A new class-pass program for kids—the first of its kind in Canada—just launched in GTA, and with its kickoff comes a new way for parents to let their kids explore all the great activities the city has to offer.
The PipsPass is an activity pass that allows kids to try out a variety of activities with no commitment or to register in a full program at a discounted rate. Bookings are done online, and you can choose from three different class packages: the 3-pack for $45, the 5-pack for $70 and the 10-pack for $130.
Kids ages 0–15 can try classes in acting and improv, rock climbing, ballet, yoga, robotics, and everything in between. Just a few examples: a quick search for summer classes in Toronto yielded a PA Day robot-soldering class at the Toronto Tool Library, primary ballet from Propel Dance Centre, and an intro to skateboarding from Evolve Camps.
Within minutes of visiting the site, I was able to discover programs that suited both of my boys’ interests. Being able to search keywords in multiple categories made it easy to compare availability. I also loved the calendar view—it made it super easy to see which activities would fit into our schedule.
One improvement I’d like to see is a map view, since the postal code search didn’t return any results. And I’m hoping more activity providers sign on. Though there were hundreds of activities to choose from across the GTA, once I narrowed my search by location and type, I came up empty a few times. (I found no results for karate or soccer in Toronto over the summer, for example.)
Still, PipsPass is promising. It’s user-friendly and appealing for kids and parents who want to dip a toe into a new activity or just find something fun to do last-minute.
PipsPass was co-founded by sisters Arielle Holden and Aviva Wittenberg, who left careers in corporate communications, innovation and IT to fulfill their dream of working together.
“We were trying to answer a big question that came up over and over as we tried to enroll our kids in activities,” says Arielle. “How can we make it easier for families to connect with each other and find engaging programming in and around the city? And how can we give our kids the freedom to explore their interests and follow the fun?”
Arielle says that so far, response from partners (activity providers) has been positive. “Many of them wanted to offer more flexibility to the community, but had a hard time figuring out the mechanics of how that could work,” she says.
There are currently 98 participating partners, with more continually being added. While the pass is currently only available in the GTA, the sisters are planning to roll out the program to other major Canadian cities.