Words by Lauren Irvine
Photos by Eunice Ho

With the holidays just around the corner, families are already wondering what the perfect gift might be for their favorite energetic munchkins. If you’re looking for an experience that’s thrilling, educational, and developmentally valuable, why not give the healthy excitement of one of Sender’s many great rock climbing offerings for kids?

Indoor rock climbing is fast becoming mainstream, whether you have aspirations to climb outdoors or not. For kids, it’s an incredible way to get valuable exercise–both physical and mental–in the guise of total fun. Plastic kiddie walls have long been a mainstay at carnivals or in playgrounds, but a commercial climbing gym is an entirely different animal: hundreds of colorful holds set into intricate puzzles across thousands of square feet of undulating terrain, a vertical wonderland begging to be explored.

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With an experienced coach on hand to belay and guide, kids can learn a variety of useful skills on the wall. Working up a route with proper climbing technique–including technical footwork and body positioning–not only assists with strength, flexibility, and coordination, but also tests problem solving, decision making, and critical thinking. Overcoming challenges, from fear of heights to frustration over difficult moves, builds self-discipline and confidence. And, when you’re on the wall, it all feels just like an exciting game: piecing together the proper sequences to unlock your way to the top!

At Sender One, our youth climbing programs provide kids of all ages with the chance to discover climbing and connect with their bodies, minds, and peers in a safe, social, physically active environment. From hourlong courses to multi-day climbing camps to recreational and competitive teams, there are options for every schedule and budget. Reserve a slot for your spunky monkey at www.sender.one today!

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One-Hour Experiences

  • Sender City (SNA/LAX coming soon)
    • All ages (must weigh at least 40 pounds)/no experience necessary
    • $25/hour (all gear included)
    • Sender City’s unique, colorful climbing activities present a smorgasbord of fun possibilities for imaginative kids. Race up and leap across a jump catch tower! Plummet down our towering slide! Ascend the terrifying trembling towers! Navigate walls filled with gears, faces, disappearing holds, and more! Helmets, auto-belays, and Sender City’s trained supervisory staff mean you can safely relax and just enjoy their joy.
  • Kids Climb (SNA/LAX coming soon)
    • Ages 5-13/no experience necessary
    • $25/hour (all gear included)
    • Supervised top-rope climbing + a Sender coach on belay + kid-friendly routes on shorter slab walls = worry-free fun for everyone! Kids can scramble all over our easier routes with this casual introduction to rock climbing as we literally show them the ropes. It’s sure to get them hooked–and wear them out.
  • Aerial Silks (SNA)
    • Ages 8-17/no experience necessary
    • $25/hour (members)
    • If you’ve ever felt like your kids should run off and join the circus–here’s their chance! Our experienced instructors teach kids the basics of aerial silk gymnastics, developing strength and flexibility as they soar, flip, and twist like a Cirque du Soleil acrobat.

Day Camps & Extended Programs

  • Parents’ Night Out (SNA)
    • Ages 5-13/no experience necessary
    • Half night (6pm-8pm): $30 / Full night (6pm-10pm): $60
    • Every other Friday, treat your kids (and by proxy, yourself) to an awesome night of open-ended fun! While you enjoy your me time, kids get to explore Sender One and Sender City in a safe, supervised environment complete with activities and games throughout the night. The full-night package includes dinner and a movie to bring them back down to Earth, just in time for parental pickup.
  • Climbing Camp (SNA)
    • Ages 5-13/no experience necessary
    • Half day (9am-2pm): $350 / Full day (9am-5pm): $480 (all equipment included)
    • Offered seasonally (spring, summer, winter)
    • This high-energy weeklong day camp introduces kids to climbing fundamentals through a ton of action-packed fun. It’s so much more than top roping: test balance as you wibble-wobble on a slackline, fly through the gym on a zipline, and navigate agile obstacle courses. A great option for keeping kids healthy and social during those long school vacations!
  • Climbing Academy (SNA)
    • Ages 6-9 and 10-13/no experience necessary
    • $129 for four two-hour sessions (one/week) plus a free Intro to Climbing class for parents! (All equipment included.)
    • Next academy starts: November 29
    • Dive into the fundamentals of climbing with this immersive four-week program, tailored for kids both 6-9 and 10+. Sender One instructors teach kids climbing technique, gear checking, problem solving, self-discipline, and more as each participant learns how to climb both harder and safer. Older kids also learn how to properly belay their peers with supervised guidance. And at the end of the program, if they really get into it…

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Youth Climbing Teams

  • Recreational Youth Team (SNA/LAX coming soon)
    • Ages 6-17 (must have completed our Climbing Academy)
    • Practice fees: $134 (1x/week), $184 (2x/week), $234 (3x/week)
    • All the fantastic camaraderie of a team without the competitive edge, Sender One’s recreational youth teams get kids climbing and learning with peers in a relaxed atmosphere that encourages socialization and teamwork. From Mighty Monkeys (6-9) to Super Senders (10-13) to the High School Club (14-17), kids of all ages will discover a sport they love and connect with new friends as they grow and improve together.
      • As a bonus, climbing team members get full gym memberships, discounted memberships for family members, pro shop discounts, and complimentary equipment rentals.
  • Team Sender One (SNA/LAX coming soon)
    • Ages 6-17 (must participate in tryouts)
    • Practice fees: $214 (2x/week), $264 (3x/week)
    • Next tryouts: January 2017
    • For young climbers ready to ascend to the next level of projects, the USA Climbing Championship-winning Team Sender One gives them the competitive environment they crave. This is a serious commitment that requires dedicated training multiple days a week, self-discipline, and travelling for local and national competitions. But for our coaches and participants, every season of hard work pays off with unforgettable memories and lasting friendships.
      • As a bonus, climbing team members get full gym memberships, discounted memberships for family members, pro shop discounts, and complimentary equipment rentals.
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