Come on down to the old Target on Barton this Saturday and bring the whole family for a free and fun day! Right on Target is throwing a “Community Playdate” with arts and crafts, Music with Miss T, a tool sale (of hundreds of tools by the Hamilton Tool Library) plus a volunteer run repair (fix-it) café, where you bring in something that needs fixing and someone will try and repair it. Bring your skateboards and scooters too and check out the indoor skate park with ramps and rails. There’ll also be a little lounge for getting into some retro Nintendo 64 gaming action.
Right on Target is a community based initiative that is helping to figure out how to best use this vacant space as a community hub… and they’re doing this by throwing some mega cool free programming.
This is Right On Target’s second installment of a series of indoor romping kid play initiatives in the space of the former Target retail space.
On an evening during the first week of the school year I attended their event “Playground in a Box”, which featured Babies, Bikes, Toddlers and Trikes (by New Hope Bikes), Indoor Skate Park (by Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club), Pop Up Library and a Pop Up Senior Rec Centre.
After picking up the kids from school, we threw the bikes, scooters and skateboards in the back of the car and headed to the old Target (or Centre on Barton as it is now called).
The primary goal of the organized and free community event was to engage the community, observe how the space was being used, and find out in what way people want to see the space utilized for the future.
Our five and two year old loved the vast openness of the vacant space. It was free from cars and the typical downtown city road-side obstacles that they’re usually up against (like busy streets, narrow sidewalks, and bumpy terrain). The kids were free to pedal around on the ultra smooth floors and take some greater risks trying out new tricks and just getting extra comfy with their rides.
Although this is the second kid and family focused event put on by Right on Target, back in June there was a Synth Social Pop Up that was super awesome. It was one of the first events in this newly claimed community space.
There’s plenty more action coming to Centre on Barton in the next month or so. On October 14th there’ll be a Night Market, art show and roller derby event from 5 p.m. to midnight with a kids play area, beer, food, art, synthesizers, music, repair café and more. On November 9th there will be two kid-friendly film screenings: The Sunrise Storyteller, which is a documentary about what it means to be a global citizen, by teenage film maker Kasha Sequoia Slavner and Princess Sparkly Butt and the Hot Dog Kid, which looks like it will be a kid crowd pleaser (a princess who can control time with her butt. Yeah). You can buy tickets for the screening at HamiltonFilmFestival.com (kids 5 and under are free).
Saturday’s “Community Playdate” event is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1211 Barton Street East.