Pro’s tips: Planning a family
adventure outing

ArborTrek-Smugglers-Notch-VermontFor families looking for a new perspective and challenge, testing your daring on an adventure course can be the perfect fun and rewarding activity. Adventure courses can include aerial challenge or ropes courses, canopy tours, tree or rock climbing, and Via Ferrata, a mix of canyoneering and rock climbing – there’s something for everyone! For participants, these courses offer more than thrills; additional benefits include a sense of satisfaction, achievement and self-confidence.

At Smugglers’ Notch, zip lining, treetop obstacle courses and vertical climbing challenges are offered by ArborTrek Canopy Adventures, so who better to share tips on enjoying a great family adventure outing? Veteran ArborTrek guide Alexandra Hopwood has these suggestions for choosing the best activity for your family and ensuring a wonderful experience once you’ve embarked on your adventure.

Choosing the right activity:

  • Check the activity’s age, height, and weight requirements and ensure everyone meets them.
  • Think about the physicality of children in your group. They might have more fun exploring an activity designed to suit their size and ability, rather than pushing themselves on an activity for which they barely meet the requirements.
  • Think about your own physical ability and that of other adults in your group. Will you be able to complete the undertaking and assist anyone who may need it?
  • Check the clothing and footwear requirements and come prepared for the weather.

Ropes course Smugglers NotchOut on the course:

  • Play within your means. Many activities have different levels, some of which may not be appropriate for the whole family.
  • Monitor the nerves of children and make sure they are completing the course correctly and are not overly rambunctious.
  • Don’t forget yourself – ensure you have the energy and ability to keep up with your children and/or the patience to hold back and assist them if needed.
  • If possible, pass slower groups or let fast groups pass you, so that nobody loses momentum on the course.
  • On a multi-level challenge course, repeating elements to improve time or quality can often be a more rewarding experience than attempting a new path at a higher level.
  • Guides are there to help you complete the course and show you a good time; utilize their knowledge and skills for advice, assistance and amusement.
  • Pay attention to your family members’ mood and attention. Whenever possible, continue only as long as everyone remains engaged in the activity.

Via Ferrata zip line Smugglers' NotchMost of all – have fun! Keep that positive energy flowing; it’s infectious!

Attempting thrilling activities as a family can be a great bonding experience as you help each other conquer ambitious obstacles and brave new heights together. A real sense of satisfaction, achievement and self-confidence comes with getting out of your comfort zone and accomplishing a challenging task.

Being aware of these tips can improve the experience of the whole family and ensure everyone has a fantastic time and reaps the many benefits of outdoor adventure.

Planning an adventure outing? Tell us your family’s story with a comment; we’d love to hear from you!

ArborTrek zip line canopy tour Smugglers' Notch

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