It’s not always easy to find adventures for the whole family that rock (pun intended!). Rock climbing offers adventurers of all ages hours of exercise and challenging fun. Luckily for families, it has never been easier to join the climbing community. Once considered a fringe sport, rock climbing has become more mainstream over the past decade. Indoor climbing facilities and teams have been popping up across the country. For evidence of the proliferation of rock climbing look no further than the 2020 Summer Olympics with the debut of sport, bouldering, and speed climbing events.
The benefits of rock climbing have been well documented. The mental and physical skills that can be learned or strengthened through climbing include: endurance, strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, focus, self-confidence, motivation, decision making, visualization, determination, spatial awareness, planning and concentration. Climbing as a family has added benefits of improving teamwork, trust, problem solving and communication within the family.
I learned to climb as a child and enjoyed climbing on and off throughout my life. Recently I was feeling exceptionally stir crazy and felt an urge to climb. I knew my adventurous kids would be game so we partnered with my old friends at Earth Treks for a family funday at Open Climb.
Almost everything has changed at Earth Treks since I was last a member, but the friendly community and knowledgable staff remain. The facility now includes over 38,000 feet of climbing terrain with hundreds of routes and boulder problems, expansive lead & top rope terrain, bouldering area, yoga studio, strength & cardio fitness area, group fitness classes, private instructional areas and fully stocked gear shop.
We stopped in for Open Climb with our little ones for a fun morning together. The instructors were phenomenal with our young kids. They also assisted the adults in picking routes that would be fun and challenging. Our 6 year old made it to the top of all of her climbs, our 4 year old made it to the top of her last climb and our 3 year old climbed alone. We were stoked for all their accomplishments, but also by how stoked they were to climb. As parents we couldn’t have been prouder to see our kids cheering siblings on and celebrating each others accomplishments. I can’t wait for another family climbing day soon!
On the weekends families can enjoy 3 climbs per person during Open Climb, which includes a harness and a private instructor. Families can learn to climb together in the Family Introduction to Climbing class. Parents learn how to belay and climb safely while kids climb with an instructor. The class ends with the family all climbing together. Climbing shoes, harness and necessary hardware are all included. Parents can drop their little ones (ages 6-12) off Fridays from 6:30-9pm for a date night with Friday Night Rox. Earth Treks also takes the climbing adventures outdoor!
It is hard to know how your children will take to climbing, so going for an Open Climb is a great way to get started. For families with no climbing experience, waiting until kids are about 4 years old may yield a better outcome. There are definitely younger kids who are great climbers so trust your instincts.
A Family Membership allows everyone the most access to fun at Earth Treks. A membership is even great for families that don’t all climb. Non-climbers can enjoy the studio, fitness area and classes. The Birthday Parties are amazing! There was one going on while we were climbing and I couldn’t help myself! Parties are held in a private climbing area with instructors so guests do not need experience. We can’t wait to party at Earth Treks!
Earth Treks Rockville
725 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
(Entrance is at the back of the Marlo building)