Big Rock Climbing Gym's 6,000-square-foot facility welcomes beginners and expert climbers of all ages to scale its varied walls. The gym includes a large main wall with top-rope and lead climbing, a bouldering island, and two bouldering caves. The staff also hosts belaying-certification courses.
Chris and Pam Schmick had spent six months cleaning out the scrap metal from their abandoned silos and just finished drilling thousands of holes in its walls. With little time to spare, they prepared for their climbing gym's grand opening on September 2, 1995—a date on which they had already agreed to hold a regional JCCA competition. The effort they've expended in the nearly 20 intervening years shows: today, climbers scramble on top ropes, lead ropes, and more than 20,000 square feet of lava-free climbing surface.
Instructors prepare visitors to surmount the gym's features in a range of classes, such as Rock Gym 101, which is an introduction to top-rope climbing that covers climbing safety, basic technique, and equipment. Once climbers are equipped with gear from the pro-shop, staff shows them around a multi-level bouldering cave, a main climbing area with 30-foot walls shaped by arêtes, cracks, and waves, and the building's five original silos. Elsewhere inside the gym, six auto-belays safely cradle visitors who wish to climb without taking a class.
Ibex Climbing Gym's 8,000-square-foot indoor facility is home to dozens of routes for all climbing skill levels. From clinging to overhangs or slowly trudging up slabs, climbers can hone their gripping skills with lead or top-rope climbing sessions. On a second-floor loft, bouldering challenges await rope-free climbers, with crash pads on the ground to soften falls and hundreds of multicolored holds offering varying routes. Ibex team members lead classes for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, and also offer youth summer camps and recreational and competitive climbing teams. A wide variety of gear is available to equip students for climbing inside or outside of the gym. Prior to any rope climbing in the gym, beginners must undergo a belay class that teaches the fundamentals of belay safety, proper terminology, and the preclimb lasso dancing required for good luck.
Chesterfield Sports Fusion doesn't limit its visitors to just one or two attractions. Within the 30,000-square-foot facility, sport courts, electronic games, and an array of attractions create enough fun to share with the whole family, even weird second cousins. To pique competitive appetites, the facility hosts 35 arcade games and The Vault, a futuristic, laser-filled obstacle course. Modeled after a movie set, the laser-tag arena hosts matches amid two stories of black-lit scenery, and the trickling sounds of a waterfall serve as the soundtrack for an indoor 18-hole mini-golf course. For athletic play, Chesterfield Sports Fusion boasts a 20-foot climbing wall and a dodge-ball arena. Chesterfield Sports Fusion recognizes that having fun is for all ages and rents its facility out for everything from kids' birthday parties to corporate functions to ceremonies honoring a freshly made pair of dentures.
In 1898—the same year Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium and composer George Gershwin was born—the Wyman Center opened its doors. Founded in St. Louis by a group of citizens intent upon granting the city’s children a respite from the often sweltering tenements, the organization’s first programs were designed to furnish participants with fresh air, healthy food, and fun-filled outdoor activities. Though the world has changed radically since the Wyman Center’s inception, it continues to uphold and expand upon its founders' original mission of providing teens from disadvantaged circumstances with opportunities, support, and educational programs.
Today, powered by a dedicated staff of community leaders and volunteers, the Wyman Center’s numerous initiatives revolve around leadership and outreach programs. Amidst 250 acres of sylvan land, the Eureka campus serves as a base for outdoor education programs available to a variety of organizations from educational camps to team building retreats. Under the watchful eyes of supportive staffers and any fruit bats flying overhead, outdoor adventurers can tackle challenges afforded by ziplines, climbing walls, and orienteering activities. Along with skill-building programs, a variety of getaway packages invite groups to revel in the alfresco amenities of the Eureka campus while celebrating birthdays, weddings, or family reunions.
The event planners at Tikes, Hikes and Bikes send families and kids of all abilities on trips across outdoor trails that foster a love for both nature and exercise. Throughout the year, the organization's team plans excursions ranging from bike rides to hikes and stroller and wheelchair walks. As each journey unfolds, groups may pause to picnic, swap acorn recipes with a squirrel, or forge nature crafts such as bird feeders. To accommodate as many family members as possible, Tikes, Hikes and Bikes' crew posts which trails are paved and wheelchair accessible. They also plan events to benefit child-related charities and encourage kids to pick up trash on each trip, helping protect wildlife from grazing garbage trucks.