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Hocking Hills Sandbox lets you play with full-size construction equipment

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Posted at 10:16 AM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 10:17:07-04

LAURELVILLE, Ohio -- A new attraction in southeast Ohio aims to capture the hearts of anyone who played with Tonka trucks as a kid.

The Hocking Hills Sandbox is a 15-acre "adult playground" that lets guests operate full-size construction equipment, including track loaders, a bulldozer and excavators.

The Sandbox is open to people ages 14 and up; supervised children can watch parents and older relatives. Prices vary, but most packages start at $100 for an hour. That includes a 10-15 minute safety video, 10-15 minutes of setup and a half-hour of play time.

Each piece of construction equipment has its own lane, games and challenges:

The Excavator: Participants start by digging a massive hole and piling the earth into a mound, then drive over the hill they've created. They can also disassemble, move and reassemble a series of eight railroad ties stacked in a crisscross pattern, similar to Jenga. Finally, excavator drivers can try to "thread the needle" by dropping a huge semi tire over a 9-foot pole or pick up basketballs and try to make a bucket.

The Bulldozer: Participants get to dig a massive pit, then crawl out over pile they created before completing an agility-testing obstacle course. The highlight is ramming into a junked minivan and pushing it around the course.

The Track Loader: Participants head through an obstacle course, then can try picking up a 12-foot log and moving it along the course without knocking over a series of barricades. There's also a pile of ground asphalt for digging and moving around. Log-stacking challenge tests participants' skill and balance.

The Cherry Picker: This offers great views and a fun backdrop for selfies as it lifts visitors 50 to 60 feet above the site.

A trained instructor has a remote kill switch.

The 6,000-square-foot welcome center also has meeting space for up to 150 corporate team building or special events.

The Hocking Hills Sandbox is located at 16412 Thompson Ridge Road, Laurelville, Ohio.