If you’re looking to switch things up with the kids, I highly encourage you to check out Boulder Climbing Community (Calgary, Alberta). After having 2 kids, I was never struck with the desire to throw on some tight shoes and hit the climbing wall but this place has definitely reinvented climbing for the every day mom (and dad!). Each detail has been carefully thought out from the setup, price point, and positive atmosphere that lets moms “get back at it” while knowing their kids are in a safe and supportive environment.
Every Tuesday from 9am-1pm the facility offers Mom & Tot climbing (dads are welcome too). For only $10*** (regular $17), you can enjoy climbs of varying skill levels, drink free coffee, and let your kids join in on the fun. Edited-Please note that the purpose of this time is to enable moms to climb—if you’re not climbing, this special pricing does not apply. If you’re not into climbing but want to enrol the kids, registration is currently open for an assortment of Summer Camps for kids 8 and older.
The place is a funky mash-up of local, hip coffee shop meets climber’s paradise. There’s something about the blended modern flare and grittiness of the outdoors that instantly makes you want to engage with the surroundings. Flooded with natural light, laid back tunes, vibrant colours, and giant crash mats, it’s almost impossible to resist the urge to get climbing! Through the eyes of a kid, it’s a giant playground covered in mats to jump, run, and fall on.
Climbs of different skill levels are scattered throughout and there’s even a playpen set up for moms needing the peace of mind of putting their kids someplace secure. If you need to step away for a break, the entrance has a minimalist coffee bar and tables to enjoy a snack, or you can even head to the upstairs stretching area.
I got together with a few moms from Adventure Mamas – Western Canada (Facebook group) to check it out. With toddlers and babies in tow, we set up camp near the bottom of our selected wall and laid out blankets and toys for the babies. Each mom took turns climbing and supervising the kids with intermittent breaks to encourage them to try as well.
All in all, it was so refreshing to find a place that catered to the interests of moms. I also love the idea that this setting provides a way for parents to engage with their kids by inspiring and leading through example. However I must admit, although my kid did take an interest to climbing, he spent much of his time running around like a man-mad and playing on the giant mats. So that brings me to the following:
Tips and tricks to enjoy your morning at Boulder Climbing Community
- Park on the North side—the signage is deceiving and you’ll safe yourself a walk around the building
- Come early—the place starts to get busy around noon
- Fill out the waiver online—I can’t stress this enough! It’s long and you have to complete it for yourself and each kid that you bring. (Click here, do it now! You’ll thank me later)
- Take time to instruct your children—common courtesies (and safety precautions) include not running under people who are climbing, respecting the stretching area
- Bring extras (blankets, books, toys)—there’s lots of room and space to keep your kid busy so maximize your time by switching things up if they don’t want to climb
- Slow down—moms typically run on a schedule but this place is so mellow that it’s worthwhile taking the time to relax (plus, my kid had a killer nap when we got home!)
- Wear shoes—communal, rental shoes gross me out but they were clean and surprisingly not as uncomfortable as I remembered 🙂 This isn’t mandatory but for the extra $5 it did make the climbing more enjoyable. I brought some clean Keens for my kid to climb in.
Enjoy climbing and please let me know if you have any additional tips or tricks to share!