Break Out


Get outta town (literally).
March Break means hours of unscheduled, open-ended free time for you and the kids. Don’€™t drive yourself crazy’€”go for a drive instead.

Diner and a Show
If you haven’€™t been to the Hamilton Children’€™s Museum, the exhibits and interactive events over March Break might make you a regular visitor. The Doo Wop Diner is an exploratory play space where kids can groove to the jukebox, dress up like cooks, make and serve dinner and learn about nutrition, science and physical activity. They’€™ll also love the Brain Teasers’€”using blocks and tubes to build and design mazes. Good to Know: During busy times, there may be a short, outdoor wait for admittance and visits may also be limited to one hour, so it’€™s good to call ahead to check on wait times.

Sap It
March means marvelous maple syrup. Get all your vacation goals (family time, outdoor activities, educational pursuits and special treats) accomplished at once with a visit to one of the many locations just outside the city. Bronte Creek (between Burlington and Oakville) has events running from 9:30 am to 3 pm daily through the March Break. If you’€™re looking east, Purple Woods Conservation Area offers syrup-tapping demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides, all-day pancakes and more. Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival runs at the Kortright Centre, just north of the city, and in Stouffville, at Bruce’€™s Mill Conservation Area. In addition to the expected fun activities (tree-tapping demonstrations, pancakes etc.), the Sugarbush events include face painting, balloon animals, children’€™s music, magic shows, animals and more.

Animal Attraction
Take in the Falls, and allow budding artists aged 5 to 12 to enjoy an amazing art experience at the Niagara Pump House. Entitled ‘€œVisiting with Animals’€, children are invited to spend a few hours in the afternoon drawing live animal visitors, using pencils, chalk pastels, oil pastels and paint, as well as playing games and enjoying snacks. Good to Know: We recommend registering for this event in advance. Cost is $24 per day for non-members.

Play On
Being bored is nothing new, and 21st century kids will find it interesting to see what toys and games children in the earlier centuries played (and got bored) with. The small City of Waterloo Museum, in partnership with the ROM, has a fun exhibit exploring childhood distractions from the past including a never-seen-before collection of toy soldiers owned by Thomas Seagram (son of the famous distiller, Joseph E. Seagram). Today’€™s techie kids will likely enjoy the early video game exhibits, allowing them to ‘€˜rough it’€™ by playing old-school games on computers from the 70’€™s and 80’€™s (read: Atari, Commodore, MacIntosh and more). Good to Know: Admission is free, and your kids will be horrified at the games you played as a kid. Pong, really?

There’€™s always lots to do in Toronto for March Break, but a short road trip with a friend or two will make that break a vacation. Tested by Alison R., Toronto


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