I loved indoor playgrounds when I was home with my two toddlers. They gave me a reason to leave my house and helped me avoid feeling stir-crazy. But now, a few years later, they no longer hold the same appeal for me as they once did. (Unfortunately, my youngest babes have been deprived of the indoor fun).
But it all changed over the break when my four kids had been inside our house for 36 hours straight and I knew I had to think of something to do before everyone got cabin fever.
Enter the bike park.
This indoor bike park in Markham literally brought my entire family joy. Even my 3-month-old had a blast sleeping in the parent lounge and cafeteria.
We drove to a nondescript warehouse building, and entered a buzzing, hopping place that reminded me of a ski chalet. At first sight, I was slightly disappointed at the size of the actual riding areas. I could see a few tiny hills, a couple of trails, and some windy up-and-down parts. Little did I know that this was only one of three sections for riding in this indoor bike heaven!
The other indoor section consists of other things that I later learned were called resi jumps, skinnies, half-pipes and foam pits. There’s also an outdoor section with dirt jumps, but that area was closed due to a thing called winter.
After paying our fee ($30 for my 8-year-old, $15 for my 6-year-old, plus a $5 per rider lifetime membership fee), we got set up. We had forgotten to inflate the tires of our kids’ bikes (cause it was -30C with windchill outside!), but Joyride 150 had a fix-it station right by the front desk with a handy tire pump. Right after that, my older kids took off. We barely saw them for the next four hours.
Then, we had another pleasant surprise. Not only was the entrance fee to Joyride 150 free for my 3-year-old (it’s free for kids under 4), they also lent her a balance bike for free! I’d already fallen in love with this place and we had only been there for 10 minutes.
Although I think $60 for the day is definitely on the pricey side, my kids had so much fun and learned a lot. They’re always begging to go biking, and unfortunately, we live in Canada where it’s too cold for that activity so much of the year. This ended up being the ideal venue. I also love that they got to challenge themselves with the 800-meter mountain bike trail that had climbs and descents. There were also beginner skinnies, which are narrow paths to learn how to ride straight, and teeter-totters that even my preschooler could navigate by the end of the day.
In my opinion, it was definitely worth the cost.
I have to admit, my heart stopped a few times watching my kids bike, but I had to suck up my fear to let them try out things that I would never attempt myself. What better way for them to learn to take these risks than in a place like this?
They also got to watch more advanced kids doing tricks into the foam pit, riding on rails and doing other skills that made me cringe but made my kids cheer.
There was a lot of sweat, a few tears from falling, but mostly, it was a day full of joy.
Everything You Need to Know
Location: 150 Bullock Dr., Markham, ON
Parking: Free (there are two lots – the most obvious one gets full very quickly)
$5 (One-time membership fee)
$22-$26 (plus taxes) per child
50% off for kids ages 4-6
FREE for under age 4
Tips & Tricks
- Bring your own food to save some money or plan to order a pizza that gets delivered!
- Bring your own comfy chair: The picnic tables were not ideal for nursing.
- There are in-and-out privileges – just ask for a bracelet.
- Rent a bike or helmet if you don’t feel like bringing your own.
- If your child (or you!) wants to learn more tricks, there are after-school classes, camps, as well as special riding sessions for women, men and more advanced riders.