My kids have been begging for skateboards, even though they have bicycles and scooters gathering dust in the garage. So, when we recently had the opportunity to visit Kids That Rip Family Action Sports Center, I knew it would be a hit.
I was warned ahead of time that the center was undergoing construction, but it’s hard to imagine my kids could have had any more fun than they did during our visit. KTR is the perfect antidote for the winter doldrums or whatever seasonal ailments your kids may have. It’s also the only thing that got them off the couch and away from the video game without complaint.
Of course, there’s a lot more to KTR than just skateboarding—a lot more. The 40,000-square-foot center hosts a bevy of classes, including gymnastics, tumbling, parkour, Ninja Warrior, skateboarding and scooters.
“No matter what age kid you bring, they’ll be able to experience what works best for them,” said Jane Bower, KTR’s general manager. Bower also coaches some of the center’s classes. “We wanted to be so that everybody can do something.”
My kids started in the regular area, which includes six Olympic trampolines, an air floor and climbing walls. We stayed in the area aimed at children 5 and older, but a smaller section is geared toward those younger than 6. In addition to the classes, they also offer open gym times so kids can check out a little bit of everything.
After climbing, running, jumping and swinging, my small crew headed in the back to the skate park to finally get the kids on those skateboards they covet so much. Of course, I hadn’t thought to bring any safety gear, so we stopped by the retail shop to grab a rental helmet and skateboard. Visitors can bring their own skateboards, scooters and safety gear and can even buy kid-sized and regular skateboards and scooters.
After being fitted for helmets, we were in the skate park. I was supremely blown away by the kids of all ages doing tricks on skateboards and scooters up and down the ramps. My kids were led to one of the center’s instructors who gave them beginner skateboarding messages. They weren’t quite doing tricks, but I could tell they were a lot steadier than when they began. Lessons are a great way to make sure kids know how to properly ride, Bower said.
“We teach them how to do it correctly and safely,” she said.
And learning how to skate or do any of the other sports offered at KTR is more than just looking cool. It also is a great way to help kids build their strength, coordination, flexibility and confidence.
KTR also offers a preschool program that teaches kids education while also keeping them active. There are also three birthday party suites and a snack shack if you get hungry.
To save time on your visit, Bower suggested going online to fill out waivers ahead of time. Also, be sure to check out class schedules, special events and drop-in times on the website. Plus, if you’re not quite sure about what your child may like, call ahead and you can get a free trial. The center also hosts BMXers, skateboard/scooter competitions, teen programs, camps and more.