Arielle Holden and her sister Aviva Wittenberg were inspired by the popular mix-and-match fitness class model that allows subscribers to book workouts at a variety of studios across their city. But as mothers of young children, they were much more interested in signing up their kids for the latest circus class than booking a hot yoga session.
They realized that Toronto has many more kids’ activities on offer than they were taking advantage of. They were stuck in a rut, never looking beyond their immediate neighbourhood for activities their kids might enjoy.
“When I started looking beyond the neighbourhood to find more activities for kids, I started uncovering all of these gems that weren’t on any lists,” Arielle said. “The reality is that there’s so many experts in and around the city and they all offer these really cool classes. Think stand-up paddle boarding; think coding and technology; and think about building things from scratch with the Toronto Tool Library.”
But as parents themselves, Arielle and Aviva know that these kinds of outside-of-the-box programs are easy to miss unless they happen to be right in front of you. And since many of the activity providers are small, local businesses with no marketing budgets, you never would hear of them.
So the two sisters set out to bridge the gap between the small provider and interested parent. PipsPass is an online service that offers parents the chance to buy packs of class passes which they can use at any of their programs. There’s a wide range of activities that includes dance, art, chess, yoga, cooking classes and so much more. And every class is workable as a drop-in; you don’t need to worry about missing out on part of an ongoing session.
Kids also love being involved in choosing which activities to try out. (And since you’re not committing to an entire season, there’s no reason they shouldn’t.)
“Before I had kids, I didn’t realize that they know what they like from a really young age,” Arielle said. “They know what they like, and they know what they don’t like. And it’s so important that you put them in the driver seat and allow them to take ownership of how they spend their time.”
PipsPass offers activities across the GTA. Browse through them all or search by activity type. An interactive map that will help you find an activity near you is in the works, so sit tight. (A limited time promotion is also on now: buy a five pack and get three free.)