Austin Rock Gym

Looking for a fun way to beat the heat, try something new and get a little exercise?  Austin Rock Gym has two locations, one in North Austin and one in South Austin (note:  now closed).

My youngest son was finishing up his Boy Scout climbing merit badge, so we all went along to enjoy the rock gym with him.  

For first time visitors, Austin Rock Gym offers a day pass for $15,  plus an additional $5 for shoes, if you want them.  This will get you (or your child) in for bouldering.  You can climb on the walls without any ropes or harnesses - up to the star painted on each wall.  My oldest son and I spent most of our time doing this and had a great time.

If you want to go higher, there has to be someone in the party 14 years or up who is belay certified.  If you are new to the gym, you can get your belay certification for $30.  This includes a day pass, rental shoes and a harness - so the actual cost of the certification is only an additional $10.  The staff will take around 30 minutes to teach you how to belay and then you are on your own to enjoy the gym.

The gym does ask that you call a couple of hours ahead to schedule the belay certification - so this requires a bit of pre-planning.  Though the gym did belay certify a couple of our teen boys without any pre-registration on the day we were there - they don't always have the staff if you don't call ahead.

Tips and Thoughts
* For parents, this is a more hands-on activity - as you will probably want to get belay certified.  If nothing else, you'll be actively watching your kiddos while they climb around. So where comfortable clothing and be prepared to join in the fun!

* There is a water fountain near the restrooms, but no additional drinks for sale, so bring along a drink if you want one!

*For scouts, the Rock Gym has a great program where they will teach the entire merit badge for $70 or just the climbing and knot portion for $35.  The class looked like a lot of fun!


  1. This is cool. Thanks for the tip. A great idea for a 5th graders birthday stop!

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