Quick Guide: Adventure Rock in Riverwest

My son’s Spring Break extended an extra day for a teacher inservice, so we found ourselves with mom/son quality time this past Monday.

After we dropped his little sisters off at day care, we mused about what to do. I told him that I planned for us to go to the Domes, since it’s free on Monday mornings. He didn’t seem very excited about my idea, and politely reminded me that he’s been there “like ten times already.”

My next suggestion was to check out one of the libraries I’ve been wanting to visit. (The next one on my list is East Library!) He shrugged, and started to get a little teary-eyed.

“Mom, I want to do something that moves my BODY. Not like reading or walking around or looking. I want to move my BODY.”

I was so proud of him for being able to express this to me. I’m a 33 year old woman who likes to ponder and read and observe. He’s a six year old boy with a very real need to MOVE and actively explore the world.

So we changed our plans, and headed to Adventure Rock in Riverwest. And I’m so glad we did.

Parking: The Milwaukee location is on the corner of North Ave. and Commerce St. On a Monday morning, we had no problem scooping up a parking spot on the street.

Cost: A Clip N’ Go pass is $20 per person and includes a harness. I also paid $5.00 for a pair of climbing shoes because I accidentally wore my winter boots. (Because it’s SNOWING outside in APRIL.) My son climbed in his regular tennis shoes and it was completely fine.

Waiver: We filled out the waiver at their electronic kiosks, but you can do it online ahead of time to make it easier.

Brief tour: A friendly staff member walked us around the facility, showed us how to clip in to our harness, and answered all of our questions. Then we were off!

Lockers: There are lockers to hold your stuff, but bring your own Master Lock if you want it secure.

We headed straight for the easy walls, marked 5.5 or 5.6. At first, we were both nervous about reaching the top and belaying down. But each time, my son made it up a little higher, and so did I.

Eventually he made it to the top, and was repelling down like a pro. It was an awesome team-building morning as we cheered each other to the top and helped each other find different rocks to use. We climbed five different walls before heading upstairs.

Upstairs is a free climb area with no ropes or harnesses, similar to a playground. This picture was taken about the time I made him get down!

There is also exercise equipment in this area, including Precor machines, treadmills, bikes, and a rowing machine.

We ended up spending about two hours total climbing and exploring together. (I’m kinda sore!)

And in the time it’s taken me to write this post, he has asked me to go back to Adventure Rock twice. So I’m pretty sure we’ll be back. 🙂

Have you been to Adventure Rock? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear about your experience! Email us at miltownmoms@gmail.com.

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