Friday November 24th 2017

Zipping at The Edge in Northwest Indiana

I have heard of zip-lining, and that special parks were popping up all over the country. I was advised that a company located in nearby Indiana, had opened up a brand new one in  the Crown Point area, which is pretty much a hop, skip and jump from Chicago (providing there is no highway construction, which it seems there always is) but since we were going to Union Pier Michigan for a family reunion and I had six of my grandkids in tow, we thought it would be a great idea to experience this new form of amusement, first-hand (without Jane and I having to do anything but cheer them on).

We arrived at Edge Adventures of Northwest Indiana around 2 p.m.. By the way, it is located next to Deep River Park, a water park that looks pretty darn inviting on Route 30 in Crown Point Indiana (http://www.edgeadventureparks.com)- they have three locations with more to come). We were greeted by Brian Niksch, the Adventure Park Manager, who made sure that we understood the park, the rules and the experience. They have rules! It is very important that each guest has a safe and happy experience, and his job is to ensure you will. The staff was all wonderful, smiling and helpful. From what I have been told by many who have had this experience in other areas, The Edge may be a bit understaffed. I know that Summer is almost over and many college kids have returned to school and the same would be true for upper class high schoolers. Since the park is open, I would think it important to find more employees that are trained to assist those who come for this very special experience of “zip-lining”.

This park has 50 tree-top obstacles and is geared to allow youngsters of 4 years old ( special program for the toddlers) and up. Our group of kids were 6,9, 10 and 12 yeas of age and with the five kids, two dads made the adventurous journey, walking on wires, boards, and of course “zip-lining” from one tree to another.

Levels & Age Restrictions

 Kids Course  4 years old to 8
 Level One Yellow (moderate) kids must have an adult with them
 Level Two Green (intermediate)
 Level Three Blue (advanced)

Difficulty   can be scary-but if one listens and pays attention, not so bad!

Zip-line is scary at first, but once they show you how it is done, get you in the special gear, it seems to make life a bit easier. One of my grandkids, Luke, who is experienced, had a bit of a tummy ache, so he passed, letting his brother and sister, twins, Zoe and Cooper handle the Connecticut connection. They truly had a great deal of experience as they do this on a regular basis in Connecticut. They were quick and fearless. Cooper ran the course as well as some of the adults that were in the group in front of ours, and Zoe was not far behind.

The local grandkids, who have far less experience had a little different story. Adam, the eldest at 12 ( and several months) handled himself well and was able to assist with his younger sisters, as needed. Sarah, who is younger was a little apprehensive at the start, but once she got into it and saw that she was safe, her eagerness to proceed and the smile on her face, became greater. One could see the excitement as she completed each leg of our journey. Rebecca, the youngest, who seemed to be scared at the start and could not find the right gloves ( oh, yes, besides being harnessed with special gear, and helmets, each participant is issued gloves that allow a good grip on the ropes and wires that are part of the course. By the second triumph, she was grinning from ear to ear just as her cousins, brother and sister were- they were having a true experience that they will remember for a long time.
Pulling up to the park, entering the gateway and seeing all the wires, bridges, platforms and zip-lines, can be a little scary, but once the staff explains the programs available and goes over the rules, explaining the procedure, one feels more secure. Their gear is designed to make sure that they never lose a patron (just being cutesy). In fact, the transition units they use are probably the safest in the country. The Connecticut kids tell me that back home, the transitions are faster and much easier. Brian assured me that while that may be true, the equipment used in the Edge Adventures is the BEST and safest and I agree that safety is more important than saving a minute or two.
The park has hours of 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. daily and I would imagine that as long as the weather is decent, they will remain open
They have several programs available  all day  $79
                                                                      3 hours   $49 (under 12, $39)
                                                                      2 hours   $39 ( under 12  $29)
                                                                      Kiddie program  one hour $10
You can reserve online http://www.edgeadventureparks.comor by calling 800-590-8347 or  1-574-309-5124
They offer full rain-checks if the weather should change making it impossible to do the trails. There is plenty of free parking and while they may be just a bit short-staffed right now, the staff on hand is knowledgable, caring and will make sure that your experience will be a lasting memory (positive).
Still smiling after 2 plus hours of fun and memory creating!!  While the weather is still great, have some fun and let me know when you have!

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