George Eliot wrote, “Adventure is not outside man; it is within.” At Urban Air Adventure Park (UAAP), just north of Woonsocket in Bellingham, Mss, it is both, depending on whether you are child or caretaker of said child. Part trampoline park and part ninja warrior playground with an arcade, rock climbing wall and dodgeball court, UAAP has an adventure for everyone, although for parents, it may be the kind from within if you’re watching your child zoom by on the Sky Rider.
The Sky Rider, also called the Indoor Coaster, is much like a zipline: A pulley with a built-in harness is attached to a metal track in the ceiling of the park. From the top of a massive play structure, an employee locks one child at a time into the harness, instructs said child to hang on to the appropriate parts of that harness and then sends him or her for a ride around the track. Minutes later, the ride ends on another level of the play structure, where a different employee unlocks the child from the harness. My 11-year-old daughter and her friend found the Sky Rider thrilling. “Mom, it’s awesome!” my daughter informed me, eyes gleaming and cheeks flushed with excitement. “You should do it!” I didn’t, but someone else’s father did, and he howled the whole way around the track to the amusement of everyone there.
In addition to the truly unique Sky Rider, UAAP offers an impressive ropes course, which also requires a harness, as well as a ninja warrior obstacle course, which does not, because it is built over and around a massive ball pit that is staffed with employees. As sixth-graders, my daughter and her friend found both the ropes course and the ninja warrior course appropriately challenging and exciting, but I did see one much younger child get rescued from the ball pit when he couldn’t seem to climb out on his own. Unperturbed, he raced off to his next adventure.
Other attractions include a large trampoline area, where the standard rule of one person to a square applies, and a running track that allows for multiple flips and back handsprings. There’s also a huge arcade, a rock climbing wall and a dodgeball court. The in-house cafe offers much better fare than a standard food court, including some gluten-free options as well as beer and wine. There are plenty of large cafeteria-style tables on the main floor as well as a number of smaller tables and chairs on the second floor, which offers an aerial view of the entire facility, which is enormous and entirely indoors. My husband and I managed to snag one of the second-floor tables, thereby allowing us to watch the kids from above while enjoying a snack; with better planning, it is possible to have something resembling a date while your kids are having a blast. Another unique feature of UAAP is the soundproof rooms for parents with both couches and work stations for those who want to work remotely or enjoy the adventures at the park from within, as George Eliot noted. For this reason alone, Urban Air Adventure Park deserves a spot on the family bucket list.
189 Mechanic St, Bellingham, Mass. urbanairtrampolinepark.com/locations/massachusetts/bellingham