March break sneaks up on us every year. We start making lists of ideas in January and then, suddenly, it’s mid-March and we’re scrambling for last-minute camp spots or to fill those days with fun activities—preferably ones that won’t break the bank!
Thankfully, in Toronto the list of awesome March break family activities is a mile long. Here are our favourite free OR inexpensive things you can do this year. All events are free unless noted otherwise.
Festivals and Parades
Sugar Beach, at Jarvis and Queen’s Quay, transforms into a Quebec-style cabane à sucre during this annual fun family event featuring maple taffy on snow, traditional French Canadian music, and food trucks serving authentic Québécois food.
Sadly, Sugar Shack TO is cancelled for 2022
Ontario Place is open and is still free to enter. The offerings are scaled down compared to past March Breaks, but there is still fire pit rentals, Trillium Park and the William G. Davis Trail to explore, plus Cinesphere has movies every day during March Break. Movie prices start at $13.27 for adults and $9.74 for children 3-13. Kids 2 and under are free.
Don’t miss Canada’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade returning for 2022! This year it takes place on Sunday, March 11. The parade leaves from the corner of St. George and Bloor St West (near St. George subway station) and heads east on Bloor Street, turns south on Yonge Street, and turns west on Queen Street, ending up at Nathan Phillips Square.
The parade starts at 12 noon lasts approximately 1.5 hours from any given point along the route.
Museums and Galleries
This always-free attraction at the Harbourfront Centre is offering their Power Kids free workshops for children ages 7-12 that begin with an art activity inspired by the ideas behind the current exhibition. Power Kids went online during Fall 2021 but on March 13 they are inviting kids ages 7-12 to Power Kids: Shifting Perspectives, dedicated to Sandra Brewster’s installation DENSE.
Maximum capacity for this workshop is 20 people. When entering the gallery, parents or guardians will be required to present proof of full vaccination with a valid QR code, along with a piece of official government ID. Everyone will be required to wear medical-grade masks indoors.
Got a petite politician on your hands? At this annual March break program, kids ages 6–10 can do a scavenger hunt in the historic Legislative building, learn about provincial parliament, do some arts and crafts, and even dress up in Parliament robes.
Unfortunately, these programs are currently cancelled due to Covid-19.
This classic school field trip and family attraction is slowly reopening with small school visits and family experiences. Enjoy a frosty frolic through Black Creek and discover the magic of winters past. Learn how to thrive when the land slumbers under snow and ice. Gain the wintertime skills of yesteryear, discover why winter is the best time for fun and games, and warm your toes next to a cozy fire by the farm.
1000 Murray Ross Parkway, North York
On a cold March day, it can be lovely to wander the tropical and arid greenhouses of this indoor garden, with blooming orchids, hibiscus, banana plants, and succulents. Spring flowers are in bloom now. It’s free year-round. As part of the City’s COVID-19 response, we ask patrons to self-screen for COVID-19 at all indoor facilities. Capacity limits have been lifted and proof of vaccination is no longer required. Masks must be worn indoors.
Open daily, 10 am–5 pm, 19 Horticultural Ave., Toronto
Outdoors and Sports
Evergreen’s March Break camp is back this year but other activities are still cancelled or reconfigured due to Covid-19. Check out Evergreen’s website for updated information. Entry is free but some events have a suggested donation of $2–$5.
550 Bayview Ave., Toronto, Ongoing—see website for specific event dates
Parks Canada volunteers lead family-friendly (and some dog-friendly) walks on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays in Canada’s first nationally protected park in an urban area. During March break, hike themes include a look at the parks friendliest bird, the chickadee; a family fitness outing; and exploring the Beare Wetlands flora and fauna.
Guided Walks are still postponed due to Covid-19. Please check out the website for updated information; Zoo Rd., Toronto
This 7.5-acre working farm in the city is open year-round, with free admission. See farm animals being fed and milked, and tour the barns and cow paddock. Animals include pigs, chickens, goats, cows, and sheep. Museum volunteers are on site on weekends. The Pig and Poultry Barn will open March 14, 2022, weather permitting.
Daily 9:15–4 pm, 201 Winchester St., Toronto
Ice Skating Rinks
Weather permitting, City of Toronto ice-skating rinks have special hours for public skate and shinny during March break. Many close immediately after March break, so get out on the ice while you can!
If the weather cooperates, check out Toronto’s best sledding hills for an end of season downhill thrill.
City of Toronto indoor pools have extended hours during March break week for leisure swim, family swim, and preschool swim.
Music, Arts, and Crafts
The Toronto Public Library has more than 100 programs planned during March break for kids and teens. All are completely free, including shows from Mad Science, a musical puppet show with kids’ performers Soli and Rob, and The Tale of Peter Rabbit from Little Red Theatre. Some events require advance registration. March 12–17, Search programs by branch
In March Breaks past, participating Indigo & Chapters stores hosted free events all week. They are slowly but surely reintroducing events at participating stores, but no kids events as of yet.
The pandemic almost claimed the Solar Stage Theatre, which hosted special guests, sing-a-longs, and improvisation during free-form, interactive musical events. Stay tuned for upcoming events, as they slowly reopen the reimagined business.
The Aga Khan Museum is slowly, but surely, reintroducing live events and programs. Check out their website for up-to-date information.
Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr., Toronto
Ways to Save
You may think of CityPass as something for tourists, but if you plan to do some of Toronto’s biggest attractions during March Break, buying the pass can save you some dough. It’s $98/adult and $68/child and includes admission to the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Casa Loma, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Toronto Zoo OR Ontario Science Centre.