If you’re looking for a fun adventure and new memories for the whole family, The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School may just be the place!
At this outdoor Adventure Park everyone ages 5 and up can step into this outdoor adventure playground, going through obstacles and ziplining through the trees.
We warn you…once you try it, you’re going to want to go back!
The Adventure Course
Sandy Spring Adventure Park can be called a ropes course, challenge course or aerial forest park. By any name, it means you’ll be moving from platform to platform over elements made of cables and any number of shapes of wood.
The adventure park features 13 courses with elements (bridges to cross or ziplines), spread over a 5-acre area adjacent to Sandy Spring Friends School and is billed as the “Largest Aerial Forest Adventure Park in North America.”
The courses range from purple through double black diamond and are rated as appropriate for children (ages 7 and up) supervised or unsupervised according to age.
Sandy Spring Adventure Park was developed by specialists from Europe, where this outdoor sport is tremendously popular, particularly in Germany and Switzerland.
Climbing and Ziplining
The adventure course has you climbing across obstacles up in the trees. You’ll have a harness so you will be safely connected to the cables at all times.
The harnesses come complete with a pair of connected carabiners, one of which is always locked.
When you want to move to a new cable, you move the open one first, lock it, and the other carabiner is now free to move. It takes a moment to “get it”, and kids seem to get it quickly, but the end result is that you are always attached with a locked unopenable carabiner.
Once secured, you simply start stepping/holding/balancing your way across boards, beams, and barriers to a platform attached to a tree, where you switch cables and wait your turn for the next bridge.
What to Expect at the Adventure Park
The easier courses are about 15 feet off the ground (more or less gutter cleaning height) and they move higher, along with the difficulty of each element, as you progress through each level.
The first thing we noticed as we approached the starting platform was that the stairs weren’t really stairs after all – they were logs, with noticeable spaces in between.
There were no hand-rails, just cables.
It was time to practice everything we’d just heard in the instruction area: Clip in, lock, clip in and start to move.
Once up on the platform, a friendly park monitor helped us get started on “Sunflower,” a beginner’s yellow course that still provided moments of excitement. Safe excitement, but excitement all the same.
Height isn’t necessarily the scariest part of the experience – it becomes secondary to figuring out a “strategy” (our fifth grader’s word) for each segment, focusing on balance and coordination, and hooking in and out as you reach and then leave each platform.
This park appeals to a very diverse set. The morning we were there the park included families, young 20s who partied the night before but were still in good form, and some graying gents channeling Tarzan on high ziplines. Scout groups and a surprise birthday party were on their way in as we left after three hours, happy, tired, and quietly elated.
Hours & When to Go
The Main Park is open every weekend and select holidays in the spring and fall and 7 days a week in the summer.
General Admission does not require reservations. All tickets are valid for 3 hours of climbing time from time purchased with an additional 40 minutes included for harnessing and safety briefing.
The park closes for the winter from December through early Spring.
Make your reservations ahead of time. If you plan on going on the weekend or especially on a holiday, book your reservations well in advance.
Tickets & Prices
Prices vary by time of day. General admission prices are as follows:
3-Hours on Friday – Sunday & Holidays:
- $64 for adults (ages 14+)
- $54 for kids ages 7-11
- $20 for kids ages 5-6
3-Hours on Monday – Thursday:
- $60 for adults (ages 14+)
- $50 for kids ages 7-11
- $16 for kids ages 5-6
2-3 Hours – Last Call (Every Day They’re Open):
- $45 for kids and adults ages 7+
- $16 for kids ages 5-6
Throughout the year, the park has a number of special events including neon-lit climbs.
Keep It Lit is only for adults ages 18 and up. This is a lot of fun as you can climb and zipline along the course while it is lit up with neon lights and music is playing.
Glow in The Park is for everyone ages 5 and up. With this event you can climb and zipline through the trees which are lit up with neon colored lights, music playing and varying themes. This is a 2-hour event.
Promos, Discounts & Coupons
The Adventure Park offers discounted rates for groups with 10 or more people.
Active and veteran service members receive a $5 off discount for up to 6 tickets.
You can also keep an eye on The Adventure Park at Sandy Springs Friends School Facebook page to see if they have any deals.
Another option is to keep your eye on discount sites like Groupon to see if they have any deals.
What to Bring
There isn’t much you need to bring besides your sense of adventure and desire to have a new experience.
If you have someone else who comes with you but doesn’t climb, they can take pictures and videos from the group.
If you go when the weather starts to get cold, keep in mind you’ll warm up on the course, so don’t dress too warmly.
You will also want to wear sneakers and comfortable clothing (nothing too loose).
Close toed shoes are required.
Be sure to bring snacks and/or pack a lunch.
The Adventure Park at Sandy Springs Friends School is located at: 16701 Norwood Rd, Sandy Spring, MD 20860
The park is conveniently located 35 minutes from Baltimore Maryland, 40 minutes from Washington DC and 45 minutes from Alexandria Virginia.
When you arrive, don’t turn into the main Sandy Springs Friends School entrance. The adventure park entrance is in between the main school entrance and the neighboring Park Police office.
Good to Know Before You Go
- Expect to spend at least 3-4 hours on the adventure course
- There is a strict one adult to one tot ratio for 5 and 6year olds, no exceptions.
- There are park monitors throughout the course who are there if you need them, but you are encouraged to figure out each element on your own — that’s part of the fun.
- You have to start with a yellow course and we can confirm that yellow offers challenge enough to make you feel like you’ve accomplished something.
- Close-toed shoes are required
Things to Do Near The Adventure Park
If you’re looking for more fun things to do near The Adventure Park at Sandy Springs, here are some great options:
- Visit part of the Underground Railroad, see the conditions slaves lived in and explore The Underground Railroad Experience Trail among the huge trees (2 minutes away)
- See a show at the Olney Theatre Center (4 minutes away)
- Visit Olney Manor Recreational Park (9 minutes away)
- Check out the National Capital Trolley Museum (9 minutes away)
- Explore the beautiful gardens at Brookside Gardens (14 minutes away)
- Visit Brookside Nature Park & Wheaton Regional Park (15 minutes away)
- Participate in kid’s activities or stop by the market at Butler’s Orchard (28 minutes away)