SNOW VALLEY AERIAL PARK
13204 – Rainbow Valley Road [map] Edmonton, Alberta T6R 2V4
780-434-3991 OR TOLL FREE: 1-888-434-3991
The new Snow Valley Aerial Park at Rainbow Valley Campground is an awesome 5 story structure that will excite children, make parents a little nervous, and challenge everyone from rookies to experienced climbers.One of only 3 parks of its kind in North America, the Snow Valley Aerial Park features more than 100 routes, suspended at three different heights and of varying degrees of difficulty. Just like on the adjacent ski hill, you choose challenges of green (easy), blue (intermediate), and black (difficult). You can rock a rainbow climbing wall 50′ up, ride across a high wire on a bike, and more.
The $1.7M playground is breathing some life into Snow Valley during the summer, and giving the ski club some extra revenue. “As the climate changes, we’ve been opening later and later. Last year, we opened in December, which is crazy,” Snow Valley’s Tim Dea explains. “We don’t expect every year to be like that, but this could help soften the blow of a short year.”
Extreme play is important for kids, this kind of climbing park will inspire them to soar like their Ninja Warrior heroes, but there are some things you should know before you go.
Here are some tips and advice I’d offer for taking your kids to the new Snow Valley Aerial Park:
MAKE A RESERVATION AHEAD OF TIME
This new attraction is going to be busy this summer, especially on weekends and holidays. We made a reservation for our visit and saw many people turned away trying to show up and just walk on. With a limited number of people allowed on the structure at any one time (the facility staggers people with 30 minute training and information sessions before letting them loose to climb), make a reservation to get guaranteed access.
Making a reservation online is quick, easy, will guarantee your visit will go smoothly (and you can save a few bucks with the online rate).
To access the various climbing obstacles on the aerial park, you need to clip and unclip your harness from safety cables. My 7 yr old son, Charlie, could barely reach the wire and sometimes struggled with the clip. This meant I had to call to other parents on the structure to help, or I had to race back and forth over obstacles to help him. Kids who are 8 (or tall for 7) should have no problem managing themselves on the course, younger kids will need help.
ONE KID PER PARENT
If you have shorter kids who need help and supervision, you’ll want to stick to one kid per parent, otherwise they are running off and getting stuck and it will be difficult to run around and make sure everyone is able to clip in and clip out.
Remember, in order for you to get to the kids, you’ll have to do the obstacle too, and well, I found some of the swinging boards and tires a little tough to maneuver, which meant I had to plot longer routes to rescue them.
THEY CAN GO IT ALONE
The lower level course, just about 5′ off the ground, is totally fine for kids to tackle. After the struggle of chasing my sons back and forth, I unclipped and guided them from the ground. It was great. Kids as young as 3 can tackle the ground level elements only, but at that age they will struggle to maneuver the clips, so I suggest harnessing up to help.
Each admission is valid for 3 hours of climbing (including the 30 minute training), but be warned: your kids will want to climb all day. I was told once at a rock climbing facility that we don’t develop lactic acid until puberty, meaning mom and dad will tire long before the kids on this climbing structure.
Set some limits before you hit the course, book online, make sure you pick routes that you can handle, and have some fun. The Snow Valley Aerial Park at Rainbow Valley Campground is a great addition to summer outdoor activities in the Edmonton River Valley and will be a blast for all families!
Disclosure: We were guests of Snow Valley Aerial Park for our visit.
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