This time of year I always get nostalgic for the days when I was a student. I loved back-to-school season. Loved shopping for school supplies and new clothes. Loved anticipating what my classes would be like, who my teachers would be, and who I'd meet and become friends with during the year. I loved the 'newness' of this time of year and the energy that came with the changing seasons.
Having babies and working from home hasn't really afforded me the opportunity to get into the back-to-school spirit. When August ends and September begins, things typically stay the same around here. Which is why I got so excited when I found out that Kidville was opening in Toronto at the start of September—with an incredible roster of mom-and-baby classes that would be perfect for me! Uh...I mean....for Fiona.
Not only do we actually get to go back to 'school' this fall, we also get to hang out with other moms and babies, and experience what I've heard are fantastic programs for little ones.
Since Fiona has spent most of the summer either hanging out on her play mat while I'm working or being dragged along on adventures with her big sister—I think she'll be thrilled to have something that's geared specifically toward her age group with the focus and attention solely on her.
While it's new to Canada, Kidville is already big in the US. In 2007 it was named Best Tot Hot Spot by New York Magazine. Its Upper East Side location has been frequented by the likes of Brad and Angelina and their many kids, while its location in LA's Brentwood neighborhood was home to Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck's daughter Seraphina's fourth birthday party.
About a year ago, I was participating another mom-and-tot class in the city when one of the moms (who had lived in the US for a while) said to me: "Have you heard of Kidville? They're opening in Toronto at Yonge and Lawrence! It's an amazing place with fantastic kids programs...you'll have to watch out for it."
Since then, I've literally been driving by the Yonge and Lawrence location on a weekly basis, looking out for any indication that the centre would be opening.
When I got this card in the mail...
I quickly went online to see what type of classes they'd be offering that would be age-appropriate for Fiona.
I found a bunch that I wanted to try. I had participated in so many programs with Willow, from new-mom-and-baby groups, to music classes, to gym classes, to Sportball, and swimming, that I was so happy to find something different—that would be exciting and new for both me and Fiona.
Then, I got some even more exciting news. I was being offered the opportunity to sample the Kidville class offering this fall.
I was over the moon!
I know. I know. I can just see the 20-year-old student me rolling her eyes at the 32-year-old mommy me who gets all excited about baby classes. But, hey, this is exciting stuff for a work-at-home-mom of two.
We can hardly wait.
Last week Cathy, the president of Kidville Canada, invited Fiona and me in for a tour of the space...before it opened to the public.
And, it totally blew me away. I was so used to taking kids classes in churches, synagogues, community centres, and other spaces that were converted for the purpose of the program. This two-storey building, on the other hand, has been completely retrofitted for kids and kids activities. The decor is modern and bright and the rooms are spacious and filled with awesome equipment.
You can click here for a virtual tour of one of the US Kidville locations...or, you can stop by 3420 Yonge Street this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, from 11 am to 3 pm and join in Kidville's Grand Opening Celebration. There will be arts and crafts, musical performances, face-painting, open playspace, and more.
Free trial classes are being held the week of August 26 to September 6 and with the coupon code GO24 you'll get $50 off your first Kidville class plus a complimentary Gold Membership upgrade.
Sounds pretty good eh?! Perhaps Fiona and I will see you there.
Note: While Kidville has graciously offered me free classes in exchange for helping them create some buzz around their first season in Canada, all opinions expressed here are 100% my own. I'm truly excited to welcome Kidville to Toronto and can't wait to share with you what their classes are all about.