With most of our regular activities on hiatus for school holidays, this week seemed like the perfect time to catch the bus to the city and spend the morning at Monkey Baa Theatre’s monthly Monkey Play playgroup.
(Read more about Monkey Baa Theatre for young people here in my interview with Creative Director Tim McGarry.)
We arrived at 9:30, just as the playgroup was kicking off, and were greeted warmly by the staff. This month’s theme was “Arty Monkeys,” so we got right to work letting our creative side shine (the cup of coffee I grabbed at the cafe next door probably helped me shine a little brighter).
For the miniest artsplorers, there was a blanket laid out with plenty of baby toys, as well as a few ride-ons and a crawling tunnel. Quite a few of the kids there seemed to be in the Under 2 demographic.
About an hour in, one of the staff members led the kids in a thematic story time.
The playgroup takes place in the Monkey Baa foyer, and the space did feel rather crowded at the peak time, around the middle of the two hour session. At one point, Mini seemed to be feeling a bit overwhelmed, so we tucked into a quiet corner with a couple of books. The crowd began thinning after story time, and we had a final spin around all of the activities.
Monkey Baa’s playgroup is free (deal!), and appropriate for ages 0-5. Each month has a different theme (complete schedule for 2017 and more information here).
The location at Darling Harbour turned out to be the perfect spot to make a day out. After playgroup, we took advantage of a weekday lunch deal at one of neighbouring restaurants, and then burned off all of Mini’s excess energy at the playground, just a few meters from the theatre. I went home with an arty and tired monkey. And, an arm full of crafts!