Rock climbing indoors eliminates many of the variables beyond your control that can make an outdoor climbing trip dangerous or miserable. These include rockfall, breaking holds and inclement weather. The controlled environment of a climbing gym opens indoor climbing up to families and even children as an exciting full-body workout. Everybody can climb, but you should follow a few basic safety tips to ensure the safest, most enjoyable experience possible when you first visit a climbing gym.
Rent or purchase the minimum equipment necessary to climb in most gyms: a climbing harness, climbing shoes and belay device. If this is your first time climbing, rent the equipment. It'll take less time than buying quality equipment, and if you decide the sport isn't for you, you'll only be out a few dollars. If you decide to keep climbing, you'll have some experience to base your future shoe, harness and belay device purchases on. Small children can usually get away with climbing in clean, snug-fitting tennis shoes or sneakers. Some gyms will allow adults to do this too, but renting the specialized climbing shoes, or borrowing from a friend, is well worth it; they make for a very different experience than climbing in sneakers.