10 Ways You Can Have An Epic March Break In Ottawa
Fun Right Here In The Capital City
Who says you need to take a trip to have a great March Break? Ottawa’s abundance of indoor and outdoor attractions makes it the perfect destination for a fun, interactive and stimulating week with the kids.
And with so much snow still around, there are a ton of things to do outside without fear of mud and muck – at least not yet.
So, gather the kids and get ready to have a blast. Here are 10 ideas for an epic staycation.
1) The canal, go figure - JUST CLOSED -
Amazingly, the Rideau Canal is still open. This is most unusual for March so take advantage while you still can. It’s entirely possible that by the time March Break officially arrives the canal could be closed so don’t delay.
2) Make your escape
3) Snow fun
The snow really will be gone soon so use this week to get in some last ski days, tobogganing afternoons and just plain fun. Here are some links for:
Toboggan hills in the region, along with directions, ones that are free versus paid, safety tips and more.
Gatineau Park winter trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing & snow biking, as well as hiking trails, spots for winter camping and even downhill skiing at Camp Fortune. The site is updated daily.
Other cross-country skiing around the city if you don’t have a car or only have time for a short outing.
Take a hike … literally! The greenbelt is like a green and white scarf that surrounds the city, meaning it’s close for everyone. Take advantage of its undeveloped beauty and go for a walk. There are plenty of marked trails throughout the greenbelt. Find areas where you can not only hike, but ski, toboggan and snowshoe.
50 ways to have fun: From making a snow maze to frozen bubbles, here are 50 ideas for fun in the snow that are either free or inexpensive.
4) For your sweet tooth
The sap may not be freely flowing just yet, but the sugar bushes are open, with pancakes and syrup on the menu. In this previous blog, we highlight five to try. Just be sure to check the bush’s website before you go for updated pricing and hours.
5) Go wild
Just a 45-minute drive from downtown in Montebello, Quebec, is Omega Park, a large wildlife park that immerses visitors in Canadian wildlife and First Nations’ history. You can take a Canadian safari any time of year through the natural habitat of animals like deer, elk, bison, caribou and wolves. Plus, the park is offering a variety of special programming during March Break, including live demonstrations by a chainsaw wood carving artist, wagon rides, maple taffy in the traditional sugar shack, farm animals in the heritage farm, as well as special animation throughout the park, including musicians.
6) Check out a museum or three
Yes, Ottawa’s museums are likely to be popular during March Break, but they’re still worth the visit. The Museum of Nature offers a butterfly exhibit, the Children’s Museum at the Museum of History is always a favourite with kids, the Science and Technology Museum is a must (especially if you haven’t been since it reopened) and the Diefenbunker holds its popular spy camp, just to name a few.
Want to visit more than one museum? Consider a museum passport, which gives you admittance to three museums on three consecutive days. But note that not all museums participate in this program.
7) Make a splash
Dive in to one of Ottawa’s many pools. Go local or enjoy the combo pools, hot tub & steam room at the Plant Bath and grab some Chinese takeaway for dinner.
8) Energy to burn?
Try one of the many activity centres to stop your kids from climbing the curtains. Here are a couple of our favourites. Altitude Gym in Gatineau has a climbing wall the whole family can enjoy, they also offer day camps and frequently have free childcare on site. As an alternative to bouncing off the walls, check in at Skyzone where kids can trampoline away excess energy.
9) Head to Hogwarts
Are you a Harry Potter fan? Check out the free Harry Potter movie marathon at Algonquin. It’s on Tuesday, March 12 starting at 11 a.m. Not up for a marathon? Then try a 70-minute live action performance that has been winning rave reviews. Called Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience, it combines all seven books, all of your favourite characters, crazily inventive props and even a live Quidditch match. There is a charge for this one, but it’s suitable for all ages.
10) Movie time
Imagine Cinema always has great and inexpensive film programming so make a day of it and head to the St Laurent Shopping Centre for a film, lunch and perhaps a spring outfit.
Finally, had enough running around? You are now the confirmed master of keeping boredom at bay so grab a game or DVD from the local branch of the Ottawa Public Library and chill.
Enjoy March Break with family & friends!
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