We usually save our indoor playing for rainy days and cold weeks of winter. But on a recent summery morning we walked into Petite Care, a new family centre on Gerrard St. East.
The bright and sunny play space took over a storefront in Little India/Leslieville in July. It is cozy and clean with tons of toys and activities to keep the kids busy and parents socialized. (While it’s open for families of kids 6-and-under, it may be the most play-able for the toddler age. That said, my six-year-old was happily entertained during our visit.)
The best part is out back. Petite are has a backyard! Designed as a natural playground, there is lots of space to burn energy with grass, a water station, blocks made from trees and a super sandbox. My boys were in love with the tire swing.
Getting there: Free residential parking in the neighbourhood but many are one-hour. Paid street parking is $1.50 per hour. Stroller-friendly, no steps. You can park your stroller in the back (there is an alley way and back entrance.)
Low-down: Stay ‘n Play on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Inside, shoes off. Outside, as you wish. Birthday parties also available on weekends. Petite Care also runs a small full-time daycare in a separate space.
Potty time: There is a family-friendly bathroom on the main floor.
Snack time: You can bring your own food, allergen-friendly environment.
In the hood: The Gerrard/Ashdale Library Branch is a couple blocks east. For more indoor play, check out the classes at the Circus Academy and outdoors at Moncur Park along Coxwell south of Gerrard St. and Greenwood Park along Greenwood Ave south of Gerrard. There are a number of restaurants along Gerrard, with family-friendly breakfast and lunch at Lazy Daisy’s Café at Coxwell Ave.