The Forge: Lemont Quarries opened its 300-acre adventure park last year and saved kids from ants-in-their-pants-level restlessness amid social distancing mandates. Located just over 20 miles from Chicago, the park features the largest aerial adventure course in North America and gives you access to four over-water ziplines, 5 miles of hiking trails, mountain biking, paddlesports, and a dedicated kids’ zone. This year, they’ve expanded their accessibility options for families with differing needs and have added family programming like movie nights, camps and biking classes. Sit back, read on and make a plan to pay them a visit.
Two Towers Adventure Kids Activity Zone
Adrenaline-rush-seeking kids will spend the bulk of their time pretending to be spiderman as they climb their way up more than 12 feet in safety-netted structures, crushing more than 30 fun elements in the Two Towers Adventure. They will sleep well after a day of conquering the climbing nets, ziplines and balance beams.
This spot is also a great place to host a birthday experience that includes use of the space, outdoor adventure games and more, more, more!
Eight Towers Adventure
The Forge is flexing with the largest aerial challenge course in the country, Eight Towers Adventure. At the center of this 10-acre showpiece are 5 stand-alone Hex Towers, interconnected by 2 miles of ziplines, multiple rappelling stations and more than 260 high ropes course elements spread across 15 ariel adventure trails. Again with the flex, the Hex Towers are connected to the three tallest climbing, rappelling and ziplining towers in the U.S.
The most epic tower is Skyscraper Tower, which reaches 120-feet into the sky and offers views of the Chicago cityscape and 'burbs. The ziplines accessible from this tower reach speeds of 30 miles per hour.
Spend a few peaceful hours on the water at The Forge: Lemont Quarries, which is located in the middle of the Heritage Quarries Recreation Area, home to seven beautiful quarry lakes. Rent canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and the associated safety gear—or bring your own.
Tactical Laser Tag
Way less painful and expensive than paintball, tactical laser tag is a great way for kids ages 8 & up to experience the thrill of laser tag in the great outdoors. They offer more than 30 games, including a range of mission-based games that require teamwork to accomplish a common goal.
New and experienced riders can take advantage of the region's most rad skills course and pump tracks. Rent a bike or haul your own.
Digital Adventure Games
Part escape room, part scavenger hunt, the Digital Adventure Games provide outdoor augmented reality adventures for groups of 2-20. Games can be played in an hour and 15 minutes and you can choose to walk, bike or run your way through the park while you play.
NEW! Expanded Accessibility Options
The Forge is working hard to be accessible to families with differing needs. They are one of the few outdoor adventure parks in the country that accommodates disabilities with the addition of new adaptive technology. Within the Eight Towers Adventure, the first level of Hex Tower 5 has a system of cantilever arms that ensure guests of all abilities can interact with the same course elements. The East X tower allows guests to be elevated to the top of the 54' tower and transferred to the 1,000-foot-tall zipline where they can soar over the quarry.
In terms of water sports, they have single kayaks and canoes equipped with specialized seats, outriggers and adaptive handles with a specialized dock to transfer individuals from assistive devices to the water.
You can also reserve a recumbent trike for guests who are unable to ride a traditional bike as their 3 wheels make them easier to balance and pedal.
Dine outdoors from a rotating menu with beautiful views of the Lemont Quarries as your backdrop at Forgefire Adventure Dining.
Summer 2021 Programming
Karaoke at The Mount — Sing your heart out every other Thursday, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., or enjoy the local talent.
Trivia at The Foundry — Flex your knowledge and take in the sweet views of the quarry with free trivia nights on The Foundry Deck.
Yoga at The Mount — Connect with the great outdoors with yoga sessions on Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m.-10 a.m., June-September.
Music & Movies in the Park — The Forge will host a series of concerts and family-approved movie screenings throughout the summer.
Mountain Biking Courses — On Tuesdays and Thursday evenings, June-August, sign up for a 4-week course covering everything from mountain biking basics to tips and tricks for riding stronger and more safely.
Quarry Camps - It's summer camp season and this camp keeps your kids active, engaged and outside! Camps are held June-August and feature exhilarating recreational activities, STEM and environmental education opportunities and a team development program.
Annual membership for ages 14 & up is $325, $285 for ages 13 & under. Membership gives you free access to ropes courses, climbing towers, ziplines, bouldering park, the Kid's Zone, paddlesports, mountain bike skills and pump tracks, non-ticketed concerts, events and festivals, special sneak peeks and early access and members-only hours. In addition, you receive 5% off ticketed special events and 10% off retail, food & beverage, group classes and ticketed music and film fests.
- If you are fully vaccinated, you do not near to wear a mask while at The Forge, this includes employees. The one exception is in locations where children are present, like the Two Towers Adventure, masks are mandatory. Stay up-to-date on the latest guidelines on their dedicated Covid-19 page.
- It's important to note that swimming is not permitted in the Heritage Quarries Recreation Area or The Forge: Lemont Quarries.
THE FORGE: LEMONT QUARRIES
Hours: Memorial Day-Sep., daily 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
1001 Main St. Lemont
Schedule your visit today by visiting forgeparks.com/visit.
— Maria Chambers