Toddler’s First Movie Theater Visit
This weekend we hit a huge milestone…both toddlers went to the movie theater and we all came out alive! We attended the screening of Disney’s Little Mermaid at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and then spent an hour and a half exploring the digiPlaySpace with Baby Boy and Little Monkey. The hubs is a movie snob and had said that there’s no way the kids would attend a movie until they were atleast four. That rule went out the window this weekend and I’m glad we took the chance.
As part of their family programming the TIFF Bell Lightbox hosts children friendly screenings and currently there’s a Disney Classics collection being shown. Combo tickets for the digiPlaySpace and movie are $15 for kids and $20 for adults and kids under 3 don’t need tickets as long as they sit on the adult’s laps in the theater. Our initial plan was that we’d either get Baby Boy to sleep while we watched the movie or that I would walk around with him while Little Monkey and the hubs enjoyed the movie. Baby Boy was asleep in the Bjorn as we sat down but a minute before the movie started he woke up! I wasn’t sure what to do but he seemed content in the Bjorn and so I sat around and what do you know? He was quiet for the entire movie! I had snacks ofcourse and except for the one time when he pointed at the dog on the screen and said ‘woof!’ he was extremely quiet! I think having him strapped in the Bjorn was a good idea as he would have wanted to walk up and down the aisles otherwise.
There’s plenty of stroller parking areas and so we had no issues stashing our UPPA away. There were plenty of kids at the 1p.m. screening on a Saturday and it was comforting to know that the theater was filled with parents. That said, we spotted quite a few adults who were there without kids…they too love Ariel and wanted to see her on the big screen. I was shocked by how quiet the theater was. With that many kids, it’s truly remarkable how quiet everyone was. No disturbances at all except a few exclamations here and there. Little Monkey LOVED watching the Little Mermaid in a theater and has already asked to go back. Not sure if we lucked out with Baby Boy’s behaviour but we’re sure that Little Monkey is now ready to attend a regular screening. We just have to keep an eye out for suitable movies for her. She watches movies at home all the time but she often gets up and walks around during these sessions, which is why it was shocking to see her so comfortable during the 90 minute screening with no bathroom breaks or the desire to stretch her legs. There are booster seats available so be sure to ask the ushers as you enter the theater.
As part of the kids programming TIFF is hosting a digiPlaySpace, an interactive exhibition featuring new installations, learning-centric games, mobile apps, creative tools and production activities, all designed by acclaimed children’s artists from around the world. In its fourth year digiPlaySpace goes on until April 19th and you can visit the space without attending a movie. I was a bit hesitant going in as I wasn’t sure if there would be things that would cater to the 3 year old crowd and boy was I surprised!
There are quite a few exhibits and all of them are very interactive and clearly outlines the age group it targets. The hubs and I got into a couple of them as well! Visitors interact with installations that combine math, science, language, programming, robotics, magnetism and even virtual reality! My favourite was the green screen where we got to ride elephants and float around the London Eye. We could have roamed the Pyramids or put our hands into the mouth of a python but we didn’t! Another favourite display was the Cool Creatures display where blobs on the screen mimic the way the people in front of the screen move. Very fun!
If you’re looking for something a bit different checkout the digiPlaySpace and don’t be afraid of taking the three year olds in there. Baby Boy was quite happy but I think you have to be at least three to make it a worthwhile visit. We chatted about science and technology and got Little Monkey thinking about electronics, which is not something we would have done had we not visited the digiPlaySpace. Kids five and older have plenty more to build, play and explore so I see us visiting the digiPlaySpace for years to come.
It can get hot and busy inside the exhibit and as always no stroller, jackets or food are allowed inside the digiPlaySpace area. If you need a timeout just head to the main foyer or visit the lounge by the movie theaters to unwind. Change tables are available and everyone who works at TIFF is extremely friendly and helpful.
The TIFF Film Festival has always been close to our hearts and we’re so excited that we now have more opportunities to explore the Bell Lightbox as a family. It was a pleasant change to visit the place as escorts versus bringing the kids as our guests (which is what we do when we visit the exhibitions that come through). There’s lots of fun events happening in the city over the next two weeks, be sure to check out our March Break round up for more details!
March 16, 2015 @ 11:12 am
That is awesome that your toddlers got to enjoy their first movie in the theater. I remember taking my son for the first time, I never thought that he would sit still that long. However, he shocked us and enjoyed the movie.
March 16, 2015 @ 6:11 pm
I know.. it’s totally us who aren’t ready for that big step! LOL. Thanks for stopping by!
March 25, 2015 @ 7:42 am
This is a great idea. The traditional theatre can be so jolting for young ones