For those living in Ontario, next week marks the start of March Break and parents everywhere will scramble to entertain their children. Some children will go to day camp or maybe a babysitter to while away the time before school resumes. The lucky will escape the dreary winter weather and head for sunny skies. Everyone else will be passing off a “staycation” as the next best thing to Disneyland.
One of the greatest perks about living in Toronto is that it is an incredibly family friendly city. Activities abound and cater to a variety of interests and more importantly price points! Toronto is chock-full of things to do for free and on a limited budget.
If you live in Toronto bookmark this post and use it as your March Break go-to-guide and if you don’t, well, bookmark it anyway and be sure to refer to it when you visit the city.
For the Thespian
Toronto has a theatre community that rivals London and New York. Children’s theatre is no exception. Whether it is a show-stopping musical of the highest caliber (Mirvish’s The Wizard of Oz) or something lower key, you will not be disappointed.
The Cat in The Hat – Young People’s Theatre
Magnificent Munsch – The Solar Stage
Stinky Kids The Musical, Pinkalicious, Freckleface Strawberry The Musical – Lower Ossington Theatre
The Elves, A Shoemaker and His Wife – The Little Red Theatre
The Berenstain Bears Live!, Potted Potter – The Living Arts Centre
Scooby-Doo Live! – The Sony Centre
For the Screen Junky
Perhaps you have a Spielberg wannabe on your hands and only the silver screen will do. While the Cineplex and Famous Players are sure to have crowd pleasers, why not try suggesting something on the indie side? Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has all sorts for kids. The weekend of March 16 & 17th, TIFF will offer FREE screenings of The Magicians, Lotte and the Moonstone Secret and Elenor’s Secret.
If video games and media is your child’s thing, consider a visit to digiPlayspace where kids get hands-on experience where technology and art meet.
For the Naturist
It’s time to harvest the maple syrup and surrounding the city there are many conversation areas that host demonstrations, wagon rides, and other family-friendly activities (especially for the littlest ones). A word of caution, some of these wooded areas can be quite muddy so be sure to dress appropriately and if outerwear does get caked in mud, Carol has the easiest way to get those garments clean without even bringing them into the house! Many of these areas are free or have a minimal cost making it the perfect way to spend a day outdoors.
Evergreen Brick Works (does not have a maple syrup shack)
For the Budding David Copperfield
While the hand may be quicker than the eye, these programs are guaranteed to keep little eyes (and bums!) captive. Mark Lewis’s Magic Show can be seen at Lower Ossington Theatre while Casa Loma is hosting breakfast with Houdini March 14-16. Get tickets fast – they are disappearing!
For the Hockey Fanatic
Skaters can enjoy the many FREE skating rinks around the city including the Natrel Rink at Harborfront, The Evergreen Brick Works and the kid-friendly loop at The Shops at Don Mills. For deeper pockets, The Hockey Hall of Fame never fails to impress young Wickenheisers and Crosbys.
For the Lego-Junky
Indigo Kids has all sorts of activities running throughout the week at 11 a.m. but Wednesday’s Lego theme would be a hit with our boys. Not every location is offering these activities so be sure to check before making any promises.
Vaughn Mills is home to the newest Legoland Discovery Centre and while tickets are $18 for those over 2, I can’t promise that you won’t need to dig a bit deeper at the gift shop.
Do you wonder how little pieces of plastic can be so expensive?
The Heavy Hitters
Toronto is also home to a variety of Internationally acclaimed museums and attractions, including (but not limited to):
The C.N. Tower
The Royal Ontario Museum
Art Gallery of Ontario
The Ontario Science Centre
Still stumped? Check these tried, tested and true websites:
Toronto 4 Kids
Help We’ve Got Kids
After compiling this list, I have to say that I am looking forward to spending some time in the city. What are your plans for March Break?