My 12 year-old climbed the pinnacle today at REI, Seattle. She would have been climbing sooner, but has just about completely healed from years of (24) hip & leg surgeries she's had to endure for the past 6 years.
We're moving to Thailand for a few years in three months, where the climbing at Railay is some of the MOST amazing in the world. I was not willing to spend the $$ in gear, if she didn't even like it in a totally controlled environment, like REI
We had the MOST amazing young man helping her, talking to her constantly, and reassuring her throughout the entire visit. She only made it a little more than halfway up, but we'll be going again, for sure. Next time, taking a few of her friends - relying on them for support (I'm convinced that peer pressure can be super advantageous when used positively).
All-in-all - a VERY positive experience! And all for ONLY $7! That is a next-to-nothing price to pay to get kids (and adults) off the couch, by introducing them into an amazing sport. If you think (like I did before I tried it), it sounds silly, well you're not alone. Rock climbing is truly a sport you have to TRY to appreciate, and love. Sadly, I have an arm injury that prevents me from the sport, but I REALLY want my kids to experience it, even though I can't any longer.
Downside - available by appointment ONLY, and it currently runs 4 days - a week to schedule one. I wish it could be a last-minute deal, but it's not.
Don't let that hold you back, though - the up-side to that is, NO one is watching / hanging around for their turn! No lines!
Bottom line, GO FOR IT! You, your kids, your friends - alone, or in a group. Skip movie night, go climb the pinnacle. It's a VERY healthy, positive experience that may very well leed to many more for you, your family, and your friends!