I’ve been to kid-friendly cafes that offer books, toys and even small play areas to distract children but Smock is in a brilliant realm of its own.

Smock, TorontoFor $10, kids can drop in and paint one wooden item, plus other small crafts, for a couple of hours under the supervision of a staff member.

That means parents can actually let their guard down a little and enjoy a light lunch – or even a glass of wine or prosecco. Oh yes, Smock is licensed. I laughed out loud at the “after school special” of a shot of bourbon added to hot apple cider.

The adults can order fresh sandwiches, salads, baked goods, while the kids can get a small plate of assorted snacks ($3) like cubed cheese, cucumbers, pita bread and hummus.

H picked a small wooden nutcracker to paint, while his cousin chose a cow puzzle. Miss Christina helped them put on their smocks, choose their paint, and they got busy on their masterpieces – while I sat and enjoyed an Americano and some actual conversation with my sister.

Smock, Toronto

When the wooden pieces were done, the kids made some more paintings, cut up some magazines, and beaded pipe cleaners to make necklaces.

Outside of the art area, there’s also a little nook with books, a dress-up box, and toy cars and trucks. Smock also offers registered classes for cartooning, jewelry making, and other fun stuff.

Smock, Toronto

It’s a fantastic place for play dates, for parents to meet other grownups, or just to get a wee break from being cooped up at home. I wish wish wish there was something like this in metro Vancouver.

Surrounded by moms nursing newborns, and dads negotiating with whiny pre-schoolers, no one is going to judge your parenting skills here.

Smock, 87 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, (416) 530-0888. Open Monday to Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.