I used to be the envious Mom on the block. Other Moms would tell me about how they would catch up on emails, enjoy a book and a cup of tea, get a few chores done, or even write a blog post. “When?” I would ask them, “how do you have more than five minutes, ever, to yourself?” “Well, when Sophie/Ethan/Liam/Olivia goes for a nap,” they’d reply. I would smile while gritting my teeth (no easy task) and recall that my Monita was not a napper. Even at a few months old, she’d only nap firmly attached to the boob, and would wake at the first sign I might be putting her down. It wasn’t until this fall that I discovered the secret: unbelievable amounts of stimulation directly before lunch. Even on the rainiest of days, Mount Pleasant Community Centre will give your tot a run for his or her money that will pretty much guarantee that you’ll get a break afterwards.
What happens: Inside the main gym at Mount Pleasant Community Centre you’ll find four or five areas set up with activites, toys, mats, climbers and indoor playground equipment, all geared to kids 5 and under. There is an area for smaller kids with floor gyms, tubes to crawl through, small slides, and activity centres for cruisers or early walkers. There is also a large block building area, lots of play cars, tricycles and scooters to zoom around on, a few larger playground items and a tumbling mat that kids can launch themselves on to from a small springboard. Not all the equipment is out on every day, so it’s worth it to come on different days of the week. This is particularly true if you have older kids since some of the gymnastics equipment, such as a balance beam, is missing if the gym is divided due to another event (as seen in the photo above). Note: the playgym is better suited to kids close to the one year mark and up. Non-mobile infants have fewer toys to play with and with all the newly bipedal babes tottering around it’s hazardous to lie on the floor.
Why it’s awesome: Besides the napping potential, your kid gets to play with fun toys you probably don’t have room for in a Vancouver apartment, socialize with other kids, and get some exercise even on rainy days. You get to socialize with other Moms or Dads, albeit fleetingly while you chase your wee one around, and you get some exercise too depending on how much energy you put into playing along. This is also a great bonding opportunity for active Grandparents, since there are tons of ways for them to play with their grandkid at any stage.
Where and when: Monday – Saturday, 10:15 – 12:15pm, Mount Pleasant Community Centre (where Kingsway and Main St. meet, map) You can buy a ticket to enter the gym from the reception opposite the gym doors. $2.75 for a single entry or you can buy a book of 10 tickets for $2.50 each.
For a listing of more drop-in programs, see the Weekly Programs for Kids page.