If you see Spiderman. . .

If you happen to be at the climbing gym and you see a 3 year old Spiderman hanging around, it’s possible that you’ve come across my son.  He’s a bit hard to track down as we tend to take the kids to the gym on days and times when there are fewer climbers around.  We especially avoid the young/single social group that tends to crowd the gym on a typical Tuesday or Thursday night.  Still, it was Tuesday this week before we could get in our weekly climbing trip to the gym.  Rather than miss the week completely, we braved the Tuesday masses, particularly as we were there during the 7-8:30 pm rush.

Many of the “regular” Tuesday climbers wonder why we are never around at the gym. . . Let me address those curious folks directly: It’s because we never go to the gym when you are there.  We avoid you.  We seek those quiet gym hours when our children can run around with little fear that they will be landed on.  We try to minimize our “footprint” on the gym by inconveniencing people in the least possible amount.  We work to make sure our children are not a distracting annoyance to the midweek regulars.  I’m not sure how well we succeeded this week, but we certainly work to make sure that our children are safe and the other climbers aren’t unduly stressed by their presence.

It was an unusual occurence this past Tuesday, as we headed to the gym with Mini Me 1 (C) and Spiderman (R) in tow. We were quite skeptical that we’d be able to get in any quality climbing.  More to follow about the actual climbing, but the good news is that we actually managed to get a good bit in.  Trading off is huge – I don’t know how people do it when they are single and/or don’t have a spouse with them.  I climb, then rest and watch kids. Ryan takes a turn, then he rests and entertains.  Things to bring to the gym (on our list anyway,) include food, food, snacks, drinks and more food.  Crayons/coloring books, balls (if the gym isn’t too crowded) and cars/mobile toys are also good “bring alongs”.  Each week we learn something new to bring and/or do.  This week’s big find:  Angry Birds on our Android Phone bought us about 30 minutes of quality climbing time while R was entertained. What are your tricks for making the climbing gym fun for kids, providing entertainment, and/or distraction techniques?   

New River Gorge with Kids

New River Gorge Climbing Trip We finally made our way back to the New River Gorge in West Virginia for a weekend of climbing.  It has been years (pre kids) since we had been to this area as it seemed to be a bit less kid friendly than other areas that we had been to.  Our ClimbingWeather.com app was showing predictions of snow on Friday night - and it wasn't far off.  The drive took us eons, especially in the Appalachians with the travel trailer.  We … [Read More...]

Hiking in a Creek

Have you ever started out on a day hike with children only to have it turn into something completely different that what you planned?  Ha. Of course you have. Many of our adventures start out as one thing ("I want to climb X route" or "sleep at X campground". . . "I want to relax in a tube on the water", or "I want to sleep in the sand") and end up as something completely different ("The route had a group staked out on it for the day" or "I couldn't … [Read More...]

Climbing Gym Etiquette With Kids

Tips for taking kids to the climbing gym. There are few things more troublesome than going to a new place and not knowing the spoken and unspoken rules.  Add to the uncertainty the presence of children, and it can be quite intimidating to enter into unknown territory.   For those new to indoor climbing and/or new to indoor climbing with kids, here are a few tips for bringing your kids to the gym. Those that know me will laugh at the irony. . . My … [Read More...]

Stand Up Paddleboarding

The best rock climbing areas tend to be located in or near wilderness, national parks, mountains, and forests.  There are exceptions, of course!  Still, when we took a family trip to the jersey shore this summer, there was no rock to be found.  As usual, my husband and I sought out something both "active" and "family friendly" to try with the kids. Surfing, Kite Surfing, Kayaking Ryan has wanted to try surfing for years, but that's a solo endeavor, as … [Read More...]

The Mount Rushmore Dilemma

Visiting Mount Rushmore with Kids Our summer trip to Wyoming and South Dakota was amazing.  We combined climbing with family time, history, geography, science and more.  When we planned the trip, climbing was the main focus, but hitting some of the National Parks and National Monuments were also a must.  Mount Rushmore is one of those locations that combines both.  There are amazing climbing opportunities in the shadow of the National Monument.  There are … [Read More...]

About Laura Boniello Miller

Laura Miller is a internet marketing professional and a mother of two. Her interests include sport climbing, bouldering, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She believes that playing outdoors is integral to health and well being, and that if your kids aren't dirty, they haven't had enough fun.