Find your inner child // The Docket

Become a kid again — or better still, bring one along — with these youthful summer delights

By Christina Cheung

On Friday June 15th, 2012

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EAT UP

 Canadian Comfort
If you were raised on luncheon meat and bright orange cheese, you’ll bow to the wonders of Bannock, Oliver & Bonacini’s restaurant that turns Canadiana’s guilty pleasures into serious cuisine. Dig into Biff’s fried bologna and eggs ($14) or some creamy mac and cheese ($14), and finish off with a warm s’mores pie ($8). Part grab-and-go café, part restaurant, 100 percent not washing our hands before we go back out to play. 401 Bay Street. oliverbonacini.com

 Sweet Cupcakes
Ever since former BMO wealth management executive (and trained lawyer) Jean Blacklock tapped into Toronto’s cupcake cravings last year by opening Prairie Girl Bakery at 18 King Street East, adding a second location less than nine months later at First Canadian Place, we’ve been hooked. Opt for adult-worthy creations like red velvets topped with cream cheese icing or go playful with chocolate and strawberry or banana and peanut butter. Bonus: Prairie Girl does gluten-free and offers free delivery for orders of two dozen items or more. prairiegirlbakery.com

RUN AWAY WITH THE CIRCUS

 King of Pop
Don a black fedora and break out your moonwalk to pay tribute to the late Michael Jackson when Cirque du Soleil comes to town with The Immortal World Tour. Hear all the hits from The Jackson 5’s “ABC” to Dangerous’s “Black or White” in a whirlwind show that combines mime with acrobatics and dance. Get caught up in the glitter and the crotch-grabbing and forget all the sadness and weirdness of the man’s life. July 24-25 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa and July 27-28 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. $50-250. cirquedusoleil.com

 Big Top Secrets
The mysteries of sword swallowing, human pretzels, juggling and more are explained at the Ontario Science Centre’s Circus! The Exhibition. Walk the high wire or learn to communicate with animals in more than 20 interactive exhibits designed to capture your attention while deftly slipping in educational nuggets along the way. Science and math should always be this silly and fun. May 9 to September 3. Adults $20, youth $16 and children $13. ontariosciencecentre.ca

CHILD’S PLAY

 Silver Ball
For some clean, ol’ fashioned fun, head to the Pinball Cafe in Parkdale. This spot is a nostalgia-lover’s dream, with a 1973 Wurlitzer Americana jukebox permanently stuck on free-play and an array of games like Yahtzee and Scrabble at the ready. A rotating roster of vintage and new pinball machines lines the back walls and anybody can have a go for as little as 25 cents a play. Milkshakes, black cherry floats and retro candy bars (Baby Ruth!) seal the feel-good deal. thepinballcafe.com

 Starlit Cinema
Really, it’s way past your bedtime, but you’ve got permission to stay out tonight and watch some amazing flicks in the great outdoors. Check out TIFF in the Park, a free series of screenings at David Pecaut (formerly Metro) Square every Wednesday night (June 27 to August 29) with “Screwball Comedies” as this year’s theme. The Open Roof Festival — whose co-founder Jordan Nahmias is an entertainment lawyer — at the Amsterdam Brewery (21 Bathurst Street) adds music to the mix with an up-and-coming local band opening before each indie-tastic film (Thursdays, from June 21 to August 23. $15). tiff.net , openrooffilms.com

 



Cirque du Soleil photograph courtesy of Osa images; Bannock photograph courtesy of Garrison McArthur