PLEASE NOTE: This post was written in 2016, and while it should still give you a good overview of the experience, it is also possible that it may contain some outdated information. Please check their website for the most current information, especially about things like schedules and pricing.
Thank you to It Adventure Indoor Ropes Course for giving my family complimentary admission so that I could write this post. All opinions are 100% my own.
What if I told you that Connecticut is now home to the world’s largest indoor ropes course? That is pretty mind-blowing, right? Now what if I told you that this ropes course is located inside a furniture store? What?! But it’s true! Jordan’s Furniture in New Haven, CT is now home to the new It Adventure Indoor Ropes Course. Last weekend my family checked out this unique destination. And today, I’m going to “show you the ropes” so to speak 🙂
Having opened in December of 2015, the It Adventure Ropes Course is still a newcomer on the CT scene. But its popularity is growing just about as fast as its four 200-foot zip lines woosh climbers from one end of the giant building to the other.
Fortunately for us, it was relatively quiet on the Sunday morning we visited. Jordan’s Furniture is located just down the street from one of my other favorite New Haven destinations: Ikea. You can’t miss this signage, and there’s a HUGE parking lot.
As you can see, there is also a pizza place AND an ice cream shop here. Those are both located in the actual ropes course, so it’s very convenient to come for the course, then stay for lunch and a treat.
You enter through the Jordan’s Furniture store.
The It Adventure Ropes Course is all the way at the back of the store.
It’s a beautiful store, by the way. Right now they have all their outdoor furniture on display in the main area and I pretty much wanted to take home one of everything. How cute are these table sets/accessories?
But wait. What are we here for? Oh right. Ropes course. Focus, Shawna, focus 🙂
And here It is.
High over everything…that’s the ropes course! It’s wild. People are walking around above you, zip lining from one side to the other, “free-falling” from platforms. And the whole time a carefully choreographed sound and light show is going on, the centerpiece of which is this fountain that changes in time to the music.
It’s really quite spectacular.
The first thing you’ll want to do is buy your tickets. There is a counter immediately to your right as you enter.
The admission pricing is a little confusing at first, so I’m going to walk you through it. There are 3 main areas. Two of them are for adults and children at least 42 inches tall. These are the It and Climb It areas. The third area is the Little It course, which is designed for children under 48 inches. The other important piece of information is that you must be at least 48 inches tall to climb on the big ropes course alone. Children between 42 and 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.
Are you with me? Great. Now for the tricky part.
There are a few different “tickets” you can buy (which are actually wristbands and not tickets at all).
- Admission to the It ropes course, which includes a ride on any of the 4 200-foot zip lines (Zip It). $25
- Admission to the It ropes course, which includes a ride on any of the 4 200-foot zip lines (Zip It) PLUS the Jump It “free fall” exit. $30
- Admission to Climb It, which allows you 4 climbs on any of the structures in that area. $10
- Admission to Little It for children under 48″ tall. $8
The important thing to remember is that even though you will get a wristband, each admission is only good for one time on each activity. So you can only climb on the It or Little It ropes course ONE TIME. Once you exit, you cannot go back in (unless, of course, you pay admission again). There is no time limit on how long you can stay in the course (which is awesome), but once you are done, you are done.
So make sure the kids are fed, take a potty break, whatever you need to do. Because once they come off, that’s it. (UPDATE: 6/10/16: One of our wonderful readers let us know that there is a bathroom exit/reentry area in the big ropes course–yay! See comments section below for details.)
I have to say that although I completely understand this approach for safety, fairness and making sure that everyone gets a turn, not to mention managing the crowds since there are only so many people who can be up on the course at one time, I would like to think they would make an exception for the Little It course if you ever had a real toddler “emergency” like an unanticipated potty break. Not to mention that little kids can be so unpredictable, especially if they are trying something new. I can’t tell you how many times my children have absolutely HATED something for the first five minutes. Totally loathed it, refused to do it, cried, complained, the whole nine yards. And then after we sat for a few moments and they thought about it, well, they were ready for round two and wouldn’t you know it was like their favorite thing ever that time! So hopefully the staff will be understanding in those situations and let you have a do-over. Everyone seemed very nice and accommodating when we were there 🙂
Anyway, I step down from my soapbox….
So our first stop was the admissions desk where we got our wristbands and figured out what activities we would do that day. As it turned out, I was pleasantly surprised by how much my (42 inch tall) 5-year-old would be able to participate in. I had thought he would only qualify for the Little It course, but turns out he was able to try the whole shebang!
The little guy didn’t make the height cut-off, obviously. So we decided to start at the Little It course where he would be hanging out for the most part.
This course may only be a few feet off the ground, but it’s the real deal! The kiddos get to wear a real harness and everything. And don’t worry, you will not have to get them into the harness. The trained staff will make sure everything is properly fitted.
I should stop to mention that closed toe shoes are required for all of these activities. If you forget, don’t despair though. They have a selection of Crocs that you can borrow.
Off they go!
For this course, parents need to walk alongside their kiddos (or at least stay in the general vicinity of them). Look for the sections that say “LIFT” on them. You can pop those up and get into the middle of the course if you need to stay right alongside your little one.
The cables are attached to the framework in an ingenious way that lets the kids continue from one bridge to another, turn corners, reverse and go back, without ever having to unhook their cables. In fact, the big ropes course is like that too. Once you are hooked in, you are in for the duration. And the cables are attached to the harnesses in two places, one of which is with a keyed lock that only the staff can open. So you know they will be safe up there.
We could definitely have stayed on the Little It course for quite some time, but I knew we’d have to move along if we were going to get to everything. So next stop was the Climb It area.
This area has five different climbing challenges, and admission includes 4 climbs on any of them. Again, the kiddos are strapped into harnesses by the trained staff members.
After the look on his face right here (stern, contemplative) I was pretty sure he was not going to go for this. Boy was I wrong!
He did have a bit of a scare early on when he wanted to come down but was afraid to let go of the wall (the cable has resistance to it, so it lets you down gently–he just didn’t know it yet!). Well, one of the wonderful staff members climbed right up the wall after him and helped him down so he could see that there was nothing to be afraid of. How sweet is that?
And after that, there was no fear 🙂
He even got a little boost from his new friend while climbing that giant ball thing-y (technical term).
This area was especially great because of the one-on-one attention. If your kiddo is new to climbing, this is a perfect place to try it out because there are “helpers” here to make sure they develop confidence and have fun.
Meanwhile, the little guy enjoyed some ice cream while he watched his older brother conquer these crazy climbing challenges. He seemed to be content with that 🙂
After we finished Climb It, I was still fairly certain that my boy was not going to be up for a trip around the stratosphere. Wrong again! Good thing daddy was up for the challenge.
Note that you need to empty your pockets when you go up on the ropes course. Fortunately, there are lockers here so you can stash your belongings safely if you need to.
Honestly, he didn’t go very far up there (but I was so proud that he even tried it!). This area was one of the lower points in the course, and I think it was plenty for him. One thing I did clarify before he went up there, was if he would have to ride the zip line to get from one side to the other (at 200 feet long and 45 feet in the air, it was a little more adventure than he was ready for).
The good news is that you do not have to ride the zip line if you don’t want to. There are bridges that go all the way across the building and since there is no set path–you just go whatever way you want to–there is no need to ride the zip line in order to reach any part of the course. You also do not have to exit with this terrifying Jump It (okay, so maybe it’s only terrifying for me, but you remember how freaked out I was in that observation tower at the Pequot Museum last month!). You can just go right back down the stairs the way you came in. That’s great news for those of us with small children and/or an intense fear of falling 🙂
Since I can’t resist a visit to my all-time favorite pizza place when I am in New Haven, we didn’t stay for lunch and dessert. But it’s super that they have all these food options available here. It really makes it into a day trip worthy activity.
Before we headed out, I couldn’t resist one more turn around the furniture store. I want this wine rack!
And I found my big almost 6-year-old playing with a mirror, just like he used to do when he was one year old 🙂
In some ways he is so grown up (hello giant wall climbing!) and in some ways he’s still my little boy. And that’s just how I like it 🙂
I hope you get a chance to check out the It Adventure Ropes Course with your little ones. They just might surprise you!
Fri & Sat: 10am-10pm
It and Zip It: $25 (Must be at least 42 inches tall)
It, Zip It, and Jump It: $30 (Must be at least 42 inches tall)
Little It: $8 (Must be under 48 inches tall)
Climb It: $10/4 climbs (Must be at least 42 inches tall)
The last tickets will be sold one hour prior to closing. Gift cards are available at the tickITs’ counter.
Please note that admission does not give you unlimited access to the ropes courses. There is no time limit to how long you can stay on the ropes course, but you are only allowed to enter the It and Little It ropes courses once per paid admission. Once you exit, you are not able to go back in unless you purchase admission again.
- Stroller Friendly: YES.
- Coffee Mug Friendly: YES.
- Baby Changing Station: YES.
- Restrooms: YES.
- Parking: YES. Tons of free parking.
- Food for Sale: YES. There is a pizza counter and an ice cream counter plus lots of tables and chairs to sit at. (No food or beverages allowed into the Jordan’s Furniture store.)
- Outside Food Allowed: I did not see a sign that said otherwise, so I’m going to go with YES.
- Cash Required: NO. The ropes course and the food can be paid for with credit cards. There is also am ATM there if you need it.
- Dress Code: Closed toe shoes are required for all climbing. If you forget your shoes, they have Crocs available to borrow. Also, be aware that you will have to empty your pockets to go up on the big ropes course. You may also want to leave any big jewelry items at home. I saw a sign that said “remove all jewelry”. I didn’t see them enforce it for small items (like wedding rings!), but I bet they wouldn’t want you up there with a giant bauble necklace 🙂
- Age Recommendation: Little It is great for toddlers (as soon as they are steady on their feet!). Must be at least 42 inches tall to go on either Climb It or the It ropes course (my almost three-year-old is not tall enough). Must be 48 inches tall to climb the It ropes course alone (42 inches to 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult). We definitely saw lots of elementary school age kids up there on the course. It’s high up, but if you’ve got adventurous kiddos, they will love it!
- Evening/Weekend Hours: YES.
- Birthday Party Venue: Not at this time.
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