Monday night I spent the evening alternately playing Wii, talking with a robot, petting a falcon (and the medieval man it came with) and trying to beat a 6-year old from Sudbury at Bingo. And I liked it.
The events were all part of the Delta Chelsea’s annual March Break getaway. I’d heard about it before and even written about it as an option for families looking for a March Break getaway but until Monday night I hadn’t seen it in all of its glory.
And let me tell you: It is something to see.
It starts with the lobby. Kids always have a dedicated check-in counter where they can climb the stairs and get VIP treatment including a gift bag of toys, but for March Break the lobby chaos is magnified. TVs flank either side of the front desk offering two different movies for kids to watch and in centre court DC the robot, a seemingly all-knowing machine, is quick to point out what you’re wearing and offers jokes and trivia that had the kids mesmerized and in giggles. (“Did you hear Spongebob Squarepants is coming out with a new show? It’s called Spongebob Round pants!” Trust me the laughs were long and loud.) The cost for all this entertainment? Free.
There was also a troupe from Medieval times who addressed little ones as “lords and ladies” and came complete with a live falcon for petting (free). Off to the side a staff member worked the popcorn machine (free), others painted faces (free) and another TV/DVD combo with pint-size seating drew in a lingering crowd (free).
All of that before you’ve even reached your room.
In the evening we had the choice of joining other families in a massive Bingo Bonanza game (free) where you had to sing a song if you called a false Bingo (it was a riot and the host kept it lively.), a boardroom dedicated to Ping Pong tables and board games (free), a “Family Fear Factor” scavenger hunt (free) or yet another family friendly movie room with popcorn and a bartender offering 5 pop options (all free). And there was so much more.
Tons of families were participating and not one of them was frowning. Great, great scene.
There were also some paid options available. Checking your kids aged 5-12 into the weeklong Camp Chelsea would run you $40 per day but includes activities, snack, lunch and dinner.
And if you wanted kids aged 3 (have to be toilet-trained) -12 to be babysat in the Kids Centre while you had a break there is a $10 charge for up to 2.5 hours of are.
Other than that everything seemed to be included in your hotel stay.
Including, of course, the pool. Downtown Toronto’s only indoor water slide was getting a workout and I thought I’d found the one downside to the event…the pool was packed with squealing kids! What to do if you’re an adult on an ill-timed business excursion?
Turns out there’s a second, adults-only pool in the fitness area! Perfect.
When it came time to check-out the kids were zonked but adamant.
“That,” my 6 yo said to me in a serious tone as we headed for the car. “was fun!”
*Our 1-night test stay at the Delta Chelsea was gratis. As is always the case with my posts, it didn’t affect the copy you’re reading and there was no obligation for us to blog about it. We’re telling you because we thought you’d want to know.*