Now that Ay is taking a keen interest in the climbing walls at the outdoor parks, I decided to take him to the indoor climbing area. We had tried climbing with Harness before and he didn’t like it, so we never got around to exploring this much. However, now I thought he was ready, and he was actually really excited when I mentioned it to him, so off we went to the clip n climb at Bicester on a rainy day.
You don’t need any climbing experience at all. The auto-belay system means all climbers can enjoy a safe, fun environment where climbing really does become a game.
They fit in the harness for you. You watch a safety video and you are then whisked off to the climbing arena with the beautiful colourful walls for your 55 minute session (if you have booked an open climb, for which you need to be at least 4 years old but toddlers, 2+ years, are able to climb during the Rhyme ‘n Climb sessions or the Family sessions). Non Climbing adults can enter the climbing arena to assist child climbers on a 1:1 basis or can spectate from the arena side café.
The place is not huge but there are plenty of walls to climb. Each wall has a button at the top which you can hit once you reach the top and have completed the challenge. It takes a while to get used to the harness; Ay initially tried to come down by climbing down. It took him a few goes to understand how it works and that he doesn’t have to worry about “climbing down”. Once he got the hang of it, he would purposely try to jump down and fall on the mat just to have a laugh.
We spent most of our time on the “big cheese”, which is a crisp and colourful-looking climb, which enables smaller climbers to steadily weave their way to the top, swopping and matching of hands and feet and “amazing” which is like a maze of blocks stacked together. Ay really wanted to do the “checker plate”, which had bright colourful LED lights reflecting brilliantly off the metallic surface. However, it was quite slippery to hold on to. We also tried our hand on the “Jungle Gym” which is a bit similar to the climbing frames found in the playgrounds outdoors. You can climb up the ladder and then try different routes on the cargo net.
There were two speed climb walls with timers on so you could race each other or time yourself. One wall had some revolving discs on it. There was a twister and Astroball as well.
You can also try the stairway to heaven. No hands required on this one as climbers are challenged instead to walk their way to the top on the balancing beams which gradually increase in height. Then there is the vertical drop slide, which I have seen in some trampoline parks but are not for the faint hearted. In this extraordinary experience, you are kitted out in a skydive suit and a helmet. Holding on to a handlebar, you are pulled up the face of the slide as high as you are comfortable with. You can go upto 9-metre high (which was almost vertical up.. gulp gulp) and then you let go of the handle bar to slide down. Two girls attempted it infront of us and Kudos to them; I would probably have had a heart attack! You have to pay an additional charge of £2.50 for two goes at the drop slide.
We spent 45 minutes climbing on there. We left 10 minutes early, mainly because the harness got uncomfortable for him and it was a physically and mentally challenging experience (mind you, he’s still not even 5). He has been talking so much about it since we returned and is already planning on going back.
Indoor climbing is not just for the kids though. It is becoming an increasingly popular hobby as not only does it offer an excellent work out, it also improve motor function, balance and co-ordination as well as problem-solving abilities. Daring seniors can also get involved at the Coffee ‘n Climb sessions.
Clip ‘n Climb Challenges offers a unique and extraordinary experience! The different shapes, vibrant colours and variety of textures make the Challenges appealing to anyone from 4 years upwards, regardless of their climbing experience and agility. We loved it and will definitely be going back!
The Light, in Banbury also offers adventure climbing, along with crazy golf, interactive darts, a retro arcade, Karaoke, American pool, shuffle board, Table tennis and of course, seven-screen cinema and dining, all arranged on three levels under one roof! Read our review and differences HERE.
🗺 Address: Bessemer Cl, Bicester OX26 6QE, United Kingdom
🎟 Entrance fee applies– Different prices for the different sessions. Please see website for updated ticket prices and opening hours/ session timings HERE
🚘 Free parking on site
🚻 Toilets on site
🍕 Cafes on site
🧺 You are not allowed to bring your own food inside
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