We are at the end of winter (FINALLY) and now can enjoy all the incredible outdoor playgrounds!
But we are also on the edge of the insanely hot, humid, and high UV-index summer.
Which means you still might need an air conditioned play area in which to hide from the sun.
Wow. I just can’t win in Toronto. There are basically four weeks in the year when the weather is absolutely perfect right?
Anyways, here is a great place to play in the winter OR the summer:
Tucked away in an industrial area on Birchmount Road is this hidden gem that offers a great respite for parents and kids.
The signage outside is terrible – so look for a gospel church in a big block building and head to the side door.
And inside you will find a wide open space, leather couches where you can sit and easily watch your kids play at the mini-town around you.
Kids love it here and can play easily in the store fronts that are just their size: a vet, a hospital, a movie theatre, a pizza restaurant, a house, a firestation, a hairdressers and a gym.
434 Birchmount Road
How to Get Here:
It is not well marked at all. They definitely need better signage but as long as you are looking at the numbers – you should find it. You might see the Logos Missions to God Church first. The entrance to Happy Town is around the corner. I’ve seen many confused parents going in and out of the gospel church looking for a play centre!
There is free parking in front.
You could take a bus but there is still a good walk (12-20 minutes) so I would venture to say it is not public transport friendly.
Why We Like it:
I can sit comfortably and ignore my kids.
My kids love love love love this place. Alice was quoted just the other day as saying that she couldn’t wait to drive a car and the first place she would drive is Happy Town. It’s the sort of place I use as punishment – NO MORE HAPPY TOWN – or as a bribe. It’s like Santa and the Easter Bunny. MAGIC.
And I actually love this place too. So many of the indoor play areas are so obnoxious to be in (you know what I’m talking about), have cold floors and no where to sit. You actually have to watch your kids – ha ha ha!
But NOT Happy Town!
They’ve set it up well. There is a huge square in the middle of fake grass in which they have four big leather couches and two picnic tables. The town is set up around the square so you can sit in the middle and basically see your kids at all times.
They have wifi so I often set myself up on a couch and do some writing while my kids go nuts. And go nuts they do.
Fake grass (which is not freaking cold on your socked feet), a super slippery laminate ‘road’ that goes around the grass (I’ve seen so many kids and moms take tumbles so be careful!), and laminate in all the storefronts.
Two bathrooms with changing tables.
$10.99 for the first child all-day play. $7.99 for an additional child. Mulit-play cards are available for a slight discount.
I often see them on Groupon
WHERE TO GET COFFEE?
This is the HARD one.
I had my playground mandate for you all that was all about good food/coffee near the playground.
Happy Town is in a very strange area which lacks an abundance of great coffee shops. They also don’t have food on site – which is actually a positive.
I say this because they allow you to bring WHATEVER you want into the facility. You are not forced to drink crappy coffee and eat old hot dogs.
Therefore here are my suggestions for what food/coffee to grab on the way:
1666 Kingston Road
I’ve talked about this place before for another PLAYGROUND
It’s a quaint, bright, well-decorated cafe that is so cozy and a welcome addition to the neighbourhood. It’s so popular that the young girl who owns it is expanding! And will include more food. Hooray!
The coffee is Brothers’ Coffee Roasters. Hands down some of my favourite coffee in the city. Hot in the winter and iced in the summer (naturally). And they always have great seasonal lattes like the iced honey latte.
They have baked goods like croissants and muffins that are pretty standard coffee shop fare. Plus sandwiches and salads that are on the healthy side (like kale super grain lentil etc.) which are great for grabbing and munching on while your kids play.
415 Danforth Road
Definitely not my first choice but will work in a pinch (especially with their new Tim’s Mini meals for kids).
At the corner of Birchmount and Danforth – you don’t even have to get out of your car (hooray!).
Other ways to get food are Uber Eats or Skip the Dishes.
If you live on the east side of Toronto, Happy Town is a place your kids will love and you can actually relax. The food and coffee options aren’t plentiful BUT I happily trade that in for some reading time!
As always, happy playing,