SOAR Adventure Tower

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The new SOAR Adventure Tower in Franklin is a lot of fun — and it's quite a challenge both mentally and physically!

It didn’t take long for my pulse to beat faster and faster, producing beads of nervous sweat on my forehead while standing at the top of one of the platforms contemplating my courage at the new SOAR Adventure Tower in Franklin.

SOAR-GuitarsI eventually made it across the first aerial obstacle, which felt like a major accomplishment given my inherent fear of heights. SOAR features four levels of varying heights — the highest is more than 45 feet — with more than 120 obstacle challenges (the staff refers to them as “games”) ranging from balance beams, a tightrope, wobbly bridges, cargo nets, rock-wall panels and more. There’s even a surfboard attached to cables for gliding if you’re so daring.

SOAR-tightropeIt’s the only structure of its kind in North America and is designed by Germany’s KristallTurm. It features solid safety equipment — the harness includes two safety cables ensuring you’re always connected to the tower whether you’re experiencing one of the challenges or waiting.

The ground level includes 19 games especially for youngsters ages 4 – 7 who are within 3’6” and 4’9” tall. Moms and dads can easily stand alongside their little ones on this level to offer encouragement. The higher levels are for ages 7 and older who reach a height of 5’5” with their arms stretched upward.

SOAR-tiresThis is a mind-blowing experience that pushes your physical strength and mental dexterity, and it’s a ton of fun once you conquer your initial fear factor — if you have one. I find it easier to cross obstacles by not looking down once gaining my footing, and of course, there are lots of fearless kids who effortlessly skip across most of the games. It’s helpful to start with games on the lower level and work your way up, and the games are color coded by level of difficulty. Start with the easier ones to build confidence and get the overall feel of the structures moving obstacles. Here’s the deal: SOAR isn’t a cheap outing. It’ll cost a family of four nearly $200, so keep that in mind in case anyone’s prone to chicken out once you’ve paid and are on the tower.

SOAR Adventure Tower is located at 3794 Carothers Pkwy., Franklin. Hours are Mon – Thu 12 – 9 p.m., Fri 12 – 10 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Sun 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Admission is $45 adults, $40 ages 6 – 17, $35 ages 4 – 5. Memberships are available that give you a $15 discount on return visits. For more info, call 615-721-5103 or visit soaradventure.com.

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Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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