Vital Climbing Gym in Bellingham may have saved my kids â€“ and me â€“ from climbing the walls.
The winter weather weâ€™ve been experiencing is, in many ways, a kidâ€™s dream: schoolâ€™s out, thereâ€™s plenty of snow for sledding, mom is likely to say â€śyesâ€ť to that request for hot chocolate.
Eventually, though, the cold gets old. The snow gets crunchy and itâ€™s not so fun for sledding and hurts too much for snowball fights.
When brother and sister are plotting ways to destroy each other instead of just putting on their coats and mittens to go outside, parents know itâ€™s time for an alternative way to blow off some steam, with indoor kids activities in Bellingham.
So instead of the grownups climbing the walls, why doesnâ€™t everybody go climb the walls at Vital Climbing Gym?
Vital, located on North State Street, is an indoor climbing gym that offers bouldering. Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that doesnâ€™t require a rope, harness or belay. The walls donâ€™t rise too high off the ground, which, in this case, is a very padded floor. And the walls offer varying degrees of difficulty so that beginners and experts alike can find fun and a challenge.
Itâ€™s fun to watch my billy-goat kids head up the walls with little effort. Me, on the other hand, I hate heights, so I move more laterally than vertically!
Vital has other ways to challenge yourself and your kids. Try the slack line (again, on those nice, cushy pads), try a yoga class or swing a few kettle bells in the small gym area adjacent to the climbing walls.
Cost for the day is $17, and thatâ€™s an all-day pass. Come climb, then take a break for lunch at a nearby eatery, then come climb some more. Wear those kids out!
Vital also features a lofted lounge area where you can watch the climbing action below while sipping on a cup or coffee or tea from the kitchen area. This has been a life-saver for me: I can let the kids get some exercise while I meet my deadlines.
The lounge area includes a separate room that can be used for birthday parties for ages 8 and older.
Vital also offers climbing clinics for kids ages 5-11. What a great way to channel their interest and teach them to be safe!
If you find that you really love climbing and want more, you can purchase a 5- or 10-visit punch card, or sign up for a monthly membership. Climbing shoes are also available for rent for $4, but youâ€™re also welcome to wear your own sneakers.
Whether you go once or many times, you’ll see that climbing kids are happy kids!