Try these activities designed for the whole family
For Canadian families, March break marks the beginning of spring. For some parents it means finding a camp or day-care centre, while others plan on taking time off to enjoy a week of entertaining activities for the whole family. Whether your pleasure’s an afternoon of exotic animal viewing or an evening of ghost hunting, a wide range of exciting March Break activities is just around the corner!
Return of the swans
While many of us will be heading South, migratory birds are heading North after a long winter away from home. Bundle up and join locals in welcoming over 15,000 Tundra Swans back to Lambton Shores, just eight kilometres south of Grand Bend. Catch a glimpse of these graceful birds during their month-long stopover as they continue their 6,500-kilometre journey from Chesapeake Bay on the Eastern Seaboard to their home in the Canadian Arctic. http://www.lclmg.org/lclmg/Default.aspx?tabid=130.
Warm up without heading south
If you’re after warmer weather but just couldn’t get away, take a trip to the tropics by visiting one of the zoos or conservatories in your area. The Niagara Region’s Butterfly Conservatory is currently home to such exotic creatures as the Emerald Tree Boa, Red Footed Tortoise and more recently a set of twin baby Marmosets, born within the facility. http://www.niagaraparks.com/garden-trail/butterfly-conservatory.html
Also residing in Niagara is one of the largest aviaries. Ontario Bird Kingdom includes more than 80 species of birds, lush tropical plants and a waterfall over 13 meters (40 feet) tall http://www.birdkingdom.ca/
Strap on the snowshoes
As winters in Ontario go, we’ve had a pretty mild season this year leaving some outdoor fanatics yearning for more. The scenic caves in Collingwood offer up a thrilling snowshoe trek over the longest suspension footbridge in Ontario. http://www.sceniccaves.com/12p_winter-activities-dec-mar-.htm
Still craving more adventure and excitement? Stop off in Barrie, where Horseshoe Valley is hosting its newest Open Ski and Snowboard Festival. Families can gear up and hit the slopes, or catch some air with a few of the best skiers and snowboarders in the country. http://horseshoeopen.ca/
So what’s eating you?
Throughout Ontario there is an abundance of activities to help families learn more about nutrition and how our bodies work. “EWWWWW! What’s Eating You?” at Science North in Sudbury appeals to children of all ages in an “arcade like setting” while tackling the relationship between humans and the microscopic parasites we are host to. http://www.sciencenorth.ca/science-north/exhibits/
Step into a little history
Ontario is rich with history and culture with many landmarks providing enjoyable yet educational activities this March Break. Hamilton is home to some of the most magnificent period homes in Southern Ontario with none comparing to Dundurn Castle. This March Break make it “A Family Affair” for children and adults as you learn what life was like during the Victorian Era for the well off and the people who served them. http://old.hamilton.ca/CultureandRecreation/Arts_Culture_And_Museums/HamiltonCivicMuseums/Events/Dundurn.asp?site=DUNDURN
Checking things out in Ottawa
Culturally however, no city is more highly recognized than our nation’s capital. Parliament Hill is the centre of activity with their currently display, “The Games: A Moment of Pride” showcasing a set of torches and medals donated to the Canadian people in commemoration of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. http://www.parl.gc.ca/Visitors/index-E.asp
However, if your interest is our natural world, be sure to spend Earth Day admiring the night sky at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum .This year their observatory is playing host to a free stargazing session on Friday March 16th at 7:30 pm. Online pre-registration is required for this event http://www.sciencetech.technomuses.ca/english/whatson/astronomy-programs.cfm#Stargazing. And of course there’s always skating down the Rideau, provided the weather stays cold enough.
Heading down to Kingston town
Just down the St Lawrence in Kingston is a spookier kind of family fun that’s guaranteed to give a few goose bumps. If you’re feeling daring this break, take the chilling winter version of the Original Haunted Walk http://www.hauntedwalk.com/kingstontours.php departing from the notoriously haunted Prince George hotel. This historically rich tour takes guests through the limestone streets of Kingston, exploring the city’s darker side.
Lots to do in the GTA!
This March Break there seems to be an activity for every family’s interests but no region has a wider range of fun than the GTA! Let’s go. For older youngsters, spend a day of Magic at the Bata Shoe Museum. http://www.batashoemuseum.ca/events/index.shtml
At the Toronto Zoo, there’s all kinds of excitement around the newest addition – a baby polar bear, the only survivor of three recently born in captivity. You can even have a chance to name the little guy in the Zoo’s Name the Cub contest. http://www.torontozoo.com/polarbearcub/?pg=NameOurCub
Crank up the spookiness on March Break with some ghost tracking with the experts at Casa Loma. http://www.casaloma.org/Seasonal/
Also, located in Toronto are some of the best public historical museums http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/fundays.htm in Ontario, many of which offer a “pay what you can day”, allowing families on a budget to view some of the finest period architecture in the province and enjoy educational activities.
How sweet it is! Maple Syrup’s on tap
Whatever your families delight this March Break, none are more customary to springtime in Ontario than the harvesting of maple syrup and the festivals that celebrate that tradition. Most parents can recall tasting that first bite of syrup on snow, a pinnacle moment of any Canadian’s childhood. No matter your hometown this season there is a bounty of sugar shack festivals in your area to choose from with a range of fun-filled family activities, many of which are located within Pioneer Villages like Westfield Heritage Village http://www.conservationhamilton.ca/sweet-taste-of-spring in Hamilton and Black Creek http://www.blackcreek.ca/events/event.dot?id=125719 in Toronto. For a complete list of Maple Syrup Festivals in your area please visit, http://www.ontariomaple.com/ or contact your local municipality.