Your friends are jetting off to sunnier climes and the sinking loonie means you have reluctantly resigned yourself to a stay-cation for next month’s March Break … not to mention the sales pitch to your kids hasn’t worked all that well.
Isn’t that great? I mean really, that’s great! Far too often parents overlook the opportunities to play and explore in their own communities, which are often chock full of nearby and affordable things to keep young children entertained. Active for Life’s coast-to-coast round up of family-friendly events will keep your active family busy all March Break long.
Jump to a province:
Venue: Royal Tyrrell Museum
Info: More that 130,000 fossils can be found at this world-renowned museum. Only a short drive from Calgary, the young (and the young at heart) will thrill at the collections on display in the nine different galleries, including Fossils in Focus, Terrestrial Paleozoic, and Cretaceous Garden.
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Cost: Family $40 (one day), $60 (two days) / Adults $15 (one day), $22.50 (two days) / Youth (7-17) $7.50 (one day), $11.25 (two days) / Children (6 and under) free
Venue: Canada Olympic Park
Info: Play like an Olympian and ski and snowboard in the heart of Calgary. Home to some of the amazing sports of the 1988 Winter Olympics, the Park also hosts Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am – 9pm / Weekends, 9am – 5pm
Cost: Varies by program
Venue: Nature Camp at Ralph Klein Park and Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
Info: Nature Day Camp is a week-long day camp that gets kids in touch with their wild sides. Crafts, songs, and outdoor play help teach children about the world around them.
Hours: 9am – noon (ages 4 – 6), 9am – 4pm (ages 6 – 10)
Cost: $92 (ages 4 – 6), $180 (ages 6 – 10)
Venue: Aero Space Museum of Calgary
Info: With more than 20 aircraft at this family-friendly museum, your children’s imaginations will soar to new heights. Experience Canadian aviation history up close, including the jaw-dropping Lancaster bomber. Admission fees are currently 20% off as the Museum is undergoing renovations!
Hours: 10am – 4pm
Cost: Family $25, Adults $10, Children $5 (5 – 12), Children under 5 free
Venue: Tobogganing hills
Info: Edmonton is home to some great tobogganing hills all maintained by the city to ensure safety and fun! Check their website above for the location of hills.
Venue: Alberta Aviation Museum
Info: More than 30 aircraft and over 40 exhibits make the Alberta Aviation Museum one of the largest in Canada. Sit in a flight simulator or peek inside a Cold War airplane. The restoration area is especially fascinating.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm / Weekends and holidays, 10am – 4pm
Cost: Family pass $25 / Adults $10 / Children $6 (6 – 13)
Venue: Edmonton Public Libraries
Info: You name it, the Edmonton Public Libraries have kid-friendly programs to engage young readers over the March Break. Programs cover architecture, story writing, dinosaurs, plants, puppetry, MineCraft, computer programming, making Lego stop motion, etc., etc. Check the library website for the list of times and locations.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am – 9pm / Saturday, 9am – 6pm / Sunday, 1pm – 5pm
Venue: Science World at Telus World of Science
Info: Who said learning is something that only happens at school? Sneak in some teachable moments at Science World’s family-friendly and favourite galleries, including BodyWorks (we especially like the kid-powered and interactive exhibits in BodyWorks) and Eureka!, or stop by the Chicken Coop at Ken Spencer Park. Science World’s fascinating anatomical safari of humans and critters in the exhibit ANIMALS INSIDE OUT will be in its final weeks during March Break and requires additional admission fees. Parents, you will want to read Science World’s sensitivity warning before deciding if it is appropriate for your family.
Hours: Daily, 10am – 6pm (during Spring Break)
Cost: Adults range from $18.50 – $22.50 / Children (3-12) range between $15.25 – $18.50 / Children under 3 free
Venue: Vancouver Aquarium
Info: After a visit to Vancouver Aquarium, chances are your children will chat non-stop about Chester, the false killer whale that was rescued by Aquarium staff and brought back to health. These days he hangs out with Helen (a Pacific white-sided dolphin) at the Wild Coast, so stop to say hello before visiting some of the other 50,000 animals that call the Aquarium home. A must-see during your visit is their featured exhibit, Celebrate Arctic, an in-depth look at the people and animals that live in the the Arctic.
Hours: Daily, 10am – 5pm
Cost: Adults $31 / Children (4-12) $16 / Children under 3 free
Venue: Lynn Canyon Park
Info: With 617 acres of forest to explore, Lynn Canyon is a popular destination for families seeking H&H (that’s hiking and happiness). Make your way across the 50 metre high suspension bridge for stunning views of the waterfalls and canyon. The Ecology Centre is a fun detour — be sure to take in a puppy show!
Hours: Daily, 10am – 5pm / Ecology Centre open weekdays, 10am to 5pm; weekends, 12pm – 4pm
Cost: Park is free / Ecology Centre by donation
Venue: Manitoba Theatre for Young People
Info: Called “Laugh out loud funny” by Broadway world, The Adventures of Robin Hood will have kiddos ages 8 and up giggling at the antics of Sherwood Forest’s favourite band of Merry Men.
Times: March 30 – April 10 / 1pm, 4pm, and 7pm showings
Venue: The Assiniboine Zoo
Info: Covering more than 400 acres and boasting 1,500 animals, The Assiniboine Zoo is an amazing place to visit in the winter time. Young animal lovers will adore The Polar Playground where they can can slide, climb, and explore, all while learning about polar bears and their habitats — and don’t forget to stop by and visit the resident bears, York, Eli, Humphrey, Blizzard, Star, Storm, Aurora, Kaska, and Hudson.
Hours: Daily, 9am – 4pm
Cost: Children (3-12 years) $10.00 / Adults $19.75
Venue: Festival of Fools at The Forks
Info: The heart of Winnipeg is The Forks, making it the ideal location for the Festival of Fools. Circus and trapeze workshops, live music, and face painting are just some of the activities that guarantee to bring a smile to your face.
Hours: March 28 – April 3 / 11am – 3pm
Venue: Clay Cafe
Info: The family that paints together plays together, and this is especially true at Clay Cafe. Pick a piece of pottery from their huge selection and paint at your own pace. A great way to make memories of the March Break.
Times: Monday to Friday, 11am – 9pm / Saturday, 11am – 9pm / Sunday, 12pm – 5pm
Venue: Mont Farlagne
Info: It’s worth the drive to Mont Farlagne! Skis, snowboard, and even tubes are available for rent, giving families many options for outdoor active adventure. New for this year, you can even bring your fat bike. Pack a lunch or pick one up at the hill’s cafeteria. Check the website or call for hours during the break.
Venue: Skating rinks
Info: The city of Fredericton will be offering public skating at multiple rinks.
Times: Call for hours
Newfoundland and Labrador
Venue: The Rooms
Info: Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest indoor cultural space, families will find a wide array of exhibits to educate and entertain. A weekly tots program is perfect for kids aged 2 – 4 and their parents. Older kids will get a kick out of ongoing exhibits like Truth or Myth.
Times: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 10am -5pm / Sunday, 12pm – 5pm
Cost: Adults $10 / Youth $5.00 / Children 5 and under free / Family $26.00
Venue: Bowring Park
Info: With a fully-accessible playground, a pond with ducks and geese, and a statue of Peter Pan to bring out the child in everyone, Bowring Park is a wonderful spot to pass a day (or more). Spring Break in Newfoundland and Labrador is in April, so plan to enjoy the fresh spring air with a stroll through this pretty park.
Times: Open year-round
Venue: The Discovery Centre
Info: This is hands-on learning at its best. This science centre has exhibits that kids of all ages will love, including The Bubble Room, The Building Centre, and the Build Your Own Coaster area. Don’t forget to say howdy to Sue the T-Rex!
Times: Thursday through Tuesday, 10am – 5pm / Wednesday, 10am – 8pm
Cost: Adults $10.00 / Children (3-18) $7.00 / Children under 2 free
Venue: The Emera Oval
Info: The enormous Oval is located on the Halifax Commons and is the size of three NHL rinks! Artificially refrigerated so that it won’t melt over the Break (but do check online if weather conditions could affect the ice surface), it’s the coolest place to be this March break. Skates and helmets can be rented for free, and are mandatory for kids under 12.
Venue: The Museum of Nature
Info: If you’re feeling buggy, you’re not alone. Ottawa’s Museum of Nature brings bugs to the big screen this March Break in Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters. And, until the end of March see the Bugs: Outside the Box, a fascinating collection of 16 human-sized insects. And beyond the bugs, explore the galleries, from dinosaurs, birds, and polar animals, to different animals found in the various regions of Canada. With an amazing display of minerals and a jaw-dropping full skeleton of a blue whale, this is a spot loved by kids of all ages.
Times: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 9am – 5pm / Thursday, 9am – 8pm
Cost: Adults $13 / Child (3-12) $9 / Student (13+) $11 / Tiny tots 0-2 free / Members free. Admission to Bugs: Outside the Box extra.
Venue: SENS RINK of Dreams
Info: Skates are not available for rent but heated change rooms are a comfy option for getting your equipment on and off. The rink is refrigerated, but confirm online that skating conditions are suitable. When you’re done with your skating, head into City Hall for a free visit to two galleries and the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.
Venue: Ottawa Public Library
Info: Libraries across Ottawa offer a wide range of activities this March Break, with a focus on science, technology, engineering, art, and technology. Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead encourages kids to use their imaginations and ingenuity through crafts and games. The programs are free but most do require pre-registration, so visit the library website soon.
Times: Varies by location
Venue: Science North and Dynamic Earth
Info: Arriving just in time for March Break is the largest shark that ever lived … Megalodon! At the Dynamic Earth, learn about this prehistoric predator in a unique travelling exhibit that also features life-sized models of modern sharks and other fabulous fossils. Take in an IMAX flick for the ultimate Science North experience.
Cost: Science North, Adults $21 / Child (under 12) $17 / Additional charge for IMAX + Planetarium
Venue: Ramsey Lake Skating Path
Info: Lace up your skates for a 1.5 km glide along the shoreline of Ramsey Lake. Running from Science North to the Sudbury Canoe Club the path is also lit at night for a fun evening activity. Heated change cabins at either end are perfect for warming up.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 4pm – 8pm / Saturday from 12pm to 8pm / Sunday 12pm – 6pm
Venue: Greater Sudbury Public Library
Info: Popup Maker Spaces, special guests, story times, and crafts are all part of a family-friendly line up of activities planned at the Greater Sudbury Public Libraries. Check the library website for times.
Hours: Varies by location
Venue: Young People’s Theatre
Info: The Young People’s Theatre is often the first time children are introduced to live theatre, and the organization’s lively and family-friendly performances are loved by the young and young at heart. The beloved book Goodnight Moon is brought to life this year; be sure to book your tickets soon for March Break. A relaxed performance tailored to young people with ASD is also showing during the break.
Times: Varies by production
Venue: Ontario Science Centre
Info: Mammoths and Mastadons: Titans of the Ice Age is the newest exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre and the biggest must-see this March Break. Pint-sized explorers will adore KidSpark and older kids will learn (and have fun doing do) at the Weston Innovation Centre.
Times: Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm / Weekends and Holidays, 10am – 5pm
Cost: Adult $22 / Child (3-12) $13 / IMAX film additional charge
Venue: Maple Syrup Festival
Info: Tap into spring at the Maple Syrup Festival held at the Kortright Centre, Terra Cotta Conservation Area, Island Lake, and Bruce’s Mill. Entertainment, crafts, activities, a petting zoo, wagon rides, and that delicious maple syrup make this a sweet way to bring your family together for the March Break. Both locations are open every day during the break.
Times: Varies by location
Cost: Adult $8.85 / Child $5.75
Venue: St. Patrick’s Parade
Info: Toronto’s annual St. Patrick’s Parade takes place on Sunday March 13 from noon and will feature floats, marching bands, and a variety of cultural groups. Don’t forget to wear green!
Times: March 13, beginning at 12pm
Prince Edward Island
Venue: Charlottetown Islanders
Info: Take in a game of great hockey with the Charlottetown Islanders, home to NHL alumni, including Ryan Clowe and Maxim Lapierre.
Venue: Capital Area Recreation Inc.
Info: The CARI Complex is PEI’s most complete athletic facility. Swim off some spring sillies at this facility that isn’t a run-of-the-mill pool. With a Tarzan rope and waterslide, kids will want to go to CARI every day of the break. Luckily, the pool is open every day for family swims. Prefer something cooler? There’s skating here, too.
Cost: Family $21 / Adult $8.25 / Student 7 – 19 $6.75 / Children 2 – 6 $5
Venue: Brookvale Activity Park
Info: Rent or bring your own tube to this PEI family-favourite hill. Only 30 minutes from Charlottetown, Brookvale Activity Park has an amazing 250 ft. long hill dedicated to sliding. Snowshoeing, along with downhill and cross-country skiing, is also available at Brookvale.
Times: Open all day and evening, but night use is unsupervised.
Cost: Free / Rental of tubes (Friday to Sunday only) $5.50 per tube
Venue: PEI Public Library Service
Info: The PEI Public Library Service offers a wide range of programming for kids of all ages in both French and English. Some programs require pre-registration, so visit their site soon for information. If your child is interested in board games, arts and crafts, bingo, story times, etc., then the library is the best place to be this March Break.
Venue: The McCord Museum
Info: Mister Rabbit’s Circus is the sixth annual Island of Toys. Geared to kids aged 3 to 9, little explorers use their sense of adventure that leads to the discovery of some 200 toys and objects from the Museum’s collections. It’s guaranteed to become your family’s favourite tradition.
Times: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 10am – 6pm / Wednesday 10am – 9pm / Weekends 10am – 5pm
Cost: Adult $20 / Student 13 – 17 $13 / Children 12 and under free
Venue: Cabane a Sucre Bouvrette
Info: It’s the sweetest time of year in the Belle Province! What better place to visit on your March Break than a cabane a sucre or sugar shack, and one of the best to explore with the family is the Cabane a Sucre Bouvrette. A short drive from downtown, this Sugar Shack offers sleigh rides, a steam train, a miniature farm, and of course, maple syrup and maple candy tasting.
Venue: Winter Village at Olympic Park
Info: Bring your skates and play where our Canadian Olympians did. At this site of the 1976 Olympics, free skating is offered every day of the break and the refrigerated ice surface means even perfect ice on a sunny day. Lots of activities are planned, and getting here couldn’t be easier as the village is located directly behind the Pie-IX metro station.
Times: Monday to Thursday, 10am – 8pm / Friday and Saturday, 10am – 11pm / Sunday, 10am – 8pm
Venue: Musee de la Civilisation
Info: Shhh … don’t tell your kids they’ll be learning at the interactive Youth Zones! Play, interact, and experiment all break long.
Times: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Cost: Adults $16 / Students $10 / Children 12 – 16 $5 / Children 11 and under free
Venue: Pointe-aux-Lievre Park
Info: This urban park is a true winter wonderland. Boasting a 1.5 kilometre skating trail, a 4.9 metre tobogganing hill, and a 7 kilometre walking path, the park is a fabulous place to spend the day with the whole family. In the evening, the park is beautifully lit up, while music plays. Parking is free. Skates and inner tubes are available for rental.
Times: 10am – 10pm
Venue: Parliamentary Building
Info: The fascinating history of Quebec City is best discovered here at the iconic Parliamentary Building. There are free guided tours in both English and French through the building, but you can explore and learn at your own pace, too.
Times: Monday to Friday, 9am – 4:30pm (except holidays)
Venue: Royal Saskatchewan Museum
Info: Megamuch, a half-sized robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex, is always a popular stop as you explore the The Royal Saskatchewan Museum, but there’s more than dinos here. The Life Sciences and Earth Sciences galleries tell the tale of life then-and-now on the Prairies, and special events, like yoga and story time, are a wonderful way to spend an afternoon at the museum.
Hours: Daily, 9:30am – 5pm
Cost: Admission by donation, which supports the Friends of the RSM
Venue: Wascana Park
Info: Spend a day outdoors with your family on the toboggan hill or playgrounds, skate or ski, or simply hike the trails at the naturally beautiful Wascana Park. Encompassing 2,300 acres, Wascana is one of the largest urban parks in North America — three times larger than Central Park in New York! Be sure to spend time in recently renovated Candy Cane Park.
Venue: The Fun Factory
Info: The Fun Factory is a massive 1,600 square foot indoor playground where kids can get their jollies in ball pits, slides, tunnels, and more. Geared for kids 10 and under. You can now sign your waivers online to speed up the fun.
Hours: Monday, 9am – 6pm / Tuesday to Thursday, 9am – 8pm / Friday and Saturday, 9am – 9pm / Sunday, 9am – 7pm
Cost: Ages 1 – 3 $6.30, ages 4 – 10 $9.70
Venue: Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo
Info: The Saskatoon Farm Park and Zoo is a great place to spend the day with kids of all ages. With hundreds of animals to see and learn about — including a red panda and cougars — plus a special children’s zoo, we’re betting you’ll be making more than one trip here over the March break.
Hours: Zoo, 7:30am – 4pm / Park, 10am – 4pm
Cost: Family $23, Adults $11.50, Youth (6 – 18) $7, Children under 6 free
Venue: Diefenbaker Park
Info: The most popular tobogganing spot in Saskatoon is at Diefenbaker Park. Grab your sled and a helmet and hit these Prairie slopes!
Hours: Open year-round