Climbing spots for 5 year old?

I'm looking for recommendations of places for a five year old to climb in Berkeley or Oakland.  So far we've only found a few places, such as the rope structure at Ohlone Park, but that's now getting old.  Unfortunately, she's too young for Berkeley Ironworks, for which you have to be 14 or older.  Any suggestions for vertical challenges would be most appreciated.

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RE: Climbing spots for 5 year old? ()

Check with Bridges Rock Gym in El Cerrito.

RE: Climbing spots for 5 year old? ()

I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say kids have to be 14 but I've been taking my son and his friends to Berkeley Ironworks (and the other Touchstone gyms) since he was a toddler and he is 10 now.  If you are an experienced climber, taking your child there to climb is no problem at all.  I think the only age restriction is on kids belaying, but I can't imagine you were planning to have your 5 yr old belay anyone.  

RE: Climbing spots for 5 year old? ()

We take our 4 and 6 year olds to Iron Works all the time. They love it. There's also Great Western in Oakland and Bladium in Alameda.

RE: Climbing spots for 5 year old? ()

I'm not sure who told you kids can't climb at Berkeley Ironworks (or their sister gym, Great Western Power Company in uptown Oakland) - I see kids climbing there all the time! 14 might be the age limit for being dropped off on your own to climb & for belaying another person (e.g. keeping them from falling). Either you can belay your child there, or you can sign up for a private lesson for them.

RE: Climbing spots for 5 year old? ()

Check out Rock City on the slopes of Mt. Diablo for free-climbing fun.

RE: Climbing spots for 5 year old? ()

Berkeley Ironworks has a 14 yr limit for belaying, but not for climbing. We've brought our 3 year old climbing there. You would need to get certified to belay her. 

RE: Climbing spots for 5 year old? ()

My kids like A.I.R., Albany's Indoor Rock Gym, near the Pacific Mall by Central Avenue. 

RE: Climbing spots for 5 year old? ()

Dracena Park in Piedmont! They have a rock climbing structure, perfect size for 4-6 year olds. The park is also great for biking/scootering, and there is a nice large grassy area for playing ball or tag.

RE: Climbing spots for 5 year old? ()

Dracena Park in Piedmont has a small outdoor climbing wall, plus other fun equipment perfect for a 5 year old. Bring a bike or scooter for the bike path!

RE: Climbing spots for 5 year old? ()

Indian Rock—up the stairs first on the south side for age 5!

RE: Climbing spots for 5 year old? ()

You don't have to be 14 to climb at Ironworks! I've been taking my child there and other Touchstone gyms, especially Diablo Rock Gym in Concord, to climb since he was 4 and I've seen other kids as young as 2 climbing there. A responsible adult (that's the 14+ requirement you saw) needs to take the belay class and go with the child to basically manage the rope while he climbs. Diablo has "kids belay" on the weekends where staff will belay the kids if you can't or won't learn how yourself.

Berkeley has some outdoor climbing areas, too, both for bouldering (shorter rocks maybe 10 feet high, no ropes) and top roping (higher walls that need a rope for safety). Start in a gym, though, or take a class before hunting out those areas so you understand how to be safe. Have fun!

RE: Climbing spots for 5 year old? ()

I like to follow this post cuz I'm looking for a place for my 4yo daughter to learn, too. I know Bladium Sports Club on Alameda has climbing walls and instructor for kids, but it requires family membership, if it's not too far for you, it's worth of paying a visit.

RE: Climbing spots for 5 year old? ()

I haven’t been there recently, but my kids used to enjoy the small climbing wall at Dracena Quarry Park in Piedmont. Also, there’s a similar wall at the park in Moeser Lane in El Cerrito — Cerrito Vista Park , I think. And a really nice, big rope structure on the school grounds of Le Conte Elementary School in south Berkeley.Happy climbing!