Today’s Wednesday Activity Review is the Toledo Zoo Aerial Adventure Course. The Aerial Adventure Course was added for the summer of 2016. The Toledo Zoo hosted our visit in 2017 to facilitate this review. All opinions are ours. Logistical details have been updated for 2021.
The Expedition Africa! Aerial Adventure Course is located over the Africa! exhibit. You’ll get a birds eye view of the exhibit from the course.
Toledo Zoo Aerial Adventure Course
The Toledo Zoo Aerial Adventure Course features five activities
- Sky Bridge – Travel 30 feet above the Africa! exhibit in 3 sections that are each 250 feet long.
- Zipline – Start 80′ above the Africa! exhibit at the end of the Sky Bridge and soar 760′ back to the starting platform. You’ll fly over giraffes, wildebeests, watusi cattle, and more.
- Quick Jump – Descend 30′ from the main tower platform to the ground in a controlled descent.
- Flight Line – Take an 80′ plunge from the final tower to the ground. The plunge starts with a freefall before the controlled descent takes over for the last 40′.
- Challenge Course – The two middle towers on the Sky Bridge each include two levels of obstacles – rope bridges, swinging logs, climbing walls, and more.
Toledo Zoo Aerial Adventure Course Impressions
My daughter was thrilled at the chance to try out the Aerial Adventure Course. I approached the day with a bit of trepidation – including wondering why I didn’t wait until next summer when my daughter would be 12 and I could safely watch from the ground. I was encouraged by the fact that I would not have to do the more daring activities with her.
Check out the video from our visit and read below for more details:
Overall, my daughter had a blast and loved it. I had a great time on the Sky Bridge and Zipline. We definitely recommend the course to Ann Arbor families with daring tweens and teens. For the less brave (like me), the Sky Bridge and Zipline are good options.
Our adventure started with course preparation. We left everything in a locker – your pockets must be empty. The photos seen here were taken by staff members and the video is from staff and our GoPro rentals*.
Then it was time to gear up. They helped fit us with harnesses and helmets and attached our GoPro Videos. Once our gear was on, we started Ground School. We climbed the 30′ tower and received instructions on attaching ourselves to the guide cables and securely transfer from one cable to another. Then, we had a chance to practice on the stable platform.
*Note: GoPro rentals were available in 2017 when we experienced the course. They are no longer listed. Souvenir Phone Slings are available for purchase now ($12), so you may be able to bring your phone.
After our safety course, it was time for the Quick Jump from the platform to the ground. My daughter gladly stepped off the tower and began her descent. She was smiling the whole way and flashed a thumbs up when done.
Then it was my turn. I was ready and walked to the edge of the platform. Then, I froze. I could not make myself step off the ledge.
After the Quick Jump, we started across the Sky Bridge. Since it was not crowded, we were joined by a guide, Lexi. A guide usually joins groups and individuals when they are not crowded. When they are crowded, staff spreads out through the course and guests move from station to station.
The Sky Bridge was much easier for me. While the Sky Bridge was free floating, I felt secure since there were sides and I was clipped in to the cable. On the Sky Bridge, we had a great view of the Africa! exhibit.
Each of the two towers in the middle of the Sky Bridge has a two-level Challenge Course. The easiest challenge course is the first level of the first tower.
On the first tower, my daughter completed both levels with relative ease. On the second tower, she completed the tower level and went part way up the spiderweb to the second level. She found the climb difficult and the second level looked too challenging for her.
After reaching the last tower of the Sky Bridge, you climb (stairs) to the 80′ platform for the Flight Line and Zipline. If I couldn’t bring myself to do Quick Jump, I obviously wasn’t even going to attempt Flight Line. Of course my daughter was eager to try it, but finally showed a bit of trepidation. This was the first point on the course where we had to wait for a group of 4 in front of us to finish. When her turn came, she admitted to being nervous, but showed no hesitation in stepping off the platform.
She said she liked Flight Line, but that one time was enough. When she reached the bottom, she told the course employee she wasn’t looking forward to the 80′ climb back up for the zipline.
The zipline starts from the same 80′ platform as the Flight Line at the end of the Sky Bridge. It travels 760′ back to the start tower at 30′ high. We also had to wait for a group in front of us before we could leave on the Zipline.
I loved the zipline. I found it much easier than the Quick Jump since I transferred my weight to the line while over the platform. We had a great view of the Africa! exhibit as we traversed the zipline.
Tips for Toledo Zoo Aerial Adventure Course
- Dress appropriately for the weather and the harness. Avoid short shorts and tank tops. My shorts were a little too short and I had to adjust the harness a few times.
- All pockets must be empty and no gum chewing is allowed.
- Zip Pouches are provided for fast-acting medications like an Epi-Pen or an inhaler
- Use sunscreen. The course is in full sun.
- Bring water bottles with you and leave them in your locker for after the course
- Reserve your package online in advance especially on summer weekends when they are most crowded.
- Everyone in your party does not need to do the same package. The less daring can wait on the platform while the daring take on the Flight Line and Challenge Course
- Arrive early leaving time to park, enter the park and reach the exhibit.
- Get at least one GoPro* rental to document your trip.
- GoPro* rental includes an SD card to take home with your footage.
* Note: GoPro rental is no longer listed as an option on their site. It appears you can buy a souvenir phone sling. This may allow you to bring your phone on the course.
Visit the Toledo Zoo Aerial Adventure Course
In order to experience the Aerial Adventure Course, you must be between 70-250 lbs. An adult must accompany children under the age of 12 on the course. Don’t worry the adult does not have to brave everything the child does (or vice versa). I was able to stay on the sky bridge platform and wait while my daughter did the Challenge Course and the Flight Line.
For 2021, the Toledo Zoo Aerial Adventure Course operates Wednesday through Sunday through September 5. Signups begin at 10a each day at the course inside the zoo. Space is limited and available first-come, first-serve and is not guaranteed. Groups and private events of 10+ participants may reserve in advance at an additional fee.
The Zoo also opens at 10a. I recommend arriving to the zoo early to be among the first in line to enter and head straight to Africa to register for the aerial course.
The course will close in severe weather conditions – lighting, thunder, or high winds. The course remains open in rain.
New for 2021, the Aerial Adventure is included with your zoo admission except for the Flight Line. The Flight Line is an additional $15/guest. While the activities are mostly free now, they are limited capacity. Daily signups are available at the zoo at 10a each day.
Zoo admission is $22/adult (ages 12+) and $19/child (2-11). Parking is $8. If you plan to visit the zoo twice in a year, a membership may be a good choice. When my daughter was younger I bought a membership every year. For our family of 3, a dual membership with one named adult plus one guest and a one guest addon makes the most sense. It is just $5 more than a family membership and allows me to be the named adult and bring my husband and daughter, or my daughter and a friend.
Visit the Toledo Zoo
Your Aerial Adventure Course package includes zoo admission. After we finished on the course, we ate lunch and explored the zoo for the afternoon. Check out our 2015 Review of the Zoo.