Monday, July 11, 2011

Toronto Pride Fun for Kids

Last Saturday, Noah and I went to Toronto Pride. I had never been before. I must admit, I got a very limited experience of the festival, since Noah and I spent most of our time in the "Family Pride" area. I found out about this area from a friend, who sent me this link: The Family Pride area is basically a schoolyard filled with activities for children of all ages. So, off I went with Noah to Church Street Public School to check it out.
First, we got some of the free snacks being served inside the school. Then, we went back outside and ate the food while watching this very cool musical trio. They were older kids, perhaps preteens, and had no musical instruments except for one tambourine (if memory serves me correct), but their rhythm was mesmerizing. 

Noah spotted the playground in the distance, and wanted to try it out. Unfortunately, when we got to it, he realized it was geared more to older kids, and changed his mind. There were a few buckets of outdoor toys, so Noah explored these for a little while. He tried golf, and I showed him how to throw a Frisbee and what to do with a lacrosse stick. (Okay, you got me. I don't really know what to do with a lacrosse stick either.) I tried to entice him to participate in one of the many arts and crafts activities they had going on in various tents.

Then, he spotted the train.
He eagerly ran to where the little Via Rail Train was slowing down to park. So did every other child in the vicinity. The confusion and chaos of the mob was managed by one very nice lady who had the tremendous task of ushering everyone into a linear formation. It was genius! Honestly though, us parents are worse than the kids sometimes. I know I'm no psychic, but I am positive that every parent was thinking, "This train is so cool. My baby needs to experience this, NOW!" Noah patiently waited in line while the first train of kids rode around the yard. He wouldn't have made it on the next train if it weren't for the fact that he was brave enough to go as a single rider!
Noah had a great time in the toy area. We could see a bit of the Dyke March from where we were, but as I say, our experience of the Pride festival outside of the family area was quite limited! He was just having such a great time here, that there was no reason to move on!
He played with trucks, a car ramp, pop-up toys and blocks. Then he was on a mission to place all the foam ABC's in alphabetical order. 
We had a bit of time for him to enjoy the water play area before we had to head home. He was very happy to get some relief from the heat. 

He wanted to walk with me through the busy streets to Wellesley station. It was hard enough to maneuver the stroller through the crowds, never mind a walking Noah as well! Thank goodness for some Toronto cops who threw a few little packages of chocolate treats into the stroller. Another bribe saves the day!

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