March Break, close to home

That week off can’t come soon enough. Make it memorable, even if there’s no big trip planned

A trip south (which may or may not involve a visit to Walt Disney World) has long been a dream destination for many families. However, that dream, like breaking into the housing market, may be disappearing for some of you.

Not to put a damper on things, but as I write this in early January, opening up the Rideau Canal Skateway is postponed due to unseasonably mild weather. Could it be Mother Nature is trying to tell us something? Are we holding on to the status quo for the sake of our children?

We want to give our children what we had as kids, but carrying on like nothing’s changing is doing a deep disservice to children and to Mother Nature, too. It’s time to stop portraying nature as the bad guy, although the number of storms and tornadoes make it easy to do so. Let’s sit the kids down and tell it like it is so they can move through the coming years awake, wise and grateful for what we do have and can do for each other. 

Time off may not mean a big trip anymore (and the state that airports are in, you may be doing yourself a favour), but it can be rewarding and nourishing for hearts and minds to stay close to home. Letting little ones know the good side of nature can be fun, assuring, and empowering. Here’s how.

Visit a local farm There are many farms in the Ottawa Valley beyond the Experimental Farm. From signing up to do some co-op work in the summertime, to doing a vegetable exchange, to sponsoring a hive, to learning about a pollinator garden, to just getting dirty, just do it.

Plant a tree It might be a bit early, but looking into where to go, which tree to choose, whether the planting is done in the backyard, as a legacy/charity gift or as part of a street/community endeavour, all these options can be explored.

Taste maple syrup A pancake breakfast can stir the fancy to see where maple syrup comes from before it’s squeezed out of the bottle. Your kids will definitely appreciate Mother Nature coming up with something as delicious as this!

Beaver dams, chickadees and mud, oh my There are nature trails galore in the area and of course, dog parks if there’s a canine in your family. Hit the paths and wander. A follow up trip to the library (to stay offline as long as possible) to answer the questions Mommy and Daddy can’t answer, will round out the adventure.  

Yes, the big trip may not happen this year… but if your kids can make friends with Mother Nature with you by their side, they may not need that big trip to feel exhilarated and happy.