What is The Forge in Lemont?
The Forge: Lemont Quarries is an outdoor adventure park with a variety of challenging activities for all ages and abilities. Their mission is to entertain, exhilarate, and educate. We found the staff to be friendly and helpful and the park to be clean and well organized. You can go to The Forge for one of the activities or spend the whole day tackling all of the thrilling adventures! It’s free to hang out on the grounds and you pay per activity. We recommend booking tickets in advance because time slots do sell out, but if you are not in a hurry and don’t mind waiting, you can risk it and book activities while you are there.
We put a video together of all the memorable challenges that we took on our first trip to The Forge so you can get an overview in under 2 minutes. Check it out below! Since then, they have added archery battle tag, water tag, archery, axe throwing, maceball, and scavenger hunts so we went again! Continue reading for details on each area, along with pricing, participation requirements, and tips for your trip.
We were invited to The Forge: Lemont Quarries to experience all of the activities and write an honest review with tips. All opinions are my own.
How to Prepare for Your Day at The Forge: Lemont Quarries
What to Wear
Wear comfortable, weather appropriate clothes.
Our first time going, went on a day that was sunny with a high of 70 degrees, so I wore light-weight, quick drying pants with zippered pockets and a t-shirt, my daughter wore capri leggings and a t-shirt, and my son arrived with pants and a t-shirt but quickly changed into shorts. We also brought coats and/or sweatshirts, but ending up leaving those in the car. The second time, it was hot and sunny so we wore shorts and tank tops.
The Forge recommends against wearing short shorts and I agree. It would make wearing the harness pretty uncomfortable. I like to have a little fabric between the harness webbing and my skin.
Sun hats are nice to have when you’re out on the water. I wore sunglasses throughout the day and would recommend that as well. Closed-toe shoes are a must if you want to participate in the activities.
What to Bring
Bandanas or baseball hats are suggested for the activities that use head gear, like face masks for archery battle tag and headband straps for the target in laser tag, so I would recommend bringing your own bandana. We bought bandanas at Five Below for $1, which would save you money compared to buying a bandana at The Forge for $7.
If you would like to take pictures while you are there, I highly recommend bringing a waterproof phone pouch. The Forge sells them for $10 each, but you can also buy them ahead of time and save a little money. Click here to see what I’m talking about and purchase if you would like.
Please note that gloves are required for rope climbing and ziplining, but they provide basic gloves when you check in for Climb and Zipline.
I also bring a bag or backpack with sunscreen, bug spray, hand wipes, and reusable water bottles, which really came in handy. The side of the park that has paddlesports, laser tag, the kids climbing area, and biking does not have lockers, so I would recommend leaving your backpack in the car until you take a break for lunch or are planning on going to the ropes course. On a hot day, we recommend bringing jugs with ice water and water bottles that you can refill with the jug. The other side of the park with the climbing and ziplines has lockers for a small fee and also a water jug where you can refill your water bottles.
The Forge: Lemont Quarries has lunch and dinner options, which we will highlight in the What to Eat section, but you can also pack a cooler. I packed a lunch and left it in the car until we were ready to eat. I also brought cold snacks, like watermelon and grapes to stay hydrated and cool. There are plenty of picnic tables with umbrellas in the grill area and also picnic tables under tents throughout the park. You are welcome to bring your own food or buy their grab and go meals too.
Activities at The Forge: Lemont Quarries
Climb and Zipline
Welcome to the main attraction at The Forge: Lemont Quarries. There are three “Hex Towers” with varying degrees of difficulty, interconnected by ziplines, and multiple rappelling stations. The Hex Towers are connected to two Ropes Course towers, one with a rock climbing wall and the other with rope challenges. Both culminate in their own zipline to the entrance of the park to end your adventure.
The 1,100 foot zipline from the Skyscraper Tower carries you at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. It wasn’t a windy day when we were there, but at that speed I definitely felt the wind in my face as I looked across the beautiful landscape and clear lake below! It was exhilarating. There are also ziplines coming off the East X Tower that are 900 feet long, which is a nice prize after rock climbing up the 90 foot tower.
Climb and Zipline is $95 for those 14 years old and up and $85 for kids ages 13 years old and under for up to 4 hours of climbing, including gear up and orientation. Please note that there are minimum height and weight requirements instead of an age cutoff. When you check in, they measure you against the minimum height as well as have you step on a scale. Your weight is only visible to the staff member at the window. You must be between 70-250 lbs with a height of 52 inches up to 6’6″.
Guests 13 years old and younger need to be accompanied by an adult chaperone up on the course and need to actively participate. Kids 14-15 years old need to have a chaperone on-site, but the chaperone doesn’t need to be participating.
Gloves are required for Climb and Zipline and are provided at check-in.
Paddlesports: Kayaking and Canoeing
There are seven quarry lakes in the Heritage Quarries Recreation Area and The Forge rents out boats to use on the lake within the activity area. You are welcome to bring your paddle, oar, or electronic trolling motor boats to use in the surrounding lakes.
Rentals are for 40 minutes and a bell rings when your time is up so you don’t have to be concerned with what time it is. and the prices are as follows: Canoe rental is $20 with a maximum of 3 people per boat. Single kayak rental is $15 and double kayak rental is $25.
Paddlesports at The Forge is for all ages, but children 8 years old and under must be accompanied by a supervising chaperone who is at least 18 years old.
Water Sports: Water Tag
Unfortunately we didn’t see this game in action, but it sounds like it would be really fun, especially for kids and teens on a hot day. You play three different games for a total of 40 minutes while wearing vests and using water canons to blast their opponents. The cost is $30 per person and age requirements are 5+ years old.
Tactical Laser Tag
Laser tag is in a wooded area with many different types of structures and hills to hide behind. The replica guns made the game play more realistic with gun shots, kill announcements, and a distraught sound when you get hit.
You play with whoever else signs up for the same time slot and there are more than 30 different game modes that you can choose from as a group. We did Team Death Match twice (system generated teams, which were different each time), and Free-For-All Deathmatch (each person for themselves). Your number of kills and respawns are tracked on the display on the side of your gun and the laser tag leader from The Forge also announces the winner of each game.
Laser tag is $30 for 3 games, which is approximately 60 minutes of gameplay including setup and instructions.
There is a minimum age of 5 years old to play. The sensor is wrapped around your forehead, similar to a headlamp, so you can wear a bandana or hat underneath if you would like. Between a bandana and a baseball hat, we would recommend the hat. Our bandanas slid around a bit and we needed to adjust the band mid-game.
Maceball is a new game that combines capture the flag with swashbuckling sword duelling. Each side starts with foam sword wielders whose goal is to get the Maceball from the opposing team and score a point in the other team’s bucket.
The price is $20 per person for an hour of games for ages 8 years old and up. Kids 13 years and under need to have a supervising adult.
Archery Battle Tag
Archery Battle Tag was added this year and is intense! It’s a combination of dodge ball and archery where you play three different games within the hour. Gear up with a face mask and built-in visor, bow, and arrow, and come up with a strategy with your team. The first game we played was a free-for-all, mostly to get everyone familiar with the terrain and equipment. Then we played capture the flag, which was an epic battle until the end.
The Forge has this activity at 8 years old and up, but we would recommend it for teens and adults. Most of the adults in our time slot were really competitive and had prior experience, which made it a little intimidating for younger kids. There are rubber ends on the arrows, which is about equivalent to getting hit with a paintball.
Archery Battle Tag is $30 per person for a 60 minute session.
Want to shoot arrows in a more relaxed setting? There’s an archery range right next to Archery Battle Tag, separated by a solid fence. After a 5-10 minute orientation, you can shoot arrows and improve your accuracy for 50 minutes. It’s a fun sport to master by yourself or with friends and family! The archery range is $20 per person and outside equipment is not allowed.
BMX and Mountain Biking: Pump Track
If you are like us and had never tried a biking skills course, it can be intimidating! However, there is a practice course so you can get used to tackling hills and turns on the track. The staff was also very helpful with giving us tips, including standing up on the bike at all times and leveling out the pedals when going over hills so they didn’t touch the pavement and cause a wipe out.
We started by doing laps on the practice course, then moved on to the pump track and another course with curved wooden walls. The routes are endless and definitely challenging! Around the perimeter of the pump track is another course with wooden structures, beams, and jumps, which appeared to be above our skill level.
Please note that due to bicycle and bike part shortages, The Forge is not renting out bikes this summer. However you are welcome to bring your own bike and helmet and purchase a mountain biking pass for $25 per person per day to use the track and courses.
There isn’t a minimum age for this activity, but bikes with training wheels are not allowed. Also, kids under age 12 years old must be accompanied by a supervising chaperone who is at least 14 years old.
Kids Adventure Zone
This is the spot for younger kids to climb and zipline! There are more than 12 vertical feet of safety-netted structures and 30 elements, such as balance beams, rope ladders, tunnels, and ziplines.
Passes are $15 per person for a 50-minute session and supervising adults do not need a pass to enter.
Kids Adventure Zone is for ages 3 to 13 years old and a supervising chaperone who is at least 18 years old. Supervising chaperones are permitted in the netted structures, but should not traverse the challenge elements on the course (zip lines, rope crossings, etc.), as they are intended for children ages 3 to 13. This area is fenced in and does not require harnesses or helmets.
We had never gone axe throwing before and it was really fun! We enjoyed trying to hit the bullseye and got better with every throw. There are two trailers, each with two targets and fans blowing inside for maximum air flow. Anyone not throwing an axe needs to wait outside the trailer for safety reasons, but there are benches with umbrellas so you can hang out in the shade.
Head to the main entrance and check in at the hut for this activity since staff is not regularly stationed in the area. The cost is $20 per person for 60 minutes of axe throwing. Guests 10-16 years old must have a supervising adult chaperone with them for the duration of the game. Please note that you will not be throwing full-sized axes and they do not require two hands.
Other Activities and Entertainment at The Forge
The Forge: Lemont Quarries also has live music, adventure races, summer camps, film screenings, yoga classes, and many other events throughout the year.
Where to Eat at The Forge
The Forge restaurant is called The Foundry and is located between the lake and entertainment stage. It has a two-level rooftop deck with tables and umbrellas or you can eat along the lake where there are also fire pits and adirondack chairs scattered among the tables. It was a nice break to sit under an umbrella and look out over the serene water.
They offer Forgefire dinner from the grill on the summer weekends and globe dining in the winter.
You are also welcome to bring your own food and each at one of the many picnic tables with new shade tents around the park.
There are banks of port-o-potties close to the entrance by the Kids Adventure Zone and also by Climb and Zipline on the other side of the park. However, if you would like to use the permanent restrooms with sinks, head to the biking area and you will find a large container labeled “Restrooms.” At first glance, they don’t look wheelchair accessible, however there is a ramp all the way to the right, next to the mountain biking check-in.
Special Needs Accommodations
Since opening, The Forge: Lemont Quarries has made accessibility a priority. The paddlesports dock is ADA compliant and includes adaptive equipment so people of all ages and abilities can access the activities. In the biking area, those who are unable to ride traditional bikes can use recumbent trikes to easily balance and pedal on three wheels.
They also recently announced expanded accessibility options that are really exciting. The first level of Hex Tower 5 has a unique system of cantilever arms that allow differently abled guests to interact with the same course elements as able-bodied guests. In addition, the East X Tower allows for guests to be elevated to the top of the 54’ tower and transferred to the tall zipline, where they can then soar over the Forge Quarry.
Peg Chaidez’s son, Owen (remember Owen’s Playground?), was recently able to zipline for the first time because of this new technology and had an amazing time. That makes me so happy!
Lemont Adventure Park Prices
We outlined all the individual activity prices above, but what if you want to do multiple activities? Check their Deals & Packages page. Sometimes they bundle activities together to offer a price break.
New! The Forge just introduced the Explorer Day Pass! You can play an unlimited number of activities in one day pass for $40 per person (10 years old and over) during the week and $50 per person (10 and over) on the weekends! The Pass operates like a regular amusement park pass and all activities are on a first come, first served basis. Please note that the Climb and Zipline Adventure is not available with the Explorer Pass.
The Forge: Lemont Quarries Promo Codes and Discounts
We have a discount for you! The Forge is offering Kidlist fans 20% off when you use the code KIDLIST20.
The Forge: Lemont Quarries Hours
Hours change seasonally, so your best bet is to head to their Hours & Directions page for the most up to date hours. Please note that the activities and The Foundry are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday each week.
How to Get to The Forge
We like using Waze or Google Maps, which are both pretty reliable. Once you get close to downtown Lemont, keep you eye out for way-finding signs that will also point you in the right direction.
If you are coming from I-55, take Exit 271A, Lemont Road. From there:
- Head South on Lemont Road for 3.1 miles
- Turn right onto East Illinois Street, then loop around and turn right onto Main Street
- Turn left onto Talcott Avenue, crossing the train tracks (this turn is easy to miss, so keep an eye out)
- Pass the first gravel road on the right and head towards the gated entrance
- Turn right onto the gravel road and follow signs to The Forge: Lemont Quarries Adventure Park
- Continue approximately 1/2 a mile down the access road and park in the lot closest to your activity
Where to Park
Parking is free at The Forge. As you head down the gravel road, you will see Parking Lot 1 first. That parking lot is closest to Climb and Zipline. A little further down is Parking Lot 2, which is where we parked. That parking lot is closer to the rest of the activities and the seating area for meals and/or snacks. You can’t go wrong with either parking lot, but it depends on what activities you plan to do.
Free Things to Do on the Grounds
Besides all of the thrilling adventure activities at The Forge: Lemont Quarries, you can also enjoy the surrounding nature areas for free. There are hiking trails through the woods and along the lake.
You can also enjoy fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and birdwatching at the surrounding lakes. The lake pictured below is connected to the adjacent lake so there is plenty to explore if you bring your own boat.
The Forge: Lemont Quarries
1001 Main Street
Lemont, IL 60439
Looking for more outdoor fun? Check out our Guide to Outdoor Activities! We also have a calendar full of local events for the whole family.