Indoor activities for kids: Casa Loma’s Elves in the Workshop

On Saturday, December 17th, one very excited three-year-old went to visit Casa Loma and participated in Elves in the Workshop, a gingerbread-ornament making class for young children.

A Castle in the City

Sir Henry Pellatt, a Toronto financier and industrialist, realized his dream of a castle overlooking Toronto when construction began on his home in 1911, although it took three years to complete. He enjoyed his home for almost 10 years before having to leave due to financial problems.

Today the castle stands as a prominent tourist spot for visitors to the city and hosts many private events and castle functions throughout the year, as well as being home to film, photo and television shoots.

On this December day, the castle was a beautiful sight, decked out for Christmas inside and out. Their pride and joy, a 40-foot Christmas tree, stands fully decorated in the main lobby of the castle where children can gather around to take a look and parents can snap photos. From there it was up to the third floor for our ornament making, but first a surprise on the mezzanine… Santa himself!


Children were able to sit on Santa’s lap and list their Christmas wants while a photographer snaped their photo using a few different backgrounds. For this three-year-old though, still a little scared of the man in red.

Elves in the Workshop

From there it was time to get to work. In a room of about 30 children and parents, each child was provided with a small gingerbread house, a package of icing, an icing spreader, sprinkles and two small boxes of Smarties. And, oh yes, an apron. Parents were provided with coffee, hot chocolate and cookies while they either sat back and watched, or helped their little ones out.

We began by trying to spread our icing on the house. If some of it ended up in my daughter’s mouth, I tried not to notice. It took her little hands a few minutes to get the hang of things, but once she did the icing started going on all over the house.

We then moved onto the Smarties, and had a bit of the same problem with some of them ending up in my daughter’s mouth. After rescuing a few, they made it to the gingerbread house.

The sprinkles were last, placed with such precision, and none going to the mouth, that I had to be impressed. Once we were finished, a box was provided for the house, which now resides on our Christmas tree.

After the workshop we had the option of going on to see the magic show, but my little ones were tired out. What did we miss though? A slew of magic tricks and wizardry by Professor Wick’s Magical Castle in the Conservatory.

And then it was time to say good-bye for another year, when maybe an equally excited two-year-old can join her sister.

1 Austin Court, Toronto, 416-923-1171


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