Low-Key Thrill Seek as a Family at The Forge: Lemont Quarries

Editor’s note: We’re making every effort to provide you with the most up-to-date information. However, the situation with Covid-19 is fluid and ever-changing. Please be sure to check with The Forge directly on the accuracy of procedures and availability of activities before booking a visit. Stay safe!

Are you fresh out of ideas for safe social-distancing-approved activities for the family? Just as the kids were likely hitting ants-in-their-pants-level restlessness, The Forge: Lemont Quarries (aka The Forge) opens their 300-acre adventure park, 22 miles from downtown Chicago. Not only does the park feature the largest aerial adventure course in North America, a day of adventuring gives you access to four over-water ziplines, 5 miles of hiking trails, mountain biking, paddlesports, and a dedicated kids’ zone—while adhering to state Covid-19 safety guidelines. Sit back, read on and let the photos do the talking.


If you have adventure-seeking kids ages 3-13, this is where you’ll spend the bulk of your time. They can spiderman their way up more than 12 feet in safety-netted structures and crush more than 30 fun elements. They’ll sleep well after a day of conquering the climbing nets, ziplines and balance beams.

This spot is also a great place to host a birthday experience that includes use of the space, outdoor adventure games and more, more, more!

Entry to the Kids Activity Zone is included with day passes and memberships and the use of helmets and harnesses is not required.


The Forge is flexing with the largest aerial challenge course in the country. At the center of this 10-acre showpiece are 5 stand-alone Hex Towers, interconnected by 2 miles of ziplines, multiple rappelling stations and more than 260 high ropes course elements spread across 15 ariel adventure trails. Again with the flex, the Hex Towers are connected to the three tallest climbing, rappelling and ziplining towers in the U.S.


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The most epic tower is Skyscraper Tower, which reaches 120-feet into the sky and offers views of the Chicago cityscape and ‘burbs. The ziplines accessible from this tower reach speeds of 30 miles per hour.


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Spend a few peaceful hours on the water at The Forge: Lemont Quarries, which is located in the middle of the Heritage Quarries Recreation Area, home to seven beautiful quarry lakes. Rent canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and the associated safety gear—or bring your own. Rental of equipment is included with memberships, day passes and single activity passes. All-day Paddlesports access is $35.


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For families with special needs, The Forge Quarry is ADA compliant and includes adaptive equipment to facilitate access for guests of all abilities.


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It’s important to note that swimming is not permitted in the Heritage Quarries Recreation Area or The Forge: Lemont Quarries.


Way less painful and expensive than paintball, tactical laser tag is a great way for kids ages 8 & up to experience the thrill of laser tag in the great outdoors. They offer more than 30 games, including a range of mission-based games that require teamwork to accomplish a common goal. Laser tag is $25 for a 90-minute session.


New and experienced riders can take advantage of the region’s most rad skills course and pump tracks. Rent a bike or haul your own. Access to the course and tracks is included with memberships, day passes or single activity passes. The single activity pass for mountain biking is $35 if you rent a bike, $15 if you bring your own.


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Part escape room, part scavenger hunt, the AR Adventure Games provide outdoor augmented reality adventures for groups of 2-200. Games can be played in 60-minute or 120-minute versions on foot or bike. The per person fee is $25 for an hour, $30 for two hours.


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It’s understandable with current circumstances to feel safer eating outside in the fresh air a safe distance from fellow diners, which is perfect because that’s exactly what you do at Forgefire Adventure Dining.

They worked with expert chefs and catering partners—you’ll find an exclusive On the Ropes craft beer created in partnership with Pollyanna Brewery—to create an unforgettable outdoor dining experience overlooking The Forge Quarry with firepits ablaze. The Foundry stocks convenient on-the-go healthy food options and seating for 150 guests, following state guidelines on distancing. Dining is available Friday-Sunday, through October.


Beginning in 2021, they’ll be adding a summer concert series, music fests, film fests, athletic events and a race series.


A Founding Membership for ages 14 & up is $225 and $185 for ages 13 & under. Membership gives you free access to ropes courses, climbing towers, ziplines, bouldering park, the Kid’s Zone, paddlesports, mountain bike skills and pump tracks, non-ticketed concerts, events and festivals, special sneak peeks and early access and members-only hours. In addition, you receive 50% off 2 guests passes per year, 15% off ticketed special events and 10% off retail, food & beverage, group classes and ticketed music and film fests.


  • The Forge is following evidence-based strategies to keep their guests healthy, including adhering to physical distancing guidelines, use of PPE for guests and staff, increased hygiene and sanitation procedures and disinfection of common and high-traffic areas.
  • Face masks are required when mobile in the park, and encouraged at all times. Gloves and head coverings are also required on all attractions. If you do not have your own face masks, head coverings and/or gloves, these items are available for purchase at check-in.
  • All attractions have specific start times, with no more than 10 guests allowed to congregate in the same location at the same time. Virtual queuing is used to manage wait times and queues are demarcated so each guest adheres to the recommended 6-feet-apart distancing measures.
  • For dining, tables are arranged so guests stay 8-10 feet apart and reservations must be made ahead of time.
  • All activities and dining are paid for on a cashless operation. You may use a credit card, Tap & Pay and Google Pay.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest guidelines on their dedicated Covid-19 page.

1001 Main St. Lemont
Schedule your visit today by visiting forgeparks.com/visit.

— Maria Chambers


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