Looking for something different – and healthy – for your child's next birthday party? The Edge Climbing Centre in North Vancouver has been offering climbing parties for children for over twenty years.
"We're now seeing parents who attended birthday parties themselves as children arranging parties for their own kids," says Henry Wang, owner of The Edge Climbing Centre. "It's a really cool thing to see."
While children make up 90 percent of the party bookings at The Edge Climbing Centre, Henry has seen a number of adult parties as well.
"We have people come for their pre-wedding parties and companies bringing employees for team building exercises. There's no difference whether you're 60 years-old or six years-old; you just turn up with a smile and we take care of the rest."
To start, The Edge Climbing Centre's experienced and qualified staff will help participants with any necessary safety gear and make sure everyone knows the typical commands that they might need.
"For example," Henry explains, "if you want off the wall immediately, you'll know exactly how to communicate that to the staff."
The parties are designed for children with very little or no climbing experience. The Edge Climbing Centre staff gives a small demonstration to show your child how it's completely safe if they fall off the wall and on to the thick crash mat below.
"Once the kids have started climbing, our staff generally has a good idea of their capabilities," Henry says. "The more nervous kids will be placed on the easier walls, but older children who are more adventurous or physically fit will be put on something a little more challenging. It really depends on the group."
Because the client-to-staff ratio is low in these climbing party reservations, The Edge Climbing Centre is happy for parents to simply drop their kids off to have fun with their friends and leave for their own activities.
"We're fully staffed and able to take care of your children," says Henry, "Parents have a number of options. They're welcome to drop the kids off and leave, stay and take photos of the fun, or even join in and climb themselves."
After the climbing fun is ended, The Edge Climbing Centre has a private lounge that's available free of charge to continue the birthday party.
"We don't provide food," notes Henry, "but many parents bring cake or pizza and they're welcome to book the lounge for an hour after the climbing at no extra cost."