Home Articles AZ on the Rocks encouraging kids to reach for new heights

AZ on the Rocks encouraging kids to reach for new heights

Anderson Millet of Phoenix holds the rope for a friend.

Let’s face it: kids have a lot of energy. Maybe you even have a child that you’re constantly telling to stop climbing the furniture and they’re literally driving you up the wall!

Your perfect solution might just be found at AZ on the Rocks.

About AZ on the Rocks

The Scottsdale rock climbing gym is family owned and has been serving the Valley for 18 years. With 31-foot walls to climb and a free-falling platform, it’s perfect for an adventure-seeking daredevil, but also has plenty of opportunities for the most inexperienced climber.

“We strive to make sure that everyone and anyone feels welcome and feels like they can climb,” said Stephanie Mills, Second in Command at AZ on the Rocks. “We were all beginners at one point and we try to focus on that. We’ve had as young as 18 months all the way to 88 years old.”

Apart from their regular day pass to come in and climb, AZ on the Rocks offers a variety of membership options as well, including a family day or monthly option which allows two generations living in the same household to attend together and does not have a number limit.

“The owners wanted to be inclusive of larger families,” said Mills. “It’s been really great to see the parents engaged and participating with their kids.”

Programs for Kids

While AZ on the Rocks welcomes all ages, they have a variety of programs designed specifically for kids, which Mills says are among their most popular services.

One program is their monthly Homeschool Days, designed specifically for homeschooled and online students to get some physical activity and socialize with other kids.

Another popular service is Klimberz, otherwise known as the afterschool program for students in grades first through eighth, which are one hour long classes once a week. These offer participants the chance to learn climbing basics while also building self-confidence, problem-solving, large motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.

AZ on the Rocks also has a Youth Climbing Team, with about 60 kids currently ranging in age from 10-18, who practice anywhere from 2-3 times a week for about 2-3 hours a week. Those who participate have the option to either be on the recreational team that does not compete, or to be a part of the competitive team where they compete regionally and nationally for both their climbing speed and difficulty.

Far left: Finley Millet of Phoenix on the rock climbing wall. Middle top and far right: Anderson hangs from the bouldering wall. Middle bottom: Laila Thosani of Paradise Valley.

Birthday Parties and Summer Camps

Birthday parties at AZ on the Rocks are a sure way to help your child and their friends to expel some energy while celebrating the birthday girl or boy. For two and a half hours on a Saturday or Sunday, your child can have between 10 -15 friends come climb and enjoy some pizza and cake, which can be purchased through AZ on the Rocks or brought in.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Mills. “The base price includes dedicated staff members who will attend your party too.”

Summer camps at AZ on the Rocks are also a popular way for kids to spend the hot Arizona months and cool off inside the 14,000 square feet air-conditioned gym.

Campers can either attend for a half a day (from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) or sign up for the full day (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), which Mills says most choose the full time option.

While there, the kids rotate through a variety of activities including races, relays, obstacle courses, crafts, games, yoga, and of course, climbing. Lunch can be purchased, which is provided fresh daily from Pita Jungle, or brought in.

Summer camps typically run for nine weeks and kids must be between the ages of 6 and 12 to attend. Cost ranges anywhere from $290-385 a week.

Whether you’re looking for something fun to do with the kids on the weekend, trying to find the perfect venue for your child’s upcoming birthday party, or planning ahead for entertainment over the summer months, you’ll want to check out AZ on the Rocks.

“Climbing is for everyone, “said Mills. “For kids in particular it’s a wonderful way for them to build self-confidence and problem solve and we love being able to open them up to it.”

AZ on the Rocks Programs

  • Klimberz: After school program for kids. 1 hour class per week for four weeks. Cost: $130.
  • Homeschool Days: Last Friday of the month from 12-2:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required. $13 per child or $25 for the whole family.
  • Birthday Parties: A 2½ hour party with your own party hosts and use of the room. Use of the free fall device at the end of the party, if two staff members are available. All gear necessary to climb. A refrigerator to store your party goodies. Starts at $430.
  • Teen Night: Selected Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Open to all teens ages 13-17. Cost: $10 for members, $20 for non-members.
  • Youth Climbing Team: For ages 8-19. Option to compete regionally and nationally. Open to all levels and abilities.
  • Summer Camp: Ages 6-12. Runs for 9 weeks. Full day (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) or half day option (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Lunch provided or choose to bring your own lunch. Rock climbing, yoga, obstacle courses, relay races, games, crafts and more. Prices start at $290 a week.

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