I skipped this weekend's hiking/mountaineering outing in favor of an all-day climbing date with my daughter, F. We went out to one of the bouldering areas on Flagstaff Road in Boulder and did some climbing and scrambling for the first part of the day. For lunch we picnicked on almond butter & jelly sandwiches and apples from the tailgate of the truck. After that it was starting to get pretty warm (some of the rocks were hot enough to burn our hands), so we left there and headed back into town.
I heard about a kid-friendly climbing gym in Boulder, so we decided to check that out before calling it a day. The place is ABC Kid's Climbing, and the staff said it's the first, and possibly only, gym of its kind in the world. It was pretty amazing. There are many top-rope and boulder routes set up for little bodies with smaller reach, and they rent kid-sized gear. But there are also plenty of adult-sized routes to keep the parents entertained. In fact, many of the bouldering problems are more highball than what I'm used to at our local climbing gym.
When we arrived, I went through the quick belaying certification process so F could climb on the top-rope wall. But as soon as we were done with that, she went straight to a side room where they have a zip line set up and stayed in there the entire time. I'm not sure if she was just tired of climbing for the day or if the zip line was too much a temptation for her to focus on anything else. But in a small way, I'm glad that our regular gym doesn't have that particular distraction so she can actually work on her climbing while we're there.
Another thing: we witnessed two separate climbing birthday parties today - both for girls! (One of the really cool things about climbing is that it seems to be enjoyed by males and females equally at all levels.) One group was top-roping on Crown Rock on Flagstaff, and the other booked their party at ABC. Either way, what a great idea! We'll see how she feels come January, but for now F is saying that she wants to have her next birthday party at ABC.
So if you find yourself in Boulder with an adventurous kid, ABC is definitely worth checking out. Everyone is bound to have a good time.