How Adults Can Have Some Childlike Fun In Toronto

What a great time it is to be an adult child! Not only have millennials and their ilk given legitimacy to careers such as dog walking, blogging, and influencing­—whatever that is—but now more than ever there is no hesitation, no question given to actively participating in all the fun things you did as a child.

This generation loves their past, and I will include myself in this, too. We wax nostalgic about so many things that existed when we were children, so much so that we just keep demanding more of it. That includes bringing back both the good (Jumanji, Winona Ryder, the Goldeneye video game) while also letting said nostalgia completely cloud our judgment (Full Houser, Power Rangers). 

We also love to play. This explains the boom in what, for lack of a better term, can be called ‘adult activities’. We previously discussed our collective love of colouring books, something once assigned exclusively to youth, but now more than ever we can literally go out and play like we used to. And instead of our parents organizing such events, we’ve companies doing it for us.

So whether you’re toiling away at some dull desk job or trying to concoct a listicle of cute animals having a bad day for your social media feed, it’s always worth it to get out of the house and run around like a child playing games. And we’re not just talking about recreational sports leagues or knitting clubs, oh no. There is some childish stuff here in Toronto, and it’s wonderful.

Escape Rooms

There is a dual appeal to Escape Rooms, which seem to have popped up everywhere over the last few years. On the one hand, you’ve a collective activity that forces you to use all your smarts and ingenuity as well as interpersonal skills to solve an elaborate puzzle with the clock ticking. You work together with friends or strangers under time pressure in a room from which you’re trying to break free; it’s like Saw or Cube, but you know, without the blood and dying.

The second draw is the potential chaos. A bunch of people working together in a confined space as a deadline looms? And you’re not getting paid for it? That is a recipe for some exciting, anxiety-fueled drama!

Dodgeball Archery

If you’re unfamiliar, this is about as childlike as it gets. It’s also pretty self-explanatory. Also known as battle archery, this game forgoes arrows that would actually hurt; you and your squad are instead equipped with foam weapons to take down the opposing team. I imagine you’re also welcome to dress up like Katniss or Hawkeye, but it’ll likely take some practice to look as cool as they do while letting arrows fly. There are also many other forms of so-called Battle Sports that seem to nicely cater to a casual yet competitive spirit without being too difficult to grasp or participate in. Basically pay, show up, and have fun (by winning).

Bubble Soccer

Hit the pitch, grab a ball, and don a giant inflatable bubble. Why? Why not! Adding some much needed excitement to an otherwise lackluster sport by allowing people to knock each other over without consequence or injury, the bubble version of of soccer looks as ridiculous as it sounds, and seems pretty fun. I wonder to what extent the novelty wears out, but it certainly offers a reasonable alternative to a sport often littered with fake injuries. I really hope the bubbles make it hard to get up off the ground, because that’s always a funny spectacle.

Fantasy Clubs

Okay, these definitely aren’t for children, but they sure do offer plenty of opportunities to feel free, playful, relaxed, and removed from the real world. For those here in Toronto who are intrigued by the idea, the Oasis Aqualounge is a private club that offers a clothing optional, sex positive environment. While there is a pool, hot tub, and sauna to enjoy (and bar), the club also hosts plenty of social theme nights and activities.

Past and future events include various costumes parties, video game competitions, twister, spin the bottle, speed dating, and much more. And because no phones are allowed and there is no pretense, you actually will likely chat with people and socialize! What a novel idea. There are even workshops on various topics. Curious minds can venture forth and play away!

Booze Painting

Once reserved for when you move into a new apartment and need to get rid of those hideous white walls, now you can go out with your friends for an organized evening of simultaneous drinking and painting. It’s a social gathering where basically you order an adult beverage or three, are given the tools to paint, and tasked with a specific creation. And just like when we were children, it doesn’t matter if we colour within the lines or even keep it on the canvas. I really hope this creates a groundswell demand for drunk pottery, drunk crocheting, and drunk scrapbooking. The excitement is endless!

Island Zombie Apocalypse Night

We all love thinking about what we would do should the zombie apocalypse come, if the endless amount of books, games, shows, and memes are any indication. Well, now’s your chance to see how it would actually play out. In an elaborately organized game, actors dressed as zombies task participants to survive in a contained portion of Toronto Island for a 12-hour period overnight. Run, hide, or ‘fight’ them off (‘attacking’ and ‘dying’ consist of getting tagged like in paintball), and see if you can make it ’til dawn alive! Basically, survive the night however you best can. But hey, if you do get ‘bitten’ by a zombie ­— well, you then switch teams and can bring people over to the fun side.

Okay, I lied. Island Zombie Apocalypse is not actually a thing, but it really should be. Let’s make this happen, people!

Anthony Marcusa
Anthony Marcusa is a Toronto-based freelance journalist whose writing dabbles in film, TV, music, sports, and relationships – though not necessarily in that order. He’s simultaneously youthfully idealistic and curmudgeonly cynical. But he’s always curious.