Labor Day has come and gone, and we find ourselves in seasonal limbo: it doesn’t really feel like summer, but it’s not quite fall either. The kids are back in school, everyone’s settling back in to the hectic school-year routine, and the holidays will be here before we know it—so why not get outdoors for a little family fun.
SOAR Adventure Tower in Franklin, Tennessee offers a breathtaking escapade for children and adults alike. The littles will enjoy putt putting their way through the Music City-inspired, 18-hole mini golf course, while those who are able to reach a height of 5′ 5″ (while standing flat on the ground with arms extended upward) can embark on an interactive aerial ropes adventure, complete with more than 110 music-themed climbing elements. It starts with a ground level adventure for ages 4 to 7, and goes all the way up to the “Level 3” tower, a whopping 45 feet in the sky.
Owner Kevin Vanderkolk, a father of five who relocated to Franklin via Milwaukee, was researching family-centered businesses when he fell in love with the tower concept. “It’s such a great experience because my little kids could enjoy it and push their limits and be safe yet there are many obstacles that challenge me as an active adult at the same time,” he says. “Being active with your family is so important and this experience is a perfect for quality time together where everyone can be engaged.”
If it all sounds a little daunting, rest assured that while the course may indeed take your breath away, SOAR Adventure Tower employs the FallStop Adventure Safe Link SSB system, the most advanced belay system on the market that’s designed specifically for high ropes courses and aerial adventure parks. The system is set up with a series of interconnected carabineers; ensuring climbers are never detached from the safety lines at any time while on the tower.
“A lot of people are scared at first and even hesitate to even try because it can be intimidating,” adds Vanderkolk. “Its actually very safe and you get to pick which obstacles you want to try. Most people that are afraid of heights do very well and walk away feeling like they accomplished something.”
Not sure you’re ready for the full ropes course challenge? The Twilight Climb is a great way to test your footing. Visitors can purchases discounted tickets during the last two hours before the park closes. It’s not enough time to master all the levels, but it is plenty of time to create your own adventure, big or small, complemented, with any luck, by a spectacular Tennessee sunset.
And while SOAR certainly makes a great family outing, Vanderkolk says it works just as well for date night, or company and team building events, too.
SOAR Adventure Tower
3794 Carothers Pkwy.
Tuesday to Thursday: 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday: 1:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. -10:00 p.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
*The schedule is subject to weather closings, but typically stays open through December. If the weather is nice during January and February they’ll open up on the weekends. Regular hours resume in March.