Rock Wall Climbing with Kids in Central Iowa -

Kids Climb the (Rock) Walls in Central Iowa

Now that we’re getting a bit closer to spring and warmer temps, don’t get stuck between a rock and a hard place over finding fun things to do with your kiddos.  Instead of climbing the walls in your house, turn your little monkeys loose at one of Central Iowa’s family-friendly indoor climbing centers.

Climb Iowa

You can have access to Climb Iowa’s 10,000 square feet of seamless climbing walls every day of the week; no appointment is needed. The best part? You don’t have to be Stallone in Cliffhanger to spend a day on the wall.  Climb Iowa has supervising staff members to assist you and the crew while you climb.

A day pass costs $15 and if you don’t own your own gear, harness rental is required, which will run you $4.  You can also rent shoes, chalk bag and belay device.  Climb Iowa also offers several youth programs including Youth Adventure Climbing Teams (recreational and competitive) and holiday and summer camps.  It’s also a great place to host a fun and unique birthday party.

Details: 3605 SE Miehe Drive, Grimes, (515) 986-2565,

Iowa State University – Lied Rec Center and State Gym

There are two rock walls located on Iowa State’s campus in Ames.  One is located in the Lied Recreation Center and is for “bouldering only.”  The other is located in State Gym and offers a 40′ climbing wall along with a 15′ bouldering wall.  Climbing walls at both facilities are open during operating hours to Rec Center members and include shoe rental.  If you are not a member, both facilities can be rented for group outings.  For $100, non-university groups have access to the climbing walls, all necessary equipment and instruction.

Details: For rock wall rental contact Jerry Rupert at or (515) 294-4774

Wall-Nut Indoor Climbing Gym

Located in Kelly, IA, just north of the metro, this gym is geared more towards the competitive climber and kids need to be 13 and up to hangout here.  Wall-Nut’s 3,900 square feet of climbing wall is housed in a 130 year old dairy barn.  There’s a lot here to keep you busy, with three separate 15 foot bouldering rooms and a large 30 foot tall rope area.

This gym offers excellent beginner training that focuses on the fundamentals of climbing. For $45 per month regulars have unlimited climbing access or you can purchase a day pass for $8.  They also offer shoe rental and belay services.  The gym offers discounted rates for groups and scout troops working on their climbing merit badge.

Details: 27563 530th Avenue, Kelly,


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