Maybe it’s the promise of being airborne and getting a bird’s-eye view of forest canopies, park flora and fauna—or perhaps it’s a nod to our ever-shortening attention spans—but either way, zip lines are the thrill ride du jour, so get zooming.
Zoom Deep Forest Ziplines, Point Defiance Park; pdza.org/zoom
Zip stats: Two sets of zip lines: one, for ages 5 and older, is 5.5 feet above the ground; another, for ages 8 and older, is 30 feet above the ground ($19.95–$29.95)
Northwest Trek Zip Wild Adventure Courses; nwtrek.org
Zip stats: Five runs from 5.5 to 80 feet high, delineated by level of adventuresomeness ($19.95–$59.95).
Bonus: Both Tacoma challenge courses include other fun obstacles, such as climbing walls, slatted bridges and tunnels.
Seattle Center Playway; seattlecenter.com/playway
Zip stats: One line, 250 feet long, open May–September (single ride $6.35, all-day pass $19)
Bonus: The newly opened kids’ play area also features a climbing wall.
Bellevue Zip Tour, Eastgate Park; bellevueziptour.com
Zip stats: Six lines from 78 to 458 feet long; highest platform is 80 feet off the ground ($47–$74)
Bonus: Clamber along two suspension bridges, the longest of which spans 54 feet.
Canopy Tours Northwest, Camano Island; canopytoursnw.com
Zip stats: Six lines, with the longest at 660 feet and a 47-foot final rappel ($65–$95; group rates vary)
Bonus: The tour includes a ride in a vintage Unimog vehicle to the sustainably managed forest course.
Several local parks feature playgrounds with starter zip lines—low enough to allow parents to run alongside, if need be. Whet your wee one’s appetite for zooming at Jefferson Park on Beacon Hill, Lincoln Park in West Seattle, Discovery Park in Magnolia or Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island, then swing them up to the big leagues. seattle.gov/parks