Rock Climbing at Elzie Odom Athletic Center, Arlington

Ever since we visited Maddogz Paintball in Waxahachie, and my little five-year old got to try out a climbing wall, he has been asking and asking to do it again.  Of course, he also CLIMBS everything in the house, yard and playground, going as high as he can get!


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But climbing “the walls” is different from climbing a rock wall.  We went out to the Elzie Odom Athletic Center in Arlington to try out their wall.  It’s open to the public 7 days a week, and you don’t have to be an Arlington member to climb, but you will pay a couple of dollars more.

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We were shown how to hook up his harness, and I was given a quick lesson on how to “belay”.  I was also attached to a harness and his rope then attached to me, so that I could control if and how quickly he would come down.  It only took a minute to understand the concept, and maybe a minute more to get the coordination and focus on my part down, since neither coordination nor focus come very easy for ME!

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The wall is set up for different levels of abilities, with some sections much more difficult.  Of course, my little boy was starting out on the easiest part.

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He LOVED the climbing part!  What he didn’t like so much was when he happened to look down.  It took a few times for him to understand that he wasn’t going to fall, and how easily it was for him to come down.  What I loved about it was that he could do it as many times as he wanted.  We stopped once or twice for a potty break or just to rest, and then tried again!

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The room has a fun theme, too!  He’s already asked about having his birthday party there, which can be rented for special events, and even overnight!

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Once he really understood how to come down, or repel, there was no stopping him!  He never made it all the way to the top, and I never even suggested he might go that high!  I was just so proud of him for trying over and over again, going up as high as he felt comfortable and then coming down again!  He was quickly creating new climbing techniques, like the Twisted Dragon and the Lizard Sprawl.  He had a great time, and had a sense of accomplishment, and that’s what was most important!

My Mommy Tips:

  • In order to belay for your child, you must wear a harness, so be sure to wear appropriate clothing and shoes, avoiding dresses and heels.
  • Your child should must wear closed toe shoes and if wearing shorts, be sure they are long enough that the harness can fit over them comfortably, so that it’s not rubbing on their skin.

The center, located at 1601 NE Green Oaks Blvd, sits on the Trinity River, just downriver from the takeout on the River Legacy Paddling Trail.  It’s really a  pretty sight from the river, jutting up above the trees.

Things to do in Arlington 

Whew, there’s a lot to do in Arlington, for a complete list, click HERE.

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As a Naturally Fun Blogger for the City of Arlington, I am invited to several events through the city, but I am not financially compensated for these post, and all opinions are my own.  To check out our most recent Naturally Fun Adventure, click HERE.

Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun! 

Michelle 

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