In its inaugural season, GTA Pantomime brings the British holiday tradition of pantomime to Toronto, delighting audiences with an animated, comedic performance style that encourages them to demolish the fourth wall with guffaws, boos, and shouts. As Cinderella's wicked stepsisters—played by a pair of men—attempt to thwart her burgeoning romance with Prince Charming, a benevolent fairy godmother rushes to her aid with a magical copy of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. To enliven the rags-to-riches plot, the company peppers the script with comic asides and festoons the stage with brilliant sets. A tragic-comic narrator directly addresses audiences between the action, and the cast craftily walks the line between heartfelt fairy tale and parody, pleasing all age groups and anyone wearing a whoopee cushion as a crown.
Convincing kids to sit still for a haircut can be a challenge, but the stylists at Little Sprouts Cuts For Kids turn coiffure into a fun, imaginative experience. As stylists create A-line bobs or edgy fauxhawks, kids occupy hot-pink jeeps, sporty racecars, and miniature US Navy planes and watch cartoons on flat-screen TVs. Older kids can relax in the salon chair and play video games or watch their favorite movie. After their services, kids can shop for toys in the salon?s boutique or balance the family chequebook as their parents pick up organic hair-care products.
At Sprouts' children?s parties, princesses select their favourite polishes for mini-manicures, don feather boas for a fashion show, or sit for glamourous updos at vanities ringed with incandescent bulbs. Young gamers clutch controllers as they compete at Mario Kart and sports-themed games, which are projected onto large screens.
Mighty Jungle monkeys up playtime with 4,000 total square feet of energy-burning levels in its indoor playground. Weekday play sessions facilitate the unleashing of wee ones ages 1–12 in the three-storey climbing structure. Slides of several sizes foster flight fantasies, and two ball pits provide valuable experience for future prospectors of moon gold. A bouncy castle allows kids to rebel against gravity's stringent authority. Mature supervisory specimens can sip complimentary coffee as they oversee mini mechanics in the designated infant-and-toddler area or relax under the auspices of a plasma TV and free WiFi in the lounge.
Creative Kids Place engages exploring minds aged 2–12 in its colourful arts-and-play centre through drop-in sessions, summer camps, holiday camps, birthday parties, and special programs. During drop-in sessions, children can stuff teddy bears, paint T-shirts, or string beads of bracelets as preschoolers and toddlers bond with their parents over creatively minded toys or frolic in costume in the dress-up area. Creative Kids Place provides all needed craft supplies, paints, and play activities, and changes its crafts weekly to ensure children don't steal the company's secrets and start their own franchises. March break camps provide children from 4–12 years with an opportunity to spend time with a variety of crafts over March break, and all camps include either a bowling or a mini-golf outing.
When not playing, parents use free WiFi or lounge on the centre's couches amid bright red and green walls and tables draped in decorative tarps. Alternatively, crafters can choose from an array of sculpted, three-dimensional pottery canvases including penguins, dinosaurs, unicorns, princesses, and more. After wee artists paint their pieces to express colour appreciation or camouflage them from envious stuffed animals, staff fires completed sculptures in an on-site kiln.
Balls of Fun alights children's curiosities with gym equipment and a copious number of play balls in a 7,000-square-foot facility that entertains while aiming to sharpen ball skills. Supervised by parents, besocked young ones whoosh down one of five slides, including a 20-foot tunnel, and play on a duo of soft and colourful structures that can double as lecterns from which to debate the merits of hide-and-seek. A “big kid” gym allows for kids to clamber up a three-level play structure, and the baby and toddler area engages tykes with gym equipment and spherical diversions of all sizes. On the first Monday of every month, Balls of Fun rotates the gym’s theme to give kids new play challenges, prompt creativity, and remind children that all reality is mutable. With an emphasis on cleanliness and safety, children on play dates and in daycare groups and school outings can take on the play space’s recreational adventures while parents supervise or play along.
Putting Edge's phosphorescent indoor mini golf course challenges putters with a network of greens hindered by glow-in-dark obstacles. Eighteen holes twist and turn throughout a darkened space populated by painted neon trees and glowing statues. A steady stream of upbeat music sets the pace for players as they navigate their way through the incandescent labyrinth to prove to competitors that their putting skills—like the bottom of Lake Michigan and Celine Dion's hair—are untouchable.