Climb UP together: Four tips for parents who want to climb with their teens
Oklahoma City family fun is for parents too.
September's focus at MetroFamily is teens and tweens. You can find our latest issue here for Downtown on a Dime, our latest Kid Review of the Stafford Air & Space Museum and September calendar of events.
One local activity especially popular with older kids is Oklahoma City's Climb UP. The site has become known for its colorful exterior. The painted mural-style silos just outside of Bricktown are home to the 12,000-square foot facility, which features climbing walls for various levels of expertise. There's also a Norman location that's great for tweens but also more apt for younger kids.
Climb UP is ideal as a parent-child activity. I really wanted to give it a try along with my oldest son, Sam, age 10.
As a total beginner at climbing, I went along with Sam, who knew what he was doing since he had already visited with his fourth grade class last year. He was happy to return but I was apprehensive about the experience since the silos look, well, awfully tall.
They are, in fact, 90 feet straight up, which would make for a long climb. The height of the repurposed silos looks suddenly daunting from the ground.
Trying something together rather than just standing by, watching or looking at our phones, makes for a more memorable experience. Sam was also really happy I would do it with him, which surprised me.
Here are four tips for parents who want to try Climb UP with their kids:
- Know what you're headed to do: Climbing is a great full-body workout. You'll definitely meet your exercise quota with a few hours at Climb UP. Being physically fit enough to participate is something to keep in mind. If you're pregnant, have back injuries or other health concerns, this activity isn't for you.
- Outdoor climb? Call before you go: I'm not normally afraid of heights per se but the outside of the silos looked intimidating for a first climb. Fortunately, the day was windy and raining so we were limited to indoor climbing. Call Climb UP before you go to make sure the weather lends itself to outdoor climbing if that's what you have in mind. Otherwise, there's plenty to do inside and some of the shorter indoor walls are recommended for beginners before tackling the exterior.
- Wear exercise clothes: I wore jeans but denim's flexibility is pretty limited. I should have worn yoga capris with my workout shirt. You'll definitely sweat. Climbing shoes are on-site and they're required for all participants so don't worry about taking along your best athletic shoes.
- Set a time limit with your child: Sam had way more energy than I did. He was happy to climb for about three hours. I felt tired and my back hurt after the first hour. I've had four epidurals and I could feel it after the climb. Sam just didn't have a reason to stop so we had to compromise on when to leave. I think he'd have stayed until closing time.
Spending time with your child only gets more important as they start to look at the beginning of adolescence, I've heard. Activities like Climb UP give you something to do together where you really can't argue or do anything other than have a good time.
Click here for Sam's Kid Review of Climb UP. He learned the value of perseverance in a tangible way from the one-peg-after-another approach.
Have a favorite activity that you share with your tween or teen? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we just might go try it.