If you're looking for something to do over the Christmas vacation (or anytime of the year), I highly recommend that you consider a trip to Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio. A couple days before Christmas, our family of 5 kids and 6 adults visited Natural Bridge Caverns and we had a blast.
Any time of the year is a good time to visit Natural Bridge Caverns, but during Christmas they go all out to make your visit very special and fun. Just a few things that they do over Christmas include:
Twisted Trails is the newest addition to Natural Bridge Caverns and it is exciting, challenging, and loads of fun and according to Natural Bridge Caverns it's the "World's Largest Zip Rail and Ropes Course!" Twisted Trails is a six story aerial adventure that consists of a challenge, ropes, and zip rails course. The challenge and ropes course have 50 different elements suspended up to 60 feet above the ground, some of elements include:
Twisted Trails is designed to test your courage, agility, balance, and strength as you ascend each of the four levels. To keep it fun for everyone, as you move through the course you'll have several choices of which route to take and which element you may want to avoid. As you build your confidence you can always find your way back to the element you wanted to avoid - which makes it fun, exciting, and challenging for everyone.
Natural Bridge Caverns is home to one of the only Sky Rail courses in Texas and it is seamlessly integrated into the Twisted Trails challenge course. A Sky Rail is similar to a zip line but without the need for an operator to unhook and hook you up to the next Sky Rail track. All you do is move your safety harness slingline to the start of the Sky Rail and wait for a green light to tell you to move forward to the end of the platform to start a fun and exciting zip to the next platform or element. Twisted Rails has seven curved and one straight Sky Rail and they range from 82 to 125 feet long for a total of 685 feet of suspended rail.
Before setting off on your Twisted Trails adventure, you'll be outfitted with a full body safety harness and slingline. A certified operator helps you into a safety harness, tightens it up, and then hooks it to a practice rail to allow you to test it. Then you set off on your adventure by hooking into the suspended track at the start of the course - and the fun begins! There is no danger of falling because your harness is safely hooked into the suspended rail.
It was hard to keep track of our five kids and three adults as them moved from level to level and element to element. I think they hit every element two or three times and I thought that they would never want to leave. By the end of the day, my neck was killing me from looking up to follow their progress through the course. When we finally got them all down, they had big smiles on their faces and all felt a significant sense of accomplishment.
Twisted Trails is also home four unique and exciting vertical climbing structures:
Strategy, agility and determination are required for each challenge. Once you reach the top, just let go and you'll glide back down to the base of the structure. Of course, our kids had to see who was the fastest to the top of each of the structures.
Twisted Trials Tykes is an adventure course designed for kids four feet tall and under. They get to enjoy elements that are similar to the Twisted Trails elements but designed just for younger kids and all of the elements are just a few feet above the ground. The kids also wear a harness that protects them from falling off.
Natural Bridge Caverns is home to an amazing 5000 square foot maze and during the Christmas holidays it's home to the AMAZE'n Reindeer Roundup. Upon entering the maze the kids were given a card that they time stamped upon entering the maze. The goal was to find Rudolph and Santa's other eight reindeer strategically placed throughout the maze. When you found a reindeer you punched the card for that reindeer and when all 9 were punched you tried to find the exit and have your card time stamped showing how long it took you from start to finish.
When the kids entered the maze, the adults stood on the observation tower to watch them travel through the maze. Several times they would walk past the turn below us, disappear for a few minutes and reappear at same spot - which caused lots of laughs and giggles from us and the maze runner. And each time they reappeared we would yell go left as someone else would tell them to go turn right! They had a blast and all emerged from the maze with all the reindeer found and punched on their card.
The kids had so much fun on the AMAZ'n Reindeer Roundup and the Twisted Trails, we didn't have time for a cavern tour or the trail of lights - which gives us an excuse to come back again.