Kids soar (and parents relax) at new adventure park across from Arden Fair mall

The Urban Air Adventure Park newly opened attraction across from Arden Fair mall, is filled with zipline, ropes course, climbing wall, trampolines, bumper cars and an obstacle course. Importantly for summer, these adventures can be found indoors, where the air conditioning works just fine.

The indoor adventure park opened at the beginning of May. The park also has a full-service cafe that makes food on-site – pizza, hot dogs, nachos, funnel cakes, you name it.

The whole place is decked out in LED lights that change from red to green to blue, and green lasers shoot out from above as children compete to see who can jump the highest on the trampolines.

Alex Topping, 10; Pricilla Ruzic, 11; and Jayce Cornethan, 10, had their last day of school Tuesday and kicked off their summer at Urban Air.

“I like the up-high things,” Topping said, referring to the zipline-like Sky Rider Coaster and the ropes courses where kids are strapped into harnesses as they dangle 10 feet off the ground. The Sky Rider is definitely one of the most popular attractions in the park, as kids lined up Wednesday to ride it over and over again.

The three competed on the Warrior Course, which features some difficult obstacles reminiscent of the ones from the show “American Ninja Warrior.” The various rings, ladders and ropes hang over a 3-foot deep ball pit.

The question is, who won?

“(Alex) did cause she’s the best,” Cornethan immediately said. “I’m slow; everytime I go on there I fall. ... She just goes across.”

The Virtual Reality ride was the favorite for Judah Lee, who came to Urban Air with his grandma. He played the Zombie Attack game, where “the controls were kind of weird but it’s really fun.”

In the game, you play as a SWAT team member who has to defeat zombies. Then the SWAT team leader sends backup, who also turn into zombies, and you have to shoot your friend to revive them. It seemed complicated.

The park caters to parents as well – parents can play with their kids at a discounted rate, or just sit back and relax with a beer (sold at the cafe) in one of the massage chairs.

Jerri Cornethan, who brought Alex, Pricilla and Jayce, has been to Urban Air multiple times already.

“It keeps them busy and you know they always get bored so quickly so it works out well because there’s so many different activities, keeps them interested,” Cornethan said. “And it’s challenging too, they love that.”

The membership is “a bit pricey,” she says, but worth it if people come frequently. Plus, members get a free slice of pizza and a snack every time they come. There’s also no limit on how many times you can visit a month or how long you stay per session. Memberships mostly cost under $15 a month, per person.

One family took advantage of the membership, coming almost every day.

“In the first three weeks we were open, they only missed two days,” managing partner Spencer Freeman said.

Originally from Fresno, general manager Howard Lutes has two decades of business management experience with various other franchises. He and co-owner Sara Freeman decided to open a location in Sacramento because of the lack of family entertainment in the area, other than Chuck E. Cheese’s.

“We just saw an opportunity to open up a business in an area that could use it,” Lutes said. He said they originally planned to open in December or January, but were not able to open until May due to delays in getting a city permit.

Lutes estimated Urban Air draws between 1,000 and 1,500 people on Saturdays.

Though this is the only location in California, more are slated to open in Hanford, Fullerton and Riverside.

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Jaimie Ding, from Scripps College, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee with an interest in politics and international relations. She grew up in Vancouver, Washington.