I cannot tell a lie. Those are two words which used to strike fear into my heart. A week off with my kids in the summer? No problem. Strap on the sandals, lather on the sunscreen and spend days in the sprinkler, at parks or at the zoo. December Break? Our days are so jam-packed with family visits and various parties that the holidays fly by. But March? It’s cold. It’s grey. There couldn’t possibly be anything to do in March.
But wait. There is so much to do in March (or during April Break if your child goes to school in Saskatchewan or Newfoundland and Labrador). Whether you wish to spend rainy or cold days indoors, or enjoy the great outdoors, there is a plethora of options. If you choose to stay-cation in-town or to explore this great country, take your pick from this list of activities that will keep you and your child entertained for the week.
Venue: Science World
Info: This March Break explore the process of bringing cartoons to life in Science World’s latest exhibition “Animation”. Larger-than-life graphics of popular Cartoon Network characters provide a colourful backdrop to the exhibition, which also explores the history of animation and features a screening room and a cartoon museum. Kids can also visit the Ken Spencer Science Park which opens for the season over the Break. Focussing on creating a healthier world, kids can plant seeds, visit chickens, and watch a live science show.
Hours: Daily, 10am – 6pm (during Spring Break)
Cost: Adults range from $22.50 – $28.50 / Children (3-12) range between $15.25 – $21.25
Venue: Stanley Park and the Aquarium
Info: The largest aquarium in all of Canada is always worth a visit. This March, a new exhibit, “Sea Monsters Revealed”, uses a revolutionary polymer preservation technique, known as plastination, to reveal dissected bodies of the most mysterious creatures that roam our deep sea. You’ll get a unique inside look at some of the most elusive aquatic life ever discovered. Exhibit specimens are authentic examples of massive sea creatures that live deep beyond our shorelines. There’s also a new 4-D film: Sea Monsters 4-D: A Prehistoric Adventure with now extinct ocean predators that ruled the depths 82 million years ago.
Hours: Daily, 10am – 5pm
Cost: Adults $29 / Children (4-12) $15 / Children (under 3) are free
Venue: Lynn Canyon Park
Info: Lynn Canyon is home to a 50 meter high suspension bridge over waterfalls and a gorgeous canyon. The 617 acres of forest in the park are home to varying distances of beautiful hiking trails.
Hours: Daily, 12pm – 4pm / Ecology Centre open weekdays, 10am to 5pm; weekends, 12pm – 4pm
Cost: Park is free / Ecology Centre by donation
Venue: Royal Tyrrell Museum
Info: Take a road trip an hour north east of Calgary and visit this world-renowned museum in Drumheller. With a collection of over 130,000 fossils, this is a prime destination for all dinosaur enthusiasts.
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Cost: Adults $13 (one day), $19.50 (two days) / Youth (7-17) $7 (one day), $10.50 (two days) / Children (6 and under) free
Venue: Canada Olympic Park
Info: Play like an Olympian and ski, snowboard, or bobsleigh right in the middle of the city. Home to some of the amazing sports of the 1988 Winter Olympics, the Park is also home to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am – 9pm / Weekends, 9am – 5pm
Cost: Varies by program
Info: Every day of the break Chapters stores are offering free in-store spring break activities ranging from reading with Dr. Seuss to creating with Lego and Rainbow Looms. Sign up by calling or visiting your local store.
Hours: Varies by store
Venue: Royal Alberta Museum
Info: The Museum has multiple exhibits and activities for families including learning about animals and their habitats. Kids can get up close to cool specimens and artifacts and ask questions of the museum staff.
Hours: Daily, 9am – 5pm
Cost: Adults $11 / Youth (7-17) $5 / Children (6 and under) free
Venue: Tobogganing hills
Info: Edmonton is home to some great tobogganing hills all maintained by the City to ensure safety and fun! Check the city’s website above for the location of hills.
Venue: Edmonton Public Libraries
Info: These libraries have an amazing range of free programming for kids from 3 to 12 years old. 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: Royal Saskatchewan Museum
Info: The Royal Saskatchewan Museum is home to amazing displays profiling the history of the prairies. There are plenty of hands-on exhibits and kids will love visiting the very popular, Megamunch, a half-sized robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Hours: Daily, 9:30am – 5pm
Cost: Admission by donation
Venue: Wascana Park
Info: At 2300 acres, is one of the largest in North America – three times larger than Central Park in New York. There are hiking trails, skating rinks, cross-country skiing trails, snow-shoeing, tobogganing hills, playgrounds, and a beautiful totem pole. What a wonderful way to experience a full-day of fun and fresh air!
Venue: The Fun Factory
Info: For kids up to 10 years old, The Fun Factory is a huge two-story indoor playground where kids can get their sillies out in ball pits, slides, tunnels and more.
Hours: Monday, 9am – 6pm / Tuesday to Thursday, 9am – 8pm / Friday and Saturday, 9am – 9pm / Sunday, 9am – 7pm
Venue: Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo
Info: With a wide variety of animals from grizzly bears to bobcats to grey owls, from bears to bearded dragons, and a Zoo Train with an informative tour guide, the Saskatoon Farm Park and Zoo is a great place to spend the day with kids of all ages.
Hours: Zoo, 7:30am – 4pm / Park, 10am – 4pm
Venue: Diefenbaker Park
Info: One of the most popular tobogganing spots in Saskatoon is at Diefenbaker Park. Don’t forget your helmets and soak up what wintery weather may be left before spring comes in like a lion (or is it a lamb?)
Hours: Open year round
Venue: Manitoba Theatre for Young People
Info: The cutest dog in children’s literature hits the stage in “Spot”, with puppetry and music your kids 2 to 7 will love.
Times: March 23 – April 1 / 1pm – 7pm showings
Cost: $7.14 – $16.90
Venue: The Assiniboine Zoo
Info: The Assiniboine Zoo is an amazing place to visit with a vast array of animals from polar bears to snakes to red pandas and everything in between. The zoo also features The Polar Playground where kids can slide, climb and explore, all while learning about polar bears and their habitats.
Hours: Daily, 9am – 3:30pm
Cost: Children (3-12 years) $10.00 / Adults $18.50
Venue: Festival of Fools at The Forks
Info: Say that nine times fast. This nine-day festival which runs right through March Break features clowns, jugglers, acrobats, swinging trapeze, craft workshops, and shows.
Hours: March 29 – April 6 / 11am – 3pm
Venue: The Museum of Nature
Info: This is one of our family’s most loved spots to visit in Ottawa. Each floor has a different theme from dinosaurs, birds, and polar animals to different animals found in the different 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. This March Break, the Museum will have a special exhibition focussing on the Arctic as well as a 3D movie “Tiny Giants” which follows a lone chipmunk on his quest to gather sufficient acorns to survive over the winter. The cinematography will make you feel like you too are under one foot tall.
Times: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 9am – 5pm / Thursday, 9am – 8pm
Cost: Adults $12.50 / Child (3-12) $8.50 / Tiny tot (0-2) free / Members free
Venue: SENS RINK of Dreams
Info: Bring the family for a skate at Ottawa City Hall’s SENS RINK of Dreams. Skates are not available for rent but heated change rooms are a comfy option for getting your equipment on and off. And 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: From puppet shows to Lego sessions to programs entitled “My Little Alien” and “Buck Rogers: Become a Space Ranger”, libraries across Ottawa have a wide range of programs for kids of all ages. The programs are free but most do require pre-registration, so visit the library website soon.
Times: Varies by location
Venue: Science North
Info: A new and super-cool exhibit has just opened at Science North. “Ice Age” features huge and unusual creatures that lived alongside humans during the last ice age. Science North is bringing some of these magnificent creatures back from extinction in full size, lifelike, animatronic form, including a mammoth, saber-toothed cat, and mastodon set in a re-creation of their natural environment. Once you have experienced the Ice Age up close, see it in Titans of the Ice Age 3D which brings this mysterious era to life with dazzling computer-generated imagery.
Cost: Science North, Adults $21 / Child (under 12) $17 / Additional charge for IMAX + Planetarium
Venue: Dyamic Earth
Info: This interactive science museum has been hard at work and opens two amazing new exhibits this March. In “Tutankhaman: Treasure from the Pharaoh’s Tomb”, experience Ancient Egypt in five chambers with replicas of mummies, chariots, and many more treasured possessions of the renowned pharaoh.
Want to experience some of the history of mining in Sudbury? The “Vale Chasm and Underground Tour” takes you 7-storeys underground in a glass-enclosed elevator and through an amazing multi-media show, where you will feel like you’re walking in the footsteps of miners from the late 19th century to today.
Venue: Ramsey Lake Skating Path
Info: The whole family will love skating on this path. Its 1.5 km runs along the shoreline of Ramsey Lake from Science North to the Sudbury Canoe Club and has heated change cabins at both ends. The path is also lit at night for a fun evening activity.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 4pm – 8pm / Saturday from 12pm to 8pm / Sunday 12pm – 6pm
Venue: Greater Sudbury Public Library
Info: The library will be hosting daily bilingual activities, movies, and workshops for kids of all ages.
Hours: Varies by location
Venue: Young People’s Theatre
Info: A wonderful place to introduce your children to live theatre, the YPT will be staging two performances daily of the classic story of “Pinocchio”. This show is recommended for children 6 and up, and with the purchase of a ticket your child will have access to the YPT Puppet Lab where they can design their own puppets.
Times: Varies by production
Venue: Ontario Science Centre
Info: Along with many ongoing interactive exhibits, the OSC has a special show just for the March Break. The “Living Wild with Safari Jeff” event provides audiences of all ages with a thrilling adventure through which they will discover amazing animals from around the world. This interactive show will teach your kids about the ecosystem, balances in nature, roles of wildlife, and ancient dinosaur history all in one show. Also check out “Jiggi Jump”, a half hour of musical aerobic adventure.
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: Experience a truly Canadian winter-spring event at the Maple Syrup Festival held at the Kortright Centre and Bruce’s Mill. With entertainment, crafts, activities, a petting zoo, and of course, free samples of maple syrup, children of all ages will enjoy an outing to either of these maple syrup centres. 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: I love a parade … and your kids will too! Toronto’s annual St. Patrick’s Parade takes place on Sunday March 15th from noon and will feature floats, marching bands, and groups representing a variety of cultural groups. Check the parade website to pick out a great viewing spot.
Times: March 11, beginning at 12pm
Venue: The McCord Museum
Info: Featuring The Island of Toys exhibition along with a treasure hunt, story hours, crafts, as well as retro and new games kids can play on the first level.
Venue: Cabane a Sucre Bouvrette
Info: As the province of Quebec is the recognized leader of maple syrup production worldwide, what better place to visit on your March Break than a cabane a sucre or sugar shack. One of the best to explore with the family is the Cabane a Sucre Bouvrette. 40 minutes 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: At this site of the 1976 Olympics, free skating is offered every day of the break. Lots of activities are planned and getting here couldn’t be easier as the village is located directly behind the Pie-IX metro station. Bring your own skates as there are no rentals.
Times: Monday to Thursday, 10am – 8pm / Friday and Saturday, 10am – 11pm / Sunday, 10am – 8pm
Venue: Musee de la Civilisation
Info: In the Youth Zones, kids can play, interact, and experiment (and secretly be learning).
Times: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Cost: Free on Tuesdays until March 31
Venue: Pointe-aux-Lievre Park
Info: With a 1.5 kilometer skating trail, a 4.9 meter tobogganing hill, and a 7 kilometer 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: Year-round, 10am – 10pm
Venue: Parliamentary Building
Info: Introduce your kids to the fascinating history of Quebec City with free guided tours in both English and French through the Parliamentary Building, built between 1877 and 1886.
Times: Monday to Friday, 9am – 4:30pm (except holidays)
Venue: Charlottetown Islanders
Info: Loved watching Team Canada win the World Juniors this January? Why not take in a game of great hockey with the Charlottetown Islanders? NHL alumni that have played for this team include Ryan Clowe and Maxim Lapierre.
Venue: Capital Area Recreation Inc.
Info: Swim off some of that Spring Break excitement at the spot 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.
Venue: Brookvale Activity Park
Info: For a great day of snow tubing, head about a half hour west of Charlottetown to Brookvale Activity Park. The sliding hill is about 250 feet long. Rental of tubes is also available.
Times: Open all day and evening, but night use is unsupervised
Cost: Free / Rental of tubes is $5 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: Clay Cafe
Info: Get creative and have fun at the Clay Cafe. Pick a piece of pottery from the huge selection of pieces they have and paint at your own pace. A great way to make your own memory of the March Break.
Times: Monday to Friday, 11am – 9pm / Saturday, 11am – 9pm / Sunday, 12pm – 5pm
Venue: Mont Farlagne
Info: If you want a great day skiing, snowboarding or snow tubing, head a couple of hours out of town and spend a great day at Mont Farlagne. Skis, boards and tubes are all available for rent. Bring 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 skates at multiple rinks.
Times: Call for hours
Venue: The Discovery Centre
Info: This hands-on science centre has exhibits that kids of all ages will love. Visit The Bubble Room, The Building Centre, the Build Your Own Coaster area, and a suspension bridge on which kids can test the strength of cables.
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: Used in the 2011 Canada Games for speedskating events, the Oval is located on the Halifax Commons and is the size of three NHL rinks. It’s artificially refrigerated so won’t melt over the Break. Skates and helmets can be rented for free and the site has heated huts.
Venue: The Rooms
Info: Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest indoor cultural space, The Rooms has programming for kids from Tuesday to Friday of the break. Kids can make family flags, create their own sea creatures, make shadow puppets, and produce original artwork using textiles.
Times: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 10am -5pm / Sunday, 12pm – 5pm
Cost: Adults $7.50 / Youth $4.00 / Children (5 and under) free / Family $20.00
Venue: Bowring Park
Info: As Spring Break in Newfoundland and Labrador is in April, take advantage of the fresh spring air and make a visit to Bowring Park. 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).
Times: Open year round