This is what HideSeek looks like in Toronto
The playground for grown-ups has finally hit Little Portugal with its childhood-inspired maze of cotton candy-coloured rooms, taking over an old Sleep Country store above Remix Lounge at 1305 Dundas St. West.
Founded by Toronto entrepreneurs Lee Davis and Emmanuel Katsnelson, the playground was designed and built solely by artists from Toronto, making it an easy project to get behind.
Though it only spans 7,000 square-feet (small in comparison to Happy Place's 20,000 square-feet), HideSeek delivers in terms of interactiveness and sensory stimulation.
Visitors have the chance to explore 12 different rooms in a labyrinth dedicated to childhood nostalgia. If you're a kid who was born or raised in the 90s, a walk through HideSeek will definitely feel like a throwback.
The maze begins with the Alley of Awe, a hallway of luminescent butterflies.
Around the corner, you'll find yourself in the Bubble Trouble room, a compact space filled with iridescent bubbles you can pick up and move around. The five-foot-tall ball might take some teamwork to lift.
Tactile Tunes, a forest of beaded curtains, will be a thrill for ASMR fanatics. It takes at least 50 steps to get through the entire area, which will erupt in a stimulating cacophany of clicks and tinkles as you walk through hallway.
Emerge from bead heaven into a larger area divided in to four sections, called the Play Away Bays.
There's Instagram-worthy areas like the Just Chillin' room, which comes lined with luxuriously soft fur. The bubble couch here will take you back to days of squeaky yore, though this Italian import is likely a little sturdier than the cheap plastic seats purchased from Walmart.
Next, the Slinky Spring: a room of 2,500 colourful slinkies. Firmly attached to the wall with pouring medium, you'll actually be able to pull, stretch, and fiddle with these iconic multi-sized toys.
The Rad Ride bay harkens back to memories of grocery shopping as a kid, when a 'sweet ride' meant a glide in the cart (if your mom allowed you, that is).
Covering the walls are the quintessential cereals that only the luckiest kids got to eat on the daily: Trix and Lucky Charms.
The last bay is the Velcro Vibes room. Four walls come covered with hundreds of the very basic, very weird toy—the toss-and-catch paddle—and a basket full of balls to play with at your leisure.
That's something to note about HideSeek: visitors are allowed generous time slots of an hour, meaning there's actually time to stop and enjoy the creativity of the installations.
As a quick break from the compact bays, Daydream Days offers a larger, more relaxed space to zone out and take a break.
High school memories might not have the best connotation for everyone, but the area does a good job in bringing back the best of throwback teen moments, like hanging out on the bleachers with your friends, or decked-out lockers.
Grab some cotton candy from the machine and drift to the Building Block Throne, meant to represent the daydream that happens in mundane classrooms.
With clouds hovering over head and a throne made of giant Lego pieces (they're actually made out of Everblock), a seat here warrants an obligatory photo.
Pool parties and summer break ensue after school with the ball pit made from over 30,000 balls.
There's also a pool noodle forest.
The Let's Rewind Room takes us back to past that, these days, can barely be remebered: the era of cassettes.
Playing some kind of retro movie on loop, staff actually have to come and manually rewind the film every time it ends.
After the party, a mandatory Nighttime Nook has two sections. There's a pillow playhouse with nooks to crawl into.
Make sure to say hi to the giant seven-foot teddy bear.
The last section of the Nighttime Nook is the Secret Tunnel, that abyss of the fort you crawl into with your friends.
This is definitely a favourite, especially if you love glow-in-the-dark stickers. Capturing one of the best parts of going to sleep as a kid, this mirrored room comes decked out with more than 15,000 star stickers that stay powered up courtesy of black lights in the room.
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