Driving on Route 72 in Manahawkin this summer, you might be surprised to see people gliding on zip lines in front of the Holiday Inn. No, those aren’t utility workers gone wild. Rather, they are patrons of the Mainland Adventure Park, a new family-oriented attraction about 10 minutes inland of Long Beach Island.
The Adventure Park, which opened in early July, features a go-kart track, dozens of aerial activities, a 50-foot climbing wall and a 297-foot-long zip-line course. “There’s nothing like it around here,” assures assistant general manager Sam Stewart as he shows off the facility.
The park centers around a 50-foot-tall wooden tower erected in what used to be a grassy field between the Holiday Inn and Route 72. From the tower, adventurers can step off onto a ropes course with more than 40 elements, including a climbing net, log bridge and a particularly challenging swinging-ropes section. All participants are strapped into a safety harness to prevent falls.
The zip-line course also starts at the climbing tower; ithas three short sections out and one long section back. As zip-liners soar overhead, go-karts zip around their own winding course below. The electric-powered go-karts pack a 9-horsepower wallop and can travel up to 16 miles per hour around the curvy, well-banked 1,016-foot track.(This cautious driver did 10 laps in seven minutes.)
The park also has arcade games and picnic benches where guests can bring food and drinks from the neighboring Mainland Bar & Grill, just outside the newly renovated Holiday Inn.
Adult admission to the park (not including go-karts) is $45 for two hours. Participants must have a 60-inch reach to use the zip-line course. Children up to 10 with at least a 46-inch reach are admitted for $29 (with a chaperone) and can use the easier, lower tier of the ropes course.
Individual go-kart races go for $10. Single-kart drivers must be at least 4-foot-8; double-kart drivers must be 17 or older and at least 4-foot-8. Double-kart passengers can be up to 4-foot-7.
The park, located at 151 Route 72 East, is open seven days a week. Aerial activities are available from 9 am–8 pm (with the last aerial adventure entry at 6 pm). Go-karts are open 9 am–8 pm. For further information, call 609-481-6100 or visit themainlandnj.com.
Local entrepreneur Chris Vernon owns the Adventure Park and the Holiday Inn; he also owns the nearby Mallard Island Yacht Club, Bonnet Island Estate, the Boat Yard beer garden at the Causeway Marina, and the newly opened Hotel LBI—all of which are arrayed along Route 72.Click here to leave a comment