My kids love going on adventures, and recently discovered adventure courses. We were excited to hear that a local course had opened up last year at Thacher Park, WildPlay. It’s not too far of a drive from the Albany, NY area and you can make a day of it by bringing some food and visiting Thacher Park or other local attractions.
We planned a trip to WildPlay on a Saturday, and reservations are recommended (which you can do right online). We did not make an online reservation, so we got there early in hopes that we would get there first (and I could see no one had booked their first 10am slot).
WildPlay Thacher is located within Thacher Park in Voorheesville, NY. We found it in Google Maps and it took us right to the specific entrance. There is actually a sign after the entrance in case you missed it (that tells you to turn around). We were glad to see that the entrance was labeled well, since despite many trips to Thacher Park, we had never been to the adventure course.
We arrived at the parking lot and the check-in building. There is plenty of parking, and even when we left, there were spots available despite there being quite a few more people including a birthday party.
The employees were very helpful and got us set up quickly. I recommend getting there early (before your reservation time or before the time you want to start) so that you can have time to get set up, sign waivers, etc.
The staff had our kids measure to see what courses are most appropriate for them (“Check Your Reach”). The Classic Course is for kids 4’8″ and taller, because you are able to reach the obstacles better. It was nice that they actually checked this, as we have done other courses where my younger had to really struggle to get from one obstacle to another because in reality she was just too short.
It was nice that WildPlay Thacher also has restrooms that folks can use before they start the course. Have the kids use the restroom before they put on their harnesses!
Since my younger daughter is not 4’8″, she did the Kids Adventure Course.
For my older daughter who is 11, the Classic Adventure course is larger and also takes longer to complete. The kids start with a training on how to use their carabiner and other equipment, and there is always a guide to help you along the course.
The whole time you are on the course, you are wearing a harness, and a carabiner (metal loop) is hooked on a safety line, and there is always a guide with you (on the ground, but they can come up to the course if needed).
After being trained, it was time to start the real course. The obstacles start low and gradually get higher and harder.
There were all kinds of obstacles, from nets to ropes to platforms.
Amongst all the obstacles were plenty of ziplines too, which the kids said were one of their favorite parts.
The Classic Course took about 1.5 hours, and the Kids Adventure Course took a little less, although it depends on the individual doing the course as well.
After the kids did their courses, they did the “What’s to Fear” jump.
This jump is 40′ off the ground, and they loved it!
The kids had fun at WildPlay, and it was nice to have something different to do. We enjoyed a cooler morning, but I think it would even be nice on warmer days, since the tree canopy provides a lot of shade. Plus after you finish at WildPlay, there is plenty to do in the area, like visit Thacher Park, hike Vroman’s Nose, visit Altamont or Indian Ladder Farms, etc.
What to bring:
~ check their website “Rules of Play” – you’ll want to tie back hair, etc
~ wear good, comfy, appropriate shoes and clothing – we also brought a change of clothes in case the kids clothes got wet on the course (since it had just rained)
~ eat beforehand as your course or activities can run several hours
~ we went on a rainy morning and the mosquitos were out, so it can’t hurt to be prepared. I think the wet weather brought out the bugs, but it can’t hurt to be prepared!