We took J to kids fun town on a very wet slushy Monday afternoon. It turned out to be the perfect place to take him. It offers a similar service to sprouts, drop in play with parents nearby, but the offering of toys is completely different than sprouts so it makes a nice change of venue. It is a socks only facility which is nice for crawlers. I think the age range that can take the best advantage is toddlers. It seems very toddler friendly as it’s definitely a smaller facility. Continue reading “Kids Fun Town”
Allan Gardens is one of the best free attractions you can visit in Toronto. Every time I go I am amazed that it is free. It is also next to one of the best playgrounds in the city.
The gardens are a series of greenhouses with different displays each season. Walking through the gardens takes about 45 minutes if you go at a leisurely pace. We have visited many time since baby J was born and try and go once a season to see the changing displays. It is very stroller accessible. J has enjoyed looking at the plants but in most previous visits he did fall asleep in the stroller. It wasn’t until our most recent visit, at 14 months, when he really seemed to love it. He ran through the greenhouse fascinated and didn’t want to sit in the stroller for a minute. While I had to watch him a bit to make sure he didn’t damage any plants he never made too many tries. He loved watching the waterwheel by the turtles. Continue reading “Allan Gardens Conservatory & Playground”
Location: 1402 Queen St E
Toronto Yoga Mamas offers such a wide variety of services to mothers and moms to be. I’ve attended a number of different ones including pre-natal yoga, mom & baby yoga, crawlers yoga, monthly mom groups, and I’ve also used their wellness services such as massage. They also have a cute boutique with curated items. They offer so many different services as well that I haven’t tried. Continue reading “Toronto Yoga Mamas”
Location: 51 Larchmount Ave, Toronto, ON (Bruce Public School)
Website: TDSB Website
Regular Hours: Monday- Friday 9am – 1:00pm
Age: 0-6 years
The Bruce drop is a small infant friendly drop. They have a water table, a sandbox, crafts and lots of toys. Circle time is at about 10:30. There is almost no information online about the drop in or monthly calendar but they are open every day during the school year except for winter school holidays. They are closed all summer. Marie who runs the drop in is extremely friendly, animated, and does a good circle and story time. Continue reading “Bruce PS Drop In”
Location: Queen and Saulter (Behind the library)
Regular Hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday: 9 am to 1:30 pm, Tuesday: 1pm – 5:30pm, Saturday: 9am – 12:30pm
Age: 0-6 years
The south riverdale drop-in is my favourite drop-in especially for infants and toddlers. It is also one of the only ones that keep their website up-to-date! You can find their latest schedule here: http://srcpc.org/
It is much smaller than most drop-ins which are like gyms so they cater much more to infants. Circle time has more baby friendly songs. They are also one of the only drop-ins that are open in the afternoon (Tuesdays only). Wednesday there are generally field trips (must pre-register).
Location: 870 Queen Street East
Website: Toronto Parks Website
Regular Hours: Varies but usually 3pm to 6pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday (check above link under drop-in programs listed as Recreation Fun and Play with Caregiver)
Ages: Under 5
The Jimmie Simpson Rec center offers a drop in play time for babies under 5. It is one of the few free activities offered in the afternoon, it is usually offered October – April. There are no staff like a drop in center, it’s basically free play with a variety of toys in an open gym. There are a great assortment of toys to play with and it’s great for a moving baby/toddler. There is no registration you just walk in and can use a variety of toys while you are there. There are slides, lots of push toys, ride-on toys, and climbing structures.
Sometimes the gym isn’t available a small room is used instead. This can be very loud due to echoes which may be overwhelming for some children who are sensitive to noise. If this is a major concern you can call ahead and check.
Location: 183 Carlaw Ave. (Carlaw and Queen)
Regular Hours: Monday–Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am – 4pm
Ages: 0-6 years
Cost: First visit free, 6 visits for $66.50 or monthly pass
I love sprouts it’s very clean with great toys and play structures for toddlers. There are great amenities such as a kitchenette, coffee, sippy cups, and a vending machine with baby food if you forgot yours. Most importantly it is one of the only indoor play spaces in the area that is open on weekends and afternoons. I usually like to take Jacob to the park in the afternoon but if the weather is horrid it’s an excellent place to go. Especially before Jacob was walking I was very hesitant to take him to the park if it was wet since he would crawl through all the much. Sometimes I take him out if it’s wet now but it’s still good to have a place to go in the afternoon if the weather if bad. I highly recommend getting the 6 pass which is what we buy. I find I use it about 3 times a month on average. Continue reading “Sprouts”
Mini-Nastics is usually a bit further north than I usually wander but in this case it’s definitely worth it. They provide such an excellent value for 5 dollars. They offer an excellent song circle which includes keyboards and guitar. My son was very entertained by the keyboard. After the song circle, which is about 30 minutes, there is free play in the gymnasium. This includes a trampoline and lots of things to climb if you have a little mover. I love that it is a drop-in too since it’s so hard to plan/commit to things with Jacob. Continue reading “Mini-Nastics Song Circle”
Baby’s first year in a drop-in group for parents and their babies under 1 year. This group was one of my favourite activities on maternity leave I attended almost every time it worked out with naptime.
Location: 765 Queen St. East, Toronto (Ralph Thornton Center / On top of the library)
Appleseed Yoga is a new practice run by Megan, a local riverdale mom. I’ve taken pre-natal classes with Megan at a different practice. I haven’t yet had a chance to check out her new practice but I’m sure it’s great. She offers infant, toddler, and kids classes as well as weekend family classes.
Parent Resources is a free drop in center that is also open on Saturdays during the school year. Generally it is open from 9:00am until 12:30pm but sometimes they have field trips so be sure to check their schedule online.
There are a number of rec centers that offer swimming lessons for babies and toddlers for free or at low cost in Toronto. You can search for them here on the city of Toronto website. Even though it’s not the closest though I prefer to go to the newly renovated Regent Park pool for both lessons and drop in swim. You can see the programs currently offered at Regent Park here. Continue reading “Baby Swimming at Regent Park”