We love to try new activities and are always looking for something new to try out. We’ve visited Rock Up on a number of occasions and wanted to share our experience and how much fun it was for everyone.
Rock Up is an indoor climbing activity centre with 27 different climbing walls to try out. Anyone can climb from 4 years upwards, so the adults can watch and encourage from the side or join in with the fun too!
There is also a soft play area upstairs for little ones 0 – 2 years and 3 – 8 years and a café for the adults to relax while the kids climb.
It’s located in the Intu shopping centre in Watford, so there’s plenty of parking, plus you can even head to the shops while the kids are busy climbing with dad! Win, win!!
My 11 and 9 year olds couldn’t wait to start climbing. There was a safety briefing first which lasted around 30 minutes, so make sure you arrive in plenty of time for your climbing session. The staff leading the briefing were very professional and gave clear instructions on how to use the clip in system with the safety harnesses. Safety briefing over and it was time for the fun to start.
The Climbing Walls
With so many different climbing walls there was plenty of choice and lots of space for the kids to move around and get climbing. Some walls were easier than others, but the aim is to clip in at the bottom, climb to the top, hit the button at the top and then casually abseil down (sounds easy ;)) At the bottom of the walls the staff then unclip the safety harnesses and you are free to climb the next wall. There is no order to climb the walls, just choose the one you want, clip in and go. One of the favourites with my children was the timed wall, always a race to see if they could get the best/fastest time to the top. The transparent climbing walls were also popular where you climb either side of the wall and race each other face to face up the wall, nothing like a race to bring out the competitive spirit between siblings J
The green pipes challenge was also fun, basically you step from one pipe to the next getting higher and higher. A real test on balance and courage plus a bit of determination the get to the highest pipe for a moment of sheer joy when they reach the top.
Leap of Faith
If you’re looking for some extra adrenaline then try the Leap of Faith. This is where you climb up a pole then take a leap of faith (with safety harnesses and helmets of course) to grab hold of a swinging foam cylinder mid air. Both kids loved this, although my squeal of terror as I watched from the viewing platform told a completely different story. Please note there is an additional 3 for this activity.
We found the staff to be really friendly and gave help and encouragement when it was needed. There were lots of staff members in the climbing area so you didn’t have to wait long to be unclipped and free to climb another wall.
Climbing sessions are 55 minutes long which gives you plenty of time to do lots of climbing on the different walls. This is probably the right length of time for kids (and adults) to climb, as after 55 minutes of hard work and fun your arms will ache.
Rock Up can also be booked by groups such as Guides and Scouts, and schools. They also run Toddler Climb sessions for pre-school children. See website for details.
The kids loved it and keep asking when we’ll go back. It’s a great way to spend an hour or so plus tiring them out. Rock Up costs from £12.75 at peak times and from £8.50 for off peak times. I would recommend pre-booking your session to avoid long waits or disappointed children especially during weekend and school holidays. We’ll definitely be back for more fun and maybe will even give it a try myself!
We have also held our kids birthday parties here and they were a huge success. We hired out the full centre which allows for 36 children to climb for the hour while adults can view all the fun from the viewing platforms upstairs and café area. There are also party rooms that you can use although we chose to eat beforehand so didn’t use them for our parties. There are other party options available with details on the website.
Location: Intu Watford Shopping Centre (near John Lewis)