Playgrounds with ziplines are the gold standard according to young adventurous kiddos. The children’s version of a zipline works with gravity and a pretty shallow incline to keep the speed in check while keeping the squeals of joy audible. We’ve rounded up a handful of parks with these screech-inducing pulley systems from all across the Bay Area. Let us know your favorite zipline playgrounds in the comments!
Longer and higher ziplines are available for traversing treetops to more thrill-seeking families if you’re willing to drive a few hours.
Adventure Playground, Berkeley
Located near the Berkeley Marina, in the midst of the famed Adventure Playground, a city-run playground that offers paint and tools to children to use while there, this zipline looks like it was built by the kids from The Sandlot. Kids climb up a rickety platform, hold on, and take a speedy ride into a pile of sand and dirt. The crash can be intimidating, but most kids seem to think it’s worth the thrill.
Ages: The zipline is available to kids 6 and up. Adults are welcome, too, but the last time I did it, I filled my jeans with sand.
Location: 160 University Ave, Berkeley
Oakland Zoo, Oakland
Take the gondola up to the California Trail, the newest addition to the beloved Oakland Zoo, and you’ll find a zipline at the playground near the bears. The lines can get long, and little kids will need help holding on, but that’s pretty much the norm with ziplines. Rumor has it, this zipline is currently closed.
Ages: Little ones with supervision ok, adults are welcome.
Cost: Price of admission to Zoo ($20-$24 per person), or free with membership.
Location: 9777 Golf Links Rd, Oakland
Jean Sweeney Open Space Park, Alameda
A newer park in Alameda, Jean Sweeney Open Space Park has a super fun zipline that your bigger kids will love. Kids under 5 may need you to hold onto them just in case since the kick-back at halfway point can be rough. Bring along scooters and bikes to enjoy on the flat, long path through the park.
Ages: 5+ can hold on themselves, I hold my 3-year-old and run with her
Location: 1925 Sherman Street, Alameda
Woodstock Park, Alameda
A newly refurbished park, Woodstock Park in Alameda has a Woodstock Park has a zipline along with platform swings and a giant rope climbing structure.
Ages: Ages 3+ should be fine with close supervision. The zipline has a solid seat and doesn’t feel too high off the ground for younger ones.
Location: 350 Cypress Street, Alameda
San Lorenzo Community Park, San Lorenzo
A park that’s been renovated recently with so much to occupy your kids. It’s huge! There’s a large duck pond, sports courts, climbing structures, and yes, a super-duper zipline. Read more about San Lorenzo Park.
Location: 1970 Via Buena Vista, San Lorenzo
Elm Playlot at Pogo Park, Richmond
Sutherland Park, Napa
About an hour from Berkeley, this is a great one to keep in your back pocket if you happen to be in the North Bay with your family. Seek out Sutherland Park for a smooth zipline with a seat (that’s even adult-friendly if you’re up for it). As of writing this, neighborhood scuttlebutt says the zipline is being repaired but should be back soon.
Location: 1563 Baywood Lane, Napa
Stafford Lake Park, Novato
45 minutes from Berkeley, Novato is a lot of fun in its own right. Maybe you’ve already caught some major air at the epic Stafford Lake Bike Park, but there are lots more play structures there to discover. There’s the Adventure Playground, where there’s a zip track to try. Then there’s also the intriguing Hammock Village, with twenty-two hammocks, a bird nest swing, and another cool zipline.
Ages: The zip track at the Adventure Playground was designed for ages 5 to 12. Children hold on from their hands to zip along. The zipline at Hammock Village can be used with well-supervised younger kids and older ones depending on posted weight limits.
Cost: $5-$10 for parking.
Location: 3549 Novato Boulevard, Novato
Rancho San Ramon Community Park, San Ramon
About 40 minutes from Berkeley, Rancho San Ramon Park has a fabulous playground with a diverse assortment of climbing equipment includes a sleek zipline that is welcoming to kids as young as three, with assistance. For folks in the (510), the drive may be long, but parking is a dream and the bathroom is clean. There’s also a splash pad open in the summer. Make a day of it!
Ages: Recommended for 5+
Location: 2000 Rancho Park Loop Road, San Ramon
Canopy tours & Bay Area adventure ziplining
If you’re looking to step up your family’s adventure game and want some serious ziplining, like the kind that takes you through the Costa Rican rain forest canopies, there are several options to check out within a couple of hours drive of the East Bay.
Quarry Park Adventures, Rocklin
About two hours from the East Bay, schedule this adventure as an epic day trip. Whitney took her middle school-aged daughter and friend to experience the ropes course at Quarry Park in the Sacramento area. Quarry Park is primarily a ropes course built inside the walls of a 60-foot deep granite quarry, with climbing, rappelling, and ziplining.
Age & Weight: Kids ages 10+ who weigh at least 70 pounds can access the ropes course, while kids between 45 and 75 pounds can play at the Kidz Kove playground and try specific routes on the Quarry (including the zipline, free fall, and rock climbing) with their grown-up.
Location: 5373 Pacific Street, Rocklin
Sonoma Zipline Adventures, Occidental
About 90 minutes from Berkeley, file this adventure under “special occasion”. Check out the Tree Tops Tour where you’ll reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour while experiencing breathtaking views of the majestic Redwood forest. Maybe the perfect birthday gift experience for your thrill-seeking kiddo?
Age & Weight: Kids ages 10+ who weigh at least 70 pounds may participate.
Location: 6250 Bohemian Highway, Occidental
Mount Herman Adventures, Felton
Drive south for about two hours and enjoy an incredible zipline through the beautiful redwood forests of the Santa Cruz mountains. Mount Herman Adventures allows you to try several different zipline trips among the treetops. Try a two-hour eco-adventure that includes six ziplines and two sky bridges at heights of up to 150 feet.
Age & Weight: Kids ages 10+ who are at least 52 inches AND weigh at least 75 pounds may participate.
Location: 17 Conference Drive, Felton