If you’re the parent of more than one child, you probably try to spend quality, one-on-one time with each of your kids. But crowded venues aren’t the best places to really relax and focus on each other. Staying home is an option too, but most of us have a hard time resisting the pull of chores when we’re around the house. If you’ve ever paused a game of Crazy Eights to put in another load of laundry you know what I’m talking about.
What kids want most is our time (and maybe an iPhone), but thankfully, the former doesn’t have to cost a fortune, involve a restaurant meal or require a lot of planning. If you’re looking for simple, affordable ways to spend time and actually connect with your kid, check out our list of fun things to do together around the city.
1. The Toronto Public Library
Find a quiet corner where you can curl up together with a book, or look for new ones to borrow and read at home. Check the events page to find out when story times or various free workshops and performances are happening.
2. Go for a walk
If you want to get outside your own neighbourhood, High Park, Toronto Island and the Eastern Beaches Boardwalk provide great paths and scenery. Bring a bag to collect the treasures you find along the way!
3. Have a Picnic
Grab a blanket, pack some snacks and head out to your favourite place for an hour of togetherness, where the only chirp you hear will be from an actual bird and not a cell phone.
4. Create a Masterpiece at Crock-a-Doodle
With no reservations required and no studio fees, Crock-a-Doodle is a great place to spend time and unwind together. Make a gift for someone special or paint the ceramic kitten you didn’t know you wanted right alongside your little one.
5. Take a Family Painting Workshop at Paintlounge
Kids aged 4-12 can get lost in the artistic process right alongside mom and dad at paintlounge, where canvases, smocks, supplies and instruction are all included in the family workshops. Or drop in anytime the studio’s open and wing it.
6. Cooking classes
There are several grocery stories and bakeries that offer cooking classes around the city, including Loblaws and the St. Lawrence Market. Find the level and location that’s right for you then pull up a chair and learn something new and delicious together. (We are especially excited for the macaron-making classes coming up in April at St. Lawrence kitchen! Register here).
As an official partner of the Toronto District School Board and the city’s Early Childcare Centres, 123 Yoga has been introducing kids and adults to yoga and mindfulness for nearly ten years. Contact them for information on family or mom and me classes, or call your local studio to find out if and when you can bring your littles along. Namaste!
8. Chill Out Over a Board Game
Visit one of Snakes & Lattes three Toronto locations for a cozy afternoon of board games and yummy food. With a full food & beverage menu and a library full of games this is THE place for a tech-free hangout, or a three-hour Jenga marathon.