Best Indoor Rock Climbing Gyms and Spaces for Kids Near DC

With 75 themed walls for kids to tackle, it's impossible to get bored at ClimbZone. Photo courtesy of ClimbZone
With 75 themed walls for kids to tackle, it's impossible to get bored at ClimbZone. Photo courtesy of ClimbZone

Indoor rock climbing gyms are popular among many athletic adults, but that doesn't mean kids can't get in on the fun, too. Indoor rock climbing is a great way for children and teens to burn some energy, build strength and agility, learn problem-solving skills, and have fun all year long.

Here are several indoor rock climbing gyms and spaces in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia that offer classes, camps, teams, and more for kids and teens of all ages and abilities. Some of them are located within rec centers or complexes that also offer other activities such as batting cages, sports, and arcades.

Check out our DC Guide to Indoor Playgrounds and Play Spaces for more indoor fun, including trampoline parks, ninja warrior gyms, and lots more.


Indoor Rock Climbing Gyms Near DC: Sportrock Climbing Centers in Alexandria and Sterling, Virginia 
Sportrock offers a variety of climbing classes, teams, and camps for kids. Photo courtesy of Sportrock Climbing Centers

Best Indoor Rock Climbing Gyms and Spaces for Kids in the DC Area

1. Sportrock Climbing Centers — Alexandria & Sterling, VA

Though Sportrock boasts some of the tallest climbing walls in the country, both locations also have plenty of smaller walls for kids and beginners. Sportrock offers private and group classes for all skill levels, weekend morning kids' climbing groups, and summer and school-holiday camps.

BEST FOR: Kids Who Want to Be Competitive Climbers
Sportrock also offers several youth climbing teams, from recreational teams for ages 8-12 to competitive and professional-development teams for teens up to age 19.

2. Bouldering Project — Washington, DC

This indoor rock climbing gym in DC's Eckington neighborhood focuses solely on bouldering—rock climbing without ropes or harnesses on courses that don't go too high off the ground. The Bouldering Project's boulders range from 13 to 17 feet tall. In addition to drop-in climbs, the gym offers a Junior Climb Club for ages 4-5 and a Power Climb Club for ages 6-11, as well as youth teams.

BEST FOR: School Holidays
On select days or weeks when DC public schools are not in session, The Bouldering Project offers programming from 9am-3:30pm for kids ages 5-11. Structured like a camp, the program allows kids to climb, participate in STEAM activities, and more.

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Indoor Rock Climbing Gyms Near DC: Vertical Rock Climbing & Fitness in Tysons and Manassas, Virginia
Kids can learn climbing and bouldering at Vertical Rock Climbing & Fitness. Photo courtesy of the venue

3. Vertical Rock Climbing & Fitness — Tysons & Manassas, VA

Vertical Rock Climbing offers a wide variety of climbing and bouldering classes, camps, and teams for kids at its two large indoor rock climbing gyms, including a homeschool climbing team for ages 5 and up. At the Tysons location, parents can sip artisan coffee at the on-site Basecamp Coffee Roasters while their kids climb.

BEST FOR: Toddlers
Even the youngest kiddos can learn to climb at Vertical Rock Climbing's Toddlin' Climbing Class for ages 2-5. Parents are required to participate in the hour-long class.

4. Movement Climbing — Arlington VA; Rockville & Columbia, MD

Movement's rock climbing gyms in Arlington, Rockville, and Columbia offer roughly 30,000 square feet of climbing space, with varied terrain that keeps things fresh for climbers. Programs for kids and teens include camps, drop-off climbing time, teams, and more. A new location is set to open in Fairfax, Virginia at the end of 2024.

BEST FOR: After-School Programs
Movement Climbing gyms offer after-school programs for ages 6-8, 9-12, and 13-17. Participants can learn how to climb and enjoy games and activities under the supervision of qualified instructors.

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Indoor Rock Climbing Gyms Near DC: ClimbZone in Laurel, Maryland
There's no such thing as a boring climbing wall at ClimbZone. Photo courtesy of ClimbZone

5. ClimbZone — Laurel, MD

ClimbZone was created just for kids, with 75 colorful, hand-painted climbing walls with fun themes such as emojis, alphabet blocks, Mount Rushmore, and Ancient Egypt. Families can purchase tickets online for 90 minutes or two hours of play, or opt for a three-month membership that allows unlimited visits.

BEST FOR: Multiple Activities
When kids get tired of climbing, they can enjoy ClimbZone's arcade or its soft-play area for ages 2-10, which features slides, tunnels, rings, and other fun obstacles.

6. The St. James — Springfield, VA

This massive indoor sports complex is home to a 40-foot climbing wall that challenges climbers of all ages and abilities. Though non-members must pay a fee to use the wall, climbing equipment rentals are free. The St. James also offers personal bouldering and climbing coaching for kids and adults.

BEST FOR: Cross-Training
Youth athletes who use the facility's athletic fields or courts, batting cages, or pools can tackle the climbing wall for additional exercise—and fun!

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Indoor Rock Climbing Gyms Near DC: Claude Moore Recreation & Community Center in Sterling, Virginia 
Give the climbing walls at Claude Moore and Dulles South rec centers a go. Photo courtesy of Claude Moore Recreation & Community Center

7 and 8. Claude Moore Recreation & Community Center and Dulles South Recreation & Community Center — Sterling & South Riding, VA

Experienced rock climbers can visit these Loudoun County rec centers to tackle their indoor rock climbing walls. Kids 17 and under must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian in order to climb. Visit the website for current operating hours.

BEST FOR: Families That Climb Together
These rec centers' climbing walls feature a variety of routes with different levels of difficulty, perfect for families with climbers of various skill levels.

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