Kids Reach New Heights with Chicagoland’s Indoor Rock Climbing Spots

Your kiddie climbers can get their wiggles out.

If your kids have been climbing the walls, it’s a great time to take them to a place where acting like a monkey is totally encouraged. 

Rock climbing is a fun way to burn energy and bond as a family, plus you don’t have to go far to find some of the best scaling spots in and around Chicago.

Brooklyn Boulders

At this climbing gym, there’s bouldering, lead climbing, kilter board, auto-belay, top rope and climbing training. Daily Kids Academy classes teach skills such as bouldering, roped climbing and team building. Birthday parties and STEAM-focused adventure camps are also offered, along with teen and after-school programs.

Climb On

This gym is family-owned. From top rope and bouldering to lead climbing, you’ll find courses for all ages and skill levels. All inexperienced climbers must make an appointment. Once you’re ready to make climbing a regular part of your routine, there are multiple membership plans available.

ClimbZone Chicago

Check out this amusement center for a unique indoor climbing experience, in which the walls are said to be a work of art. There are 65 walls total and all are individually themed with hand-painted artwork. Must be at least 2 years old. There’s also a high ropes course, bumper cars, soft play area, laser tag and arcades. Also, offers birthday parties.

First Ascent

  • Address: Locations in Arlington Heights and Chicago 
  • Cost: $23/day pass, $49/guided session; plenty of membership options

This yoga, fitness and climbing gym offers rock climbing for kids 5 and up at each of the Chicagoland locations. Parents are required to supervise children ages 14 and under, but don’t have to pay a fee if they’re just watching. Their wide range of classes aim to improve kids’ balance and coordination, as well as increase confidence and strength.


If your kids aren’t quite ready to tackle a full-on climbing gym, this play center is a fun way to introduce them to the sport. They have interactive “fun walls,” including a magic beanstalk and a dinosaur skeleton, which will thrill and delight your little ones, while bigger kiddos can attempt the Rocktopia Granite wall. With two locations in Glenview and Naperville, there are also ropes courses, climbing obstacles, a Jungle Gym and a realistic cave structure to explore.


Movement Lincoln Park offers climbing, yoga, and fitness offerings. Ages 5 and up can enjoy a climb on more than 200 routes on a wall topping out at 56-feet high. The first guided climb is $35 and includes rental gear. The Wrigleyville location also has a dedicated beginner and youth area to watch your kiddos in.

UIC Campus Recreation Climbing Wall

The 43-foot Entre Prises’ Free Form wall at UIC simulates the look and feel of an actual rock, which makes for a truly authentic experience. Featuring seven top ropes, the wall’s intricate detailing will make you feel like you’re miles away from the city. The climbing wall can be rented for birthday parties and private events.

Vertical Endeavors

This gym is the western suburbs is one of the largest indoor climbing facilities in the country. It offers numerous top rope climbs, auto belays, bouldering areas and sport lead climbing. Also, offers youth programs, birthday parties, group events and more.

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