Lessons in Self-Confidence at Airtopia in Owasso

I think one of the most important and difficult lessons we have to learn as parents is that sometimes you just have to be willing to let go and let those little birdies try out their own wings even if it means falling flat on their adorable little beaks. You spend so much time trying to just keep your kids alive and protect them from all of the dangers in the world that taking a step back can sometimes feel like the hardest thing to do in the world, but the reality is that you’re not doing your kids any favors. 

While it may not have always been the safest parenting strategy, most of the Gen-X kids I grew up with experienced a childhood that seems almost mythical by today’s standards. Just about everyone in their 40s has tales of riding their bikes on trails or coming home alone after school. But like so many parents of younger Zoomers and Alphas, we’ve watched our kids struggle to find their way in the world between the increasing reliance on technology as a social tool and the Nightmare of 2020 we all wish we could just collectively retcon from our brains. 

My first lesson in how much of a smother I am came when Arthur and I visited Plano for a press trip a few years back. Part of the getaway included test-driving a Go Ape! ropes course, which sounded pretty amazing. But as I stood there in the big hard sun of midsummer Texas watching the tutorial on how to link up our carabiners to the ropes course, I could feel my heart palpitating in pure maternal terror at the thought of my then-12-year-old failing to link up properly and plummeting to an untimely death. 

But I also knew this was a do-or-die moment. I knew that by failing to trust in my kid and encourage him to go forward, I would be depriving him of the chance to do something he might not be able to do again for a long time – if ever – and teaching him that I think he isn’t capable of something. Suppressing the lump in my throat, I forced myself to pretend it was the easiest thing in the world. And to my surprise, this kid – this “inside” kid who spent many a day glued to an electronic device or a Harry Potter book – linked up his carabiner and sailed through the ropes course ahead of me, completely focused on the task at hand. He emerged from the completed course more confident and proud than I have ever seen him. 

And that, folks, is one of the most important lessons my own child has taught me, as obvious as it might seem in retrospect. 

Pxl 20221118 001748284

I finally got to pay that favor forward with his youngest sibling last week when we took all three of our brood to Airtopia in Owasso, and it was one of the best times we’ve had in ages. It was our first time to visit a trampoline park, and I think we all had the preconceived notion that it wouldn’t be quite as much fun for kids past a certain age. Granted, who doesn’t love a trampoline, but I didn’t realize there would be so many activities our whole family would love. 

trampoline at airtopia

Pxl 20221118 002950269

The park is equipped with plenty of fun trampoline park activities like the open trampoline jump, the video game jump (ValoJump), trampoline dodgeball, and trampoline basketball. But it was the confidence builders like these that made it a worthwhile substitute for movie night with our teens and tween:

Climbing Up the Walls

If you or your fam have always wanted to try out rock climbing but it seems daunting, Airtopia is a great place to check it out. After donning a harness, participants can try out wall climbing with progressively more challenging levels of difficulty. It’s not remotely the level of difficulty you’d experience with a more advanced rock climbing wall, and it’s a good way to get kids introduced to climbing and build their confidence in the process. Nebula Dad went through all of them and found them to be fun and fairly easy for an adult, so it’s definitely worth getting in on the action with your younglings. 

Indoor Parkour

As kids who spent years transforming any location into a game of The Floor is Lava at the drop of a hat, the Nebula kids were positively salivating over this and had a blast doing it. Located within the wall climbing sector of the facility is a series of increasingly taller columns. This was one of the more challenging experiences for Lucy, who got through the first two easily enough, but by the last one, she decided to bow out. Even so, she was very excited to have pushed herself that far.

 Mario Party

If your kids love a good platformer as much as mine do, the idea of hopping over things and dodging Koopas IRL is a dream come true. While there are no Koopas at Airtopia as far as I could tell, they do offer an absolutely wacky obstacle attraction. It’s a machine with two spinning, rotating arms that participants either jump over or duck under. It starts off slow and gets increasingly faster as it goes. Filing this under “sneaky exercise.” 

Ropes Course

While the kids tried out a ropes course at New Life Ranch Frontier Cove a few years back, it was decidedly less challenging than the obstacle course at Airtopia. That’s not to say there weren’t smaller kids getting through it just fine – it’s just to say there is a lot more variety on this course, and that variety was a little bit heart-stopping in all the best ways even for the braver members of my family. A series of swinging platforms that my family took a hard nope on nearly had me turning back, but at the end of the adventure, we all had a blast swapping stories. 

airtopia pricing

If you’re eager to detach your kids from their screens for a bit this winter and get into some family adventures with all of your family members regardless of age, be sure to check out Airtopia. And pro tip: they’re installing a bar pretty soon, because goodness knows you deserve a cold one for being the cool parent who smoked your kids on the ropes course. 

Cn Airtopia Pin

Categories: Coffee Nebula