10 Places for Family Adventures in the Triangle

Goapettj 04
Go on a zip line adventure at Go Ape! in Raleigh

Does your family enjoy the occasional (or frequent) adrenaline rush? If so, check out these Triangle-area resources for families who like to defy their limits — and sometimes gravity as well!

Above and Beyond Hot Air Balloon Rides

ttomasetti@nc.rr.com; 919-781-3433

Sail high above the Piedmont with your family and watch the sun set from the basket of a balloon.

  • The minimum age required for participation is 6.
  • A maximum number of four riders are allowed.
  • Flights are available all week, usually in the late afternoon.
  • Advance booking is required (in spring and summer plan six to eight weeks ahead).
  • Children ages 6-10 fly for free.


Capital City BMX

516 Dennis Ave., Raleigh; 919-455-5819

Test your speed and skill against other riders on a BMX motocross race track.
Races are held every Sunday.

  • No minimum age.
  • Safety equipment is required.
  • Practice times are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex

171 Tradition Trail, Ste. 207, Holly Springs; 919-557-8088

BMX bikers, mountain bikers, skateboarders, inline skaters and scooter riders can push their skills on 17,500 square feet of indoor riding terrain and 17,000 square feet of outdoor riding terrain.

  • No minimum age.
  • Safety equipment is required (available for rental).
  • Classes are available.


Durham Ropes Courses

High Ropes Discovery Course: Bethesda Park, 1814 Stage Rd., Durham, 919-560-4405, ext. 3

Low Ropes Course: Adjacent to Lake Michie in northern Durham County. Choose your own path through the challenges of high and low ropes courses (the high ropes course is 55 feet high at its peak).

  • The minimum age required to participate on the high course is 7; ages 7-9 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • The minimum age to participate on the low course is 10.
  • Individuals and families may use the course once a month on Discovery Days.
  • Each session typically lasts four hours, from ground school to course completion on the high course.
  • Closed-toe shoes are required.
  • Groups (eight-person minimum required) may use the course by appointment for up to four hours.
  • Advance booking is required for group events; plan at least a month in advance.


Frog Hollow Outdoors

Adventures throughout North Carolina; 919-416-1200

Paddle down lakes and rivers in canoes, kayaks or stand-up paddleboards by sunlight or moonlight. Rock climbing and backpacking adventures are also available.

  • No minimum age for participation in most adventures; a minimum of age 12 is required for solo paddling.
  • Advance booking is required.
  • Classes are available.
  • Some adventures are specifically designed for families.


Go Ape!

3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd., Raleigh; 800-971-8271

Follow treetop adventures over ropes course obstacles, down zip lines and through the air on Tarzan swings.

  • No minimum age for the junior course, but kids must be 39 inches or taller.
  • Adults must accompany ages 6 and younger.
  • The junior course takes about one hour.
  • The adult course requires a minimum height of 4 feet 7 inches and a minimum age of 10.
  • Ages 10-15 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • The adult course takes two to three hours.
  • Safety equipment is provided.
  • Advance booking is recommended.
  • Available March-December.


Gotcha Paintball

Store located at 2110-101 E. Millbrook Rd., Raleigh; 919-501-7770
Field located at 176 Darius Pearce Rd., Youngsville

Pit your survival tactics against opponents with paintball, laser tag and Airsoft games.

  • Minimum ages are 8 for laser tag, 10 for Airsoft games, 8 for low-impact paintball and 10 for regular paintball.
  • Places to play Airsoft games are available, but rental Airsoft equipment is not.
  • Paintball and laser tag equipment and safety masks are available for rent.
  • Long sleeves, closed-toe shoes and hats are recommended.
  • Fields are open year-round (weekends only).
  • Outdoor games only.


Paddle Creek

9601 Capital Blvd., Wake Forest; 919-866-1954

Explore the Neuse River at your own pace on kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards.

  • Participants must be age 5 to participate; age 8 to solo paddle.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes that can get wet.
  • Advance booking is required.


Triangle Rock Club

102 Pheasant Wood Ct., Morrisville; 919-463-7625
6022 Duraleigh Rd., Raleigh; 919-803-5534

Can you make it to the top? Learn rock climbing with these indoor challenges, which include options for all experience levels.

  • The minimum age for participation is 4.
  • Families without belay certification will need to use auto-belay equipment for some activities.
  • Plan accordingly for crowded times (mainly weekends and holidays).
  • Safety equipment is required (available for rent).
  • Climbing shoes (available for rent) or sneakers are required.
  • Classes are available.
  • Indoors only.


Xtreme Park Adventures

7460 N.C. Highway 98, Wake Forest Rd., Durham; 919-596-6100.

Experience paintball, Airsoft games, laser tag, zip lines and more. Xtreme Park Adventures offers plenty of ways to get your family’s adrenaline pumping.

  • The minimum age for paintball, Airsoft games and laser tag is 8.
  • Kids younger than age 10 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • There is no age limit for zip line activities; the required weight limit range is 35-270 pounds.
  • Advance booking is recommended and reservations are required for groups of six or more.
  • Game and safety equipment is available for rent.
  • Outdoor adventures only.
  • Activities are available year-round, six days/week (closed Mondays).
  • Long sleeves and pants are recommended for paintball and Airsoft games.


Elizabeth Brignac is a freelance writer and the mother of two adventure-loving boys. She lives in Cary.


Categories: Family, Outdoors, Things To Do, Triangle Go-To Guide