Most parents will agree: we adore our children but sometimes we need a little break. My husband and I have found our little oasis in the city at the Chapters on Ste-Catherine, corner Stanley. The basement or “ kid zone” has a large, carpeted area where kids can sit and read or test some of the toys on display.
When we are downtown, we always make Chapters a part of our trip. The admission price? Starbucks coffee! Well, that’s our price; the area is completely free to anyone during opening hours.
We purchase our coffees at the Starbucks on the third floor, collect a few magazines or books and proceed to my son’s favorite spot. To name a few of the options: the basement has a train table, a play kitchen, several self-propelling plasma cars, a bunch of tester toys (opened boxes) and obviously tons of books/puzzles/board games.
There are child-sized chairs available but with my 6-foot frame I feel like a goof trying to straddle it without falling over—I leave them to the kids while I take the comfy carpeted floor.
Here’s the best part: my toddler son can play for almost two hours while I supervise from a visible distance. I can sip my coffee, flip through a magazine or cook book and relax while he plays with the toys and interacts with other children (within reasonable bedtime hours I’ve never seen the children’s section empty).
If your kids are a little older, they will enjoy the plethora of books all unwrapped and ready to be explored. The tween/teen section is right next to the children’s section and it’s filled with plenty of age/interest-appropriate books and music fan-club magazines.
Don’t worry, Chapters isn’t losing out. Every few times we invariably come home with some new obsession my toddler refused to put down. Toddlers are amazingly strong and their lungs surprisingly powerful when they vice grip a new (and unneeded) toy. This is a free activity but it might add up according to your child’s persistence! Admit it: we all have a bucket of those unnecessary “fine, I’ll buy it to shut you up” toys.
Chapters is located at:
1171, rue Sainte-Catherine West (corner Stanley)
Sunday and Monday 10am to 9pm; Tuesday to Friday 10am to 10pm; Saturday 9am to 10pm