We know families in Ottawa spend March Break in a variety of ways. Some escape the winter cold. Others sign up for a March Break camp or plan a staycation in the area. Maybe you have a few days off to spend together and are looking for some local fun. If so, we’ve gathered some March Break ideas for you and your family in the Ottawa area.
An outing to a local sugar bush is always a great idea (your kids will flip over a traditional maple bush pancake breakfast!) and even if the Rideau Canal doesn’t have great conditions for a family skate, there are many refrigerated rinks across the city (like at the Sens Rink of Dreams or Lansdowne’s skating rink) where you can lace up and have some fun. The weather is looking like it may be milder (finally) so a toboggan hill will tire everyone out (and parents, you can plan an apres-toboggan beverage. We’re making that a thing).
Those are just some of the many ideas for you and your family, but there are even more special events happening across Ottawa to take note of. You don’t have to go very far or spend a small fortune to find a way to enjoy March Break together this year.
Visit a Museum
Ottawa is so fortunate to have amazing museums to visit, and many have something special happening over the March Break. You’ll find the Ingenium Canada Museums (The Canada Aviation and Space Museum, The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum and the Canada Museum of Science and Technology) are ready to entertain and educate your family all week long. At each location, there are special demonstrations and activities happening throughout the week that are included with your museum admission.
Plan a Staycation
If you want a mini getaway, a swim in a pool and the feeling that you’ve travelled for March Break without having to go too far (or break the bank), look no further than your own backyard. With a variety of family-friendly hotels across the city, amazing places to eat, and fun spots like museums or outdoor activities to hit up, a staycation is easy to plan. The Brookstreet Hotel has a skating rink and indoor pool, plus a games room, and the Ottawa Marriott in the downtown area, with access to museums and Parliament Hill, has a kids room and teen room with air hockey and more to keep everyone entertained. If you want to go a little further afield, visit the Fairmont Chateau Montebello as they plan special activities all week, and it’s just down the street from Parc Omega.
Attend An Arcade Party
For two days, House of Targ is welcoming families for a March Break Arcade Party. On Wednesday and Thursday, from 11 am until 6 pm, enjoy free play on their classic arcade games like Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Frogger and pinball machines will be $1 a play. While 80s cartoons play on the televisions, you can share a bite to eat (we recommend the perogies of course) and create epic family arcade battles together. Admission is free.
Go to the Mall
Your local shopping centre is a great place to walk around and get out of the cold in the winter, but many across the city are also hosting special daily events just for March Break for your kids. If you go to Carlingwood Shopping Centre in Ottawa’s West End, the five-day line up (March 11 – March 15) includes a variety of free activities, including Brad The Balloon Guy, Mike the Magician, Little Ray’s Reptiles and more. Seating is limited and the times vary each day. Also, don’t miss the special ticketed event on March 9 and 10 where your kids can be a part of a mermaid and pirate party (tickets are $10 and limited). More details can be found online.
At Billing’s Bridge Shopping Centre, the week has magic, science and Little Ray’s Reptiles (activities vary by day) but between Wednesday, March 13 and Friday, March 15, your family will love the Centre Court concert highlighting Canadian Heritage. Visit the website for times and more details.
In addition, Place d’Orleans Shopping Centre has three days of events for the kids. On Monday between 10 am and 2 pm, enjoy some goopee face painting, on Wednesday, grab a balloon from Brad the Baloon Guy between 10 am and 1 pm and on Friday, at 10 am and 2 pm, go to the Community Rendevouz Room (on the upper floor) for a movie and popcorn! All events are free and children need to be accompanied by an adult.