Halloween Quest celebrated creatively in Oriole Park

A local performance troupe led two groups of costumed kids and parents through interactive adventures in Oriole Park on Halloween.

Creative Kids Halloween Quest was organized by the Ismailova Theatre of Dance to give local children, who were missing out on usual  Halloween activities, some fun and safe outdoor activities in keeping with the special day.

Halloween Quest kids and parents
CASTING THE RUNES: Kids (with some parental help) draw on stones to solve mysteries and win prizes at Creative Kids Halloween Quest.

“Usually we create events in theatre spaces inside, but due to COVID-19 we had to adapt and we conceived this idea of an outdoor, socially distanced, safe event for kids who might not want to go trick-or-treating because of the pandemic,”  said Merey Ismailova, artistic director of the theatre.

“This quest was set in the park in midtown and the park turned into mysterious forest with magical creatures who were the neighbours that gave out candy to the kids.”

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On a sunny Oct. 31, the park in the Chaplin Estates and Davisville area became a place of fun and adventure, as dancers from the theatre transformed into spiders, witches, wood fairies and other scary creatures and engaged kids in artistic and physical activities.

Kids had to guess who the characters were and overcome different challenges — solving puzzles, answering riddles, playing sports and games, working with blocks, drawing and even singing.

Halloween Quest dancer
DANCING IN THE PARK: A wood fairy performs for young audience on Oct. 31.

Because of the  current limit of 25 people outside, participants had to be split into two groups of eight children and eight parents each, in  two different locations in the park.

Being forced to hold the event outdoors turned out to be a blessing, Ismailova said.

“Kids could really enjoy the scenery. Today is a beautiful day without any clouds, the sun is shining and they could work with natural materials and really enjoy being outside.”

Halloween Quest kids in costume
THE MAGIC FOREST: It’s off to the next adventure in Oriole Park.

The theatre is trying to decide whether to hold its usual Christmas or New Year’s party the same way. In previous years they’ve held it indoors.

“Doing a Christmas party outside might be very challenging because in December we in Toronto don’t usually have the snow, so it is not possible to do the snow activities — and at the same time it’s very cold outside,” Ismailova said. “Even now in October, honestly, it was chilly.”

Though the kids seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.

Halloween Quest story
THE STORY SO FAR: Artistic director Merey Ismailova spins a magical tale to youngsters at Halloween Quest.