Are your little monkeys swinging from the rafters? Take them out for a tree-top thrill with an area canopy tour. There are several zip lining courses within an hour or two of Atlanta that offer opportunities for the whole family. While some courses are reserved for teens and adults, we found several that accommodate younger children and can provide a day of high-flying family fun.
Historic Banning Mills
The Deal : Located in a gorge on the banks of the Snake River in Carroll County (about 45 minutes from Atlanta), Banning Mills is the oldest zip course in the area. And, according to Guinness World Records, it’s also the longest and largest zip line Canopy Tour in the world. The Forest Tour is their Level 1 course is open to those 8 and older. With nine lines and a sky bridge, it’s a great introduction to zip lining.
Cost: $49.00 per person
Availability: Open daily year-round. Call 770-834-9149 for reservations.
The Fine Print: Children must be 8 years old and at least 50 pounds to do the Forest Tour. The more advanced tours are available to those 10 and up and weigh more than 90 pounds. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance.
Especially Cool: If you want to make a weekend out of it, you can stay overnight in the lodge or a family cabin. There’s also a swimming pool, mini golf course, nature trails and a “Birds of Prey” show available to guests!
Lake Lanier Canopy Tours
The Deal: One of the newest additions to the Lake Lanier Islands Resort, Lake Lanier Canopy Tours is the only tour in the area that takes you through treetops and soaring above lovely Lake Lanier. There are four tours to choose from. The Legacy Tour is the most popular choice for families since it is appropriate for children as young as 8 and lasts about 1.5-2 hours. It includes seven zip lines and two sky bridges and is designed to keep you in the treetops the entire tour.
Cost: $60.00 per person
Availability: Open daily year-round. Call for 678-622-3990 for reservations.
The Fine Print: Children must be 8 years old and at least 50 pounds for most of their courses. Children must be 10 or older for the more advanced tours. Reservations are highly recommended. Tour price does not include Lake Lanier Island’s gate charge of $10 per vehicle.
Especially Cool: It’s another great weekend getaway destination. It’s located next door to lodging and all the attractions of Lake Lanier Islands—including LanierWorld water park, golfing, boating and other activities.
The Deal: New to Gwinnett County, this family-friendly zip course is a great introduction to ziplining for kids as young as four. Courses are set up for different age groups: the Chick’Pea course is for 4-6 year old and kids 7-11 have access to Levels 1, 2 and 3. Adults and children over 12 can try out two additional levels. All are self-guided and you can stay and play up to 2 ½ hours.
Cost: $22-44 for children (depending on age), $49 for adults
Availability: Varies with the season. In general, open weekends only except for June and July and school breaks. Available to groups only December-February.
The Fine Print: Children and teens under 18 must be under constant supervision of an adult (participating or non-participating) in the ratio of 1 adult for every 3 participating minors. Non-participating adults may supervise from the ground. Reservations are not required, but it is recommended that you buy your tickets in advance online to ensure a spot.
Especially Cool: Part of the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, you can also visit family-friendly exhibits focused on the environment and nature. Admission to the Center is separate.
The Deal: Located in Helen, this family-friendly zip line course is available to kids who weigh 50 pounds (minimum age 7). However, if your 6 year old is 45 pounds, they will work with you to make his or her ziplining dreams come true. The even smaller set can try out The Terminator Little Zip course so long as they can safely fit into a harness. The Moonshine Canopy Tour includes a ride in a military transport vehicle (that may just have your little guy talking for days) and four zip lines. Try the Goldmine Tour a canopy tour and a trip down into an old gold mine.
Cost: $20-99 depending on tour
Availability: Open daily year-round. Call 706-878-9477 for reservations.
The Fine Print: Reservations are not required, but highly recommended. As with most companies, you must sign a waiver to participate.
Especially Cool: It’s located just outside of Helen, a delightfully cheesy Bavarian-themed village. ZipNTime also offers ATV rides. All of their tours incorporate the history of the area.
Where does your fam get their adrenaline fix? Tell us below!