As the weather gets colder and your kids need indoor options for exercise and fun, Palisades Climb Adventure is a dizzyingly high-flying day trip.
This five-story indoor ropes/zip-line course is in one of the giant atriums of the Palisades Center mall in West Nyack, NY. The concept is pretty simple: everyone puts on a secure harness with a large strap that threads into an overhead-rail system, and then you make your way across high-flying obstacles that zig and zag and interconnect in ways that are either thrilling or terrifying, depending on your point of view.
I went with “terrifying,” but my son was squarely on Team Thrilling. Once he figured out that the overhead rails would keep him from falling more than a couple of inches, he bravely crossed the wobbly bridges, sideways rope webs, narrow beams and every other challenge across the five levels of the course. There are friendly and helpful staff members on every level of the course, keeping climbers safe and helping people who get stuck or scared on the obstacles.
The amazing thing is that there are no nets below and no side rails—because you’re never disconnected from the overhead rails (you have to guide your strap through the rails even on the stairways between levels), Palisades Climb provides a perpetually on-the-edge experience.
(Full disclosure: I spent most of our two-hour visit watching my son climb while I waited nervously on the corner platforms.)
On the upper level (85 feet up!) is a zip-line that crosses the length of the course. Your safety harness has two small wheels that slot into the zip-line, allowing for hands-free flying just below the mall’s ceiling. Palisades Climb also has a small Sky Tykes course for younger kids, but really this is for kids 5 and up (and by “up” I mean all the way to teens and fearless adults). Kids are required to be at least 42 inches to climb with an adult or 48 inches to participate alone.
There are free storage lockers for wallets, keys, phones and such, but parents who aren’t planning to climb should note that there’s no sitting area outside the course. If you’re just going to watch, be prepared to get some food and/or drink from the nearby food court and stand around.
My son alternated between huge smiles and a knotted brow of concentration the whole time he was on the course, and he wrapped up the session feeling like he’d conquered something. (Also, he was exhausted!) With everything else at the giant Palisades Center mall, including movies, restaurants and shopping, Palisades Climb Adventure can be the centerpiece of a busy and active cold-weather family outing.
Palisades Climb Adventure is located at the Palisades Center, 1000 Palisades Center Drive, West Nyack, NY. Hours are Monday-Thursday, 2-8pm; Friday, 2-9pm; Saturday, 11am-10pm; Sunday, 11am-7pm. Admission is $19.99; $8.99 for Sky Tykes course. More information is at www.palisadesclimb.com.