMAIR. I was so excited for us to try it out.
I’m glad we did!
It was one of the highlights of our whole trip, and I recommend giving it a shot if you’re not afraid of heights.
What to expect – Kids Course
Children who are 5 and older (between 36 inches and 60 inches tall) can do the children’s course. They are fitted into harnesses and provided instructions on clipping themselves on to the safety ropes.
The kids Upland Course is never gets higher than 4 feet above the ground ground, but does provide a challenge and a thrill of adventure. Farley likened the experience to being on “American Ninja.” It ends like the adults’ course, with a zip line (but much lower to the ground).
A guide walks with kids on the Kids Upland Course, while a parent stays on the ground. Safety is a priority and even a 5-year-old can understand having one clip on a rope at all times. The kids’ guide, Maggie, was very patient.
It was a challenge for our younger daughter and while she struggled to get through each obstacle, our nearly 6-year-old cruised along. She’s an agile girl, and was determined to keep up with her big brother – and she did.
The end of the first course includes a zip line. Farley got to do the zip line several times while Mooch finished the course.
Older kids have the option of continuing on to the Kids Jungle, which is a little higher above ground and more challenging. The guide stays on the ground with the parent along the course. I stayed with Farley so he could continue on while Mooch and Mr. Wonderful went to the zoo.
When they complete their course, they’re rewarded with a little candy and a bumper sticker.
Note: Adults, for some reason, do not get candy after completing their course. Hmph.
What to expect – Adults Course
Before you begin your course, you’re fitted into a harness and walked through a practice course so you can get the hang of clipping yourself on to the safety ropes and how to do a zip line without injuring yourself.
You’re also advised that you get three warnings and if you break a rule (horse around, forget to clip yourself in, etc.), then you’re kicked off the course. You also are warned that if you get stuck and have to be helped out of a bind, you’re done for the day.
Since it was just me on the course, I was a dutiful rule follower.
I did the Upland Course, which took about 45 minutes to complete (they recommend estimating an hour and a half, especially if there are more people on the course). You do need some coordination and balance walking along, but it’s still something any beginner could do. It was very physical, which was welcoming since I fully intended to eat way too much at lunch.
Most of the course is a series of ropes obstacles and a bit of climbing. If you’re afraid of heights, it’s not for you.
The experience was thrilling and made me feel like I was reliving childhood again, only this time it was like I was for real on “Swiss Family Robinson.”
The end of the first course is a fast zip line back to ground, where you can either continue to the more challenging Rainforest Course (if you purchased that option), or you return your gear and go on with your day. The Rainforest Course has more zip lines.
Other details about the course
– We arrived just about an hour after the location opened (opens at 9 a.m.) and we were able to get started right away. No one else was on the course with us at that time and it was awesome. I’m told during the busy season (around Thanksgiving to Christmas especially), you can expect a longer waits to get started and to progress through the course if you’re not there first thing in the morning.
– You need to buy your ZOOmAir passes at the ticket booth for the zoo. Walk past the ticket booth and follow the signs to the Harness House.
– You’ll fill out waivers for everyone and hand over ID. If you want your ID back, you need to remember to return your harness and gloves.
– Wear comfortable, close-toed shoes. Athletic shoes are a smart idea. Farley had slip-on shoes and he had to double up socks to be sure they wouldn’t fall off.
– This is located just outside the Central Florida Zoo, sharing the same parking lot and ticket booth. If you’re going here with kids, might as well make a day of it and visit the zoo.
If you go
Zip lining at the Central Florida Zoo
Where: Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, 3755 Highway 17-92 (Exit 104 off I-4), Sanford, Florida
Hours: Open every day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, at 9 a.m. Last admission for Upland & Rainforest combo admissions at Zoom Air Orlando is between 2:30 and 3 p.m.
Cost: Kids’ Course (must be 36”-60” tall and at least 5 years old) $15.75 plus tax; add a second round on Kids’ Course, $12.95 plus tax; Upland (must be over 54” tall), $35.95 plus tax; add all of Rainforest after Upland, add $12; Upland and Rainforest full combo is $45.95
Additional posts about Seminole County
Central Florida Zoo (Sanford, Florida)
Hilton Altamonte Springs (Altamonte Springs, Florida)
Wekiva Island (Longwood, Florida)
Disclaimer: Our visit was hosted by Seminole County. All thoughts and experiences are my own.
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