As fun as the gym can be, Berkeley Ironworks is not a playground and should not be considered a safe place for kids. Parents must take utmost care to keep their child/ren and other adult climbers safe. Please familiarize yourself with our rules before bringing your kiddo to Ironworks.

Rules for Children

  • All children must have a current waiver on file signed by their parent or legal guardian. Family friends, grandparents, siblings, uncles/aunts, or other family members cannot sign your child’s waiver.
  • There must always be a 1:1 non-climbing adult-to-child ratio for kids under 6 and a 1:2 ratio for kids 6 to 14. All kids 14 and under must be directly supervised. Direct supervision means keeping children within arm’s reach at all times.
  • Children under 14 are not permitted in the weight room or cardio area unless directly supervised by an adult. Some equipment is totally off limits to kids and is labeled as such.
  • Children under 12 are not permitted in the bouldering area unless they are a member and supervised by an adult, or are an active member of our Team Program.
  • Swinging on/playing with ropes or any of our gym equipment is strictly prohibited. Kids should not be touching ropes unless they are being tied in to rope climb.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when you have infants and small children in climbing areas. You are responsible for keeping them out of harm’s way and out of the way of other gym users.
  • If we need to remind you or your child/ren of the rules multiple times, or if we receive more than two complaints about their behavior, we will ask that you leave the gym for the day.

Gym Etiquette

  • Running is never permitted.
  • Barefoot climbing is never permitted.
  • Never walk directly under climbers on any wall, whether they are rope climbing or bouldering.
  • Avoid walking between climbers and belayers.
  • Never step on ropes.
  • Keep personal items off the mats and out of any fall zones.
  • When moving through the gym, keep your head on a swivel and be mindful of your surroundings. Make sure to look above you when walking.
  • Do not touch anyone else’s gear and do not allow your children to do so.

Please ask the staff if you are unsure of proper safety or etiquette, or if you see anyone disregarding the rules stated above. We are here to help you!

These rules are not exhaustive. Our staff may have to take additional precautions to ensure the safety and comfort of all gym users.

Group Event FAQ

Do you offer birthday parties for children?

We do not offer birthday parties for children.

Can we bring in a group of children if it’s not for a birthday party?

You’re welcome to bring in a group of children as long as you satisfy the following requirements:

  • Your group is self-sufficient.
  • One non-climbing adult must always be directly supervising children. Direct supervision means keeping children within arm’s reach at all times. We require a 1:1 adult-to-child ratio for kids under 6, and a 1:2 ratio for kids 6 to 14.
  • You have no more than 15 participants. The ratios stated above always apply.
  • Everyone has signed a waiver, including spectators. It is highly recommended that you do so in advance.

All self-sufficient groups must reserve their spot at least one week in advance by calling the front desk at (510) 981-9900.

How do I become self-sufficient?

You must meet the following criteria in order to hold a self-sufficient event in our facility:

Top Roping

  • Your group includes enough Touchstone-certified belayers to directly supervise the children. Direct supervision means keeping children within arm’s reach at all times.
  • We require a 1:1 adult-to-child ratio for climbers under 6.
  • For every 3 climbers ages 6-14, you must provide at least one Touchstone-certified belayer over the age of 18. A certified belayer has a permanent TS belay card or can pass our belay test with no assistance. Take our Intro to Climbing Class or Parents Belay Class to learn how to belay or get a refresher.

Bouldering

Due to the high volume of adults taking ground falls in the bouldering area, it’s especially important that adult chaperones keep all children within arm’s reach at all times.

  • Any participants under the age of 6 are also Touchstone members. We do not allow any non-member children under 6 in our bouldering area.
  • Your group includes enough experienced adult boulderers to directly supervise the children. Direct supervision means keeping children within arm’s reach at all times. We require a 1:1 adult-to-child ratio for Touchstone members under 6, and a 1:2 ratio for all kids 6 to 14.
  • Everyone has signed a waiver, including spectators. It is highly recommended that you do so in advance.

If you have any questions about whether you meet these criteria, please call the gym and speak with one of our staff.

Price:
Regular day pass and rental rates apply.

I want my child to start climbing, but I’m not able to be at the gym with them. Do you have staff available to supervise?

We do not have staff on hand to supervise general day use. However, you’re welcome to schedule a private lesson with one of our instructors in advance of your visit by calling the gym. The more advance notice the better! Check here for rates.

We also offer winter and summer climbing camps, and after school camp in the spring and fall. Registration is required before the first day of the session.

How do I get my child to start climbing in the roped area?

You’re welcome to hire one of our private instructors, or you can take the Parents Belay Class to learn how to be self-sufficient. The class will teach you everything you need to know to start belaying your child. Classes are free for members.