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Climbing the walls? Take it inside

CK
Atlanta Rocks is just off I-75 on Collier Road.
   
  Melissa Lowrie
  Melissa Lowrie

By Melissa Lowrie
Photos by Melissa Lowrie

As I write this on the last day of summer vacation, big tears are welling in my eyes and the children are ironing their first-day-of-school clothes while whistling a happy tune.

Just kidding.

However, it is the end of another great summer, and before we kiss it goodbye forever, I thought I’d let the kids climb the walls at Atlanta Rocks Indoor Rock Climbing Gym.

You may have noticed the gray building on I-75 South just before the Howell Mill Road exit in Atlanta. Venture inside and you’ll find over 12,000 square feet of climbing surface with routes for every level of climber.

My kids have had some experience rock climbing at summer camp, so this wasn’t their first time. We went on a Tuesday when they opened at 11 a.m. (and I knew most other schools were in session). They were harnessed and climbing as fast as I could sign a waiver.

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Canoe Kids race to the top at Atlanta Rocks. Make sure your harness fits properly. A staff member at Atlanta Rocks assists the young climbers.

They shared an instructor with two other kids their age and basically had the place to themselves.    For $15 each, we got a climbing pass for the day; including equipment. The instructor helped them navigate the easier routes then encouraged them when a new challenge was needed. This proved that climbing isn’t always easy, and if you fail, it’s fine, just try a new route. I was told climbing helps build quiet confidence.

The kids navigated high walls and (most of the time) made it to the top, then would bounce down `a la Spiderman. After some time trying different routes, they tried the moving wall. Imagine a treadmill, but vertical instead of horizontal, with toeholds for climbing. This was a work-out. They kept the speed pretty slow, but it was clear this exercise was good for the cardiovascular.

Atlanta Rocks is about an hour south of Big Canoe, but according to the testers, totally worth the drive. With 10 being the highest rating, this outing ranked “a 9 or 10,” from the 11-year-old and a slightly lower score from little brother. Climbing at the indoor facility is a popular outing for all ages, and if you want to head there on the weekend, reservations are strongly suggested; the place gets crowded.

Classes are offered for all levels; including a Novice Climb. It’s a two-hour, supervised class for ages 12 and up. No previous experience is necessary. Call or check the website for class times. (atlantarocks.com)

I asked if there was an age requirement for new climbers, expecting maybe 5, but was told there’s really no minimum age (however, I can’t imagine a kid younger than that climbing without heavy parent involvement).

CK
 This moving wall offers a fresh challenge. Climbing the walls was never so much fun.

Camps and after-school programs are offered as well as private functions and birthday parties.

This was a very cool outing, something different and athletic. My kids were ready for a lunch break after an hour, so don’t count on it as an all-day affair.

The staff was helpful, friendly and clearly knowledgeable. Coupons are available on Groupon, if you are a subscriber. Check out atlantarocks.com or give them a call at 404-351-5993. Atlanta Rocks is located at 1019 Collier Road NW, Suite A in Atlanta.

Just because it’s time for another school year, doesn’t mean we quit the fun things. Happy back-to-school, moms and dads, and enjoy the quiet time. Keep some cool outings in mind for your Canoe Kids and wherever you end up, have a great time.

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