That was the first word we used (okay, texted to a mom-friend) to describe Sprouts, a new 6,000-sq-ft indoor play space on Carlaw Ave (at Queen St. E) in Leslieville. We were blown away by the big, bright, clean and welcoming environment for the six-and-unders. With staff on-site to help engage the wee ones and complimentary coffee, tea and coca for sleep-deprived parents and caregivers, we found a place for the adults to relax while the kids explored (in arm’s reach of course.)
Take your pick: climbing structures, slides, lego and blocks stations, mini-trampolines, a baby-friendly space, snack area and spacious change tables (with wipes.) With all these offerings, it is no surprise that it has become a go-to spot for Eastenders and certainly a destination for families from across the city.
So just go. And relax.
Getting there: Just north off Queen St. E on Carlaw Ave. Driving, there is paid street parking along Carlaw and Queen (the parking lot across the street is private.) Free residential parking in the area. TTC, Queen streetcars and Pape bus.
Stroller parking: Yes, and by which all other stroller parkings shall be compared.
Cost: Currently first visit is free. The next visit, go with membership or six-visit family pass ($55 plus tax.) Family pass is transferrable, so treat a friend!
Age: For six-and-under, though we think the sweet spot is walking to three-ish.
Food: Nut-free facility. No food in gym. Take a snack break in the kitchen area equipped with high chair/toddler chairs/small tables and benches. Forgot yours? There is a vending machine with healthy food and drink for purchase. Adult and kid no-spill cups available for coffee, tea, cocoa and water.
Gym rules: Socks or bare feet (for kids) and socks mandatory for adults.
In the hood: For more coffee and treats, try Te Aro (and it’s fairly stroller-friendly, especially the patio out front) east of Carlaw on Queen St. Need some baby/kid items, stop in at Baby on the Hip (next to Te Aro).