Why not spend a fabulous March Break right here in Ottawa? The city boasts tons of great activities – indoors and out – to make the most of your vacation time.
Is your family ready for March Break? It runs from March 10 to 14, 2014 in Ottawa and from March 3 to 7 in Gatineau.
Staying home, but wondering what to do? Or visiting the National Capital Region, and not sure where to begin? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
Check out our handy list of things to do during the spring break, with plenty of ways to keep the family busy without breaking the bank.
Museums and indoor family fun
Canada Science and Technology Museum
Check out the exhibit Energy: Power to Choose. In this interactive exhibition, plug in to practical tips to reduce energy consumption, and pledge your action to better conserve energy. www.sciencetech.technomuses.ca
Canada Aviation and Space Museum
The Canada Aviation and Space Museum is recognized as having the most extensive aviation collection in Canada, and one which ranks among the finest in the world. www.aviation.technomuses.ca
Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum launches the spring season with its annual Barnyard Break Foodology. Visitors can take in a wide variety of fun demonstrations, from Bread Chemistry to Egg-speriments to Taffy-ology: The Science of Maple Taffy Making. Children can get creative and keep busy with a maple-themed craft. See interesting artifacts in action, and take a peek at newly hatched chicks in the incubator.
Canadian Museum of Nature
This museum has many gorgeous exhibits, and many activities are offered in the Discovery Zone. Make a nature-craft masterpiece, explore different natural-science themes, examine specimens up close and chat with one of the educators. Events not to be missed include March Break fun, from casting a dinosaur fossil to preparing plant specimens and relaxing in front of an amazing 3D movie, (March 1 to 16) as well as the Edible Arctic Festival (April 3-7), in which visitors can explore the natural and cultural heritage of Canada’s Arctic through a unique theme: food! www.nature.ca
Canadian Museum of History
This spring break, discover the museum’s collections, architecture, people, history and more. Look for Staff Picks — favourite objects and spaces — throughout the museum. And kids, make sure to bring a special item from your own collection for display in the Pop-Up Museum.
The Children’s Museum offers drop-in activities for ages 5 and up: Jumpstart your imagination and stretch your creative-thinking skills with the many museum workshops, and be sure not to miss March Break Snownovation, where kids can celebrate the end of the winter and the beginning of spring with an ode to snow. Make and taste some delicious maple syrup taffy. Build an indoor igloo as part of an art
installation by Dan Thornhill, and view a short film on how traditional igloos are constructed. Or play a game of toboggan Snakes and Ladders, and build your own snow fort models out of 10,000 white Mega Bloks!
Tap your toes on March 5 at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., as La Ridaine evokes winters of yore with French-Canadian folk songs. On March 12, at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Freshwater Trade‘s Celtic-inspired tunes take us back to the days of early Ottawa Valley lumberjack camps in the middle of winter. www.historymuseum.ca
Royal Canadian Mint
Families can tour the Mint during regular operational hours. Learn how coins are made by joining an interactive guided tour with one of the friendly tour guides (English or French), see the famous Vancouver 2010 athlete medals, learn about the Canadian record-breaking Million Dollar Coin – the largest coin ever produced, or hold a solid gold bar that’s worth more than $750,000. www.mint.ca
Indoor family fun parks
Local indoor playgrounds offer fun for little ones to teens, as youngsters can crawl, bounce, slide and explore in a clean and secure environment, with multi-level soft structures, also featuring many square metres of ball pits, slides, tunnels, mazes, obstacle courses and more. You can also grab a snack onsite or test your skills and win some prizes in the arcades. There’s fun for everyone!
Venture into the world’s most diverse marine ecosystem through an epic adventure through the tropical islands of West Papua and experience one of the most extraordinary places on Earth when Journey to the South Pacific 3D comes to the IMAX Theatre. Narrated by Cate Blanchett, the documentary takes moviegoers on a breathtaking adventure to the lush tropical islands of remote West Papua, where life flourishes above and below water. Join a young island boy, on a journey of discovery to this magical place. www.historymuseum.ca/imax
City of Ottawa Recreation
From crafts to sports, the City of Ottawa has lots of activities for your family in recreation and culture facilities, pools and arenas. Find active and interesting camps in your neighbourhood or a specialty camp for the athlete or artist. Or drop in for a leisurely swim at a City of Ottawa pool.
Outdoor family activities
Head outside to enjoy one of these great local activities, and enjoy the fresh spring air. Ottawa and Gatineau abounds with picturesque spots for any of these, including, of course, the famous Rideau Canal Skateway. Check the National Capital Commission(www.ncc-ccn.gc.ca) and City of Ottawa (www.ottawa.ca) websites for more information.
• tobogganing • skiing
• skating • nature walks
• snowshoeing • hiking
March Break is the perfect time for skiing with children. Enjoy a full two-hour lesson and ski all afternoon.
Ottawa-area sugar bushes
A visit to an Ottawa-area sugar bush is an exciting family fun option in late winter to early spring, when temperatures become milder and the sap starts to run. Find out how the sweet maple syrup is made and participate in a variety of other activities, including sleigh rides, scenic walks and delicious meals.
To find an Ottawa-area sugar bush, sugar shack, or maple syrup producer, visit www.sugarbush.info/links.
Relax at home
March Break can also simply be a great wind-down time. Plan some fun stuff at home for a day or two of intimate family bonding. Find fun home projects to do together, do a craft, watch a favourite movie, bake some tasty treats, or play in the yard.
Photo: Canada Agriculture and Food Museum