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Northern Lights Rock and Ice

  • 4.5

(7 reviews)
View Photos (3)
Northern Lights Rock and Ice
14 Freeman Woods Road
Essex JunctionVT 05482
(802) 316-3300

Ages: 0 and up

Cost: Check site for latest rates | 20% Discount for Vermonters November 1 - March 31st

Parking: Yes - Free parking

Features: Climbing Equipment, Slides, Handicap Accessible, Picnic Area, Playground, Restrooms

Northern Lights Rock and Ice has year round fun that the whole family can enjoy and are special needs friendly. They are located adjacent to The Essex Resort & Spa. Advance reservations are required and based on availability.

See an video of kids enjoying the facility here.

Year Round Family Adventure Fun includes:

  • Unique Outdoor Rock and Ice Climbing Structures
  • Real Ice for winter and Dry Ice Foam Panels for summer
  • Giant Swing
  • Geocaching
  • Survivor Challenge (low to ground and appropriate for all ages) 
  • High/Mid and Low Challenge Courses/Ropes Courses
  • Dual 450 foot Zip Wires/Ziplining
  • Rainbow Play Set with a built-in 12 foot climbing wall
  • Portable 24' climbing wall available for rent at your site
  • Expert Instruction and Facilitation
  • Birthday Parties
  • Family Celebrations 
  • School/Scout/Group Team Development
  • Corporate Team Development
  • Family Adventures
  • Summer Camps
  • Indoor swimming (at the Essex Pool) as part of camps.
  • Vacation Week Camps (November, February and April)


14 Freeman Woods Rd. Essex Junction, Vermont 05452 - Entrance opposite The Links at Lang Farm

7 Reviews

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  • 5

Reviewed on 09/26/2009

Our 11 year old son participated in the 5-day Rock n' Ropes adventure day camp and has already decided that this is one he will be signing up for again next year! This camp is great for kids that really need a lot of activity. Days are spent climbing, scaling the walls, building trust with other campers, doing the challenge course and working on mapping/compass skills. When things get hot, kids get a chance to swim next door at the indoor pool of The Essex Resort & Spa (twice). They also get two cooking classes at the Culinary Institute within the hotel. My son made homemade pizza, Caesar salad, homemade pasta and baked Alaska. He particularly enjoyed the flambe part!

I thought the staff was terrific (and so did he). Each night we got an email with a link to an online photo gallery of shots an movies from the day. It made it very easy to see just how much fun the kids were having.


Our son choose to have his 11th birthday party here with 7 friends. NLRI was absolutely the best place ever to have a winter party for eleven year old boys! The kids were entertained from the minute they got there and they were all begging to stay at the end.

From my parental point of view I loved having hosted a party for boys this age outside our home, at a unique location, that involved physical activity and got them outdoors in the winter. I knew that even if there wasn't snow for tubing, we would still be able to do the winter adventure course. The adventure course also provides a "forced" opportunity for all the kids to get to know each other as they have to work together as a team to get through it. At other types of parties, often at this age kids, separate into cliques.

From my son's point of view, he and his friends couldn't get enough of the tubing and the zip lines. So much so we almost missed cake!

The NLRI staff is amazing. They put safety first. They are kind and patient with the kids and encourage them through everything making each one feel really good about what they have accomplished.


Our 10 yr old son went to a birthday party at NLRI and claims it was "the best party I have ever been to Mom!" From start to finish the staff was top notch. They were laid back enough to let the kids have fun, yet firm enough to enforce the rules and put safety first.

The kids met up on the gigantic playground which I would have thought 10 yr old boys would have outgrown by now, but nothing doing. It is so big, it made for the perfect game of tag. They also hung out there afterward waiting for parent pick up.

Once the party got going, the staff helped each kid get fitted with proper equipment (helmets, harnesses, etc) and off they went learning to navigate the climbing walls first, then on to scale some higher walls. After that they hit the ropes course. This place is filled with cargo nets, balance beams, an earthquake bridge, and tightropes all like 25' in the air! This is not for those with a fear of heights! But the kids were loving it! And all the while they were team building, if you will, or cementing their friendships even further.

At the end they zip line it to back to the clubhouse to have cake and finish up.

Bonus: The instructor is taking pictures the whole time from his vantage point and emailed them to us in a mini photo album before we got home.

Northern Lights Rock and Ice

Steven P.

  • 5

Reviewed on 10/23/2013

well when I got there the view from the parking lot didn't look like there was anything there fun to do. When I got to the back of the building it was like WOW! My experience was AWESOME I did Rope climbing, zip line, I really liked the part where we could throw a stuffed animal in a bucket but I missed and so didn't everyone in my group. You would have to go and see what i'm talking about. The money my parents spent for me to go was way worth the trip. I fell asleep on the bus ride home. GREAT DAY SPENDING IT OUTSIDE AND HAVING FUN. Thanks ever so much Steven. ...more

Northern Lights Rock and Ice

  • 4

Reviewed on 02/04/2013

I had a great time on the high and low ropes courses here. The instructors brought great team building exercies and communication activities to our small group. The zip line is a blast and you get to climb with a buddy!

Northern Lights Rock and Ice


  • 5

Reviewed on 01/24/2013

Excellent place ! We are planning a visit for the summer.

Northern Lights Rock and Ice


  • 5

Reviewed on 01/24/2013

My nephew celebrated his 10th birthday at this awesome facility. The staff was helpful, knowledgeable and patient with even the most terrified-of-heights (me) patron. I didn't know all of my nephew's party guests but by the end of this experience we were all old chums! Clean facility and seemingly, top of the line equipment. Great instruction and encouragement from the staff members who stuck with us through it all! Highly recommended for all ages!!...more

Northern Lights Rock and Ice


  • 4

Reviewed on 09/02/2011

NLRI is a great place to take groups for a unique bonding experience. I took a group of kids ages 10-16 and they worked together as a team to get through the course. They asked if we could go back the next day! The instructors provide excellent care, safety and fun to the event and without them this wouldn't get as high a review.

One problem: the clerical and office workers have never heard of customer service. Rude, inconsiderate and far from friendly. If the kids didn't like the instructors as much as they did I may not head back there. Thankfully 99% of our time was spent with the instructors.

Owner's Response (November 24, 2011): We are dedicated to a very high level of customer service and were saddened when we read jmstew22's review of our "clerical and office workers" during his visit to NLRI. We have reviewed that day's activities and will work to make sure it's not repeated. Sorry JM!

Frank Hassler
General Manager
Northern Lights Rock and Ice

Northern Lights Rock and Ice


  • 5

Reviewed on 07/16/2010

My 10- and 12yo just finished a Rock and Ropes Summer Camp, and they both scored it an 11 out of 10. From my perspective, the program and coaches were amazing. A couple quotes from the kids: "That's where I'm going to work in a few years." "I'm doing a lot of things I never imagined I would do." They both loved the cooking workshops and swimming at the Inn too.

Northern Lights Rock and Ice