During March Break, March 10 -16, the City of Toronto is offering low cost or free family activities at its recreation centres, parks facilities and museums.
More information about leisure activities and camps for children and families is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks or by calling 311.
March Break recreational camps are a great opportunity for children and youth to enjoy a range of activities. Participants can enjoy arts, crafts, music, drama, sports and games. Some programs may require an additional materials fee. More information is available at: http://www.toronto.ca/camps.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Centennial and Earl Bales ski and snowboard centres will be open from March 10 to 14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular hours at each centre will resume March 15 and 16 (weather permitting). Both ski and snowboard centres will close for the season at the end of the day on March 16. More information is available at: http://www.toronto.ca/ski.
The use of helmets is mandatory when participating in programs and lessons at both centres and the use of a recognized ski or snowboard helmet is strongly recommended for all other participants while on the slopes.
Twenty-eight outdoor artificial ice rinks are open until the end of the day on March 16, weather permitting. For locations, hours and programs, see: http://www.toronto.ca/skate.
Indoor leisure skating programs, including caregiver and tot, family skate and shinny, are free for all ages. CSA-approved hockey helmets are mandatory for children under six years of age, all shinny hockey participants and are recommended for skaters of all ages. For schedules and locations see: http://www.toronto.ca/skate.
Family Skate at Ricoh Coliseum
Families are invited for free skating sessions from March 10 to 14 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Bring your own skating gear - Ricoh Coliseum does not rent equipment. Children 12 years and under are required to wear a CSA-approved helmet. Family skate sessions are first-come, first-served and no more than 250 people are permitted on the ice at any time. A liability waiver will be available at the Coliseum and must be signed upon entry by a parent or caregiver 18 years or older. The entrance is next to the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place, off Nunavut Rd. More information is available by calling 311.
City of Toronto pools offer March Break swimming opportunities for everyone. More information is available at: www.toronto.ca/swim
Riverdale Farm (located at 201 Winchester St.)
Tour the farm's scenic grounds to see cows, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, rabbits and cats. While there, visit the Meeting House for drop-in craft activities from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3 p.m. Farming demonstrations occur at 10:30 a.m. (goat), 12:30 p.m. (horse) and 1:30 p.m. (cow). The farm is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is accessible to all. Admission is free. More information is available at: http://www.toronto.ca/parks/featured-parks.
High Park Zoo (located on Deer Pen Rd.)
Toronto's oldest zoo is celebrating 120 years. The zoo offers both domestic and exotic animals, including bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle and sheep. The zoo is open daily, year round from 7 a.m. to dusk. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/zoo/.
Just minutes away from downtown by ferry, the Toronto Islands offer March Break fun for the whole family. It's a great place to walk, roll, cycle, explore and enjoy the city skyline. For a list of ferry fees and the schedule, visit: www.toronto.ca/parks/island
Playground Paradise (located at Flemingdon Park CC, 150 Grenoble Dr.)
Playground Paradise offers excellent family fun for children aged 12 and under. Kids can play on a two-storey play structure, go down the spiral slide, swing on the track ride, climb the cargo elevator, talk to friends through the talk tube and play in the ball pool, holding more than 8,000 balls. March Break public hours:
• March 10, 12 and 14: 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m., 4 to 6 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
• March 11 and 13: 10 a.m. to noon
A flat fee of $2.50 per child applies. More information is available by calling 416-395-6014.
Preview of spring flower shows
The spring flower shows are in full bloom at Centennial Park Conservatory, 151 Elmcrest Rd. and Allan Gardens Conservatory, 19 Horticultural Ave. Both shows feature various spring flowering plants. The Easter flower shows open at both conservatories on April 13 to May 4 and includes lilies and hydrangeas. The conservatories are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and admission is free. More information is available by calling Centennial Park Conservatory at 416-394-8543 and Allan Gardens Conservatory at 416-392-7288.
Museums and historic sites
The City of Toronto's historic sites are offering affordable family drop-in activities and interactive day camps for kids during March Break. More information and for a list of sites visit: http://www.toronto.ca/museums.
March Break museum camps
Gibson House offers March Break Adventures, a full-day program for children seven to 11 years of age. In addition to going to the museum's Professional Activity (PA) Day Camp on March 7, children can also choose a camp on March 11 or 12, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Extended care is available.
Scarborough Museum offers a PA Day Camp on March 7, as well as a full week of Pioneer Adventure Camp for children five to 12 years of age, Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Extended care is available. More information is available at: http://www.toronto.ca/museums/kids.
Museum drop-in activities
Colborne Lodge in High Park welcomes families March 8 to 16, from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Come for a historic house tour and a children’s activity celebrating the 100th anniversary of a High Park landmark. The lodge is located near the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground and High Park Zoo. Adults $6.19, Seniors/Youth $3.54, Children $2.65 (plus tax).
Fort York's War of 1812 March Break event runs from March 10 to 14, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parents and children 3 to 12 years of age can both enjoy scheduled and ongoing activities. Visitors are advised to check directions to access the Fort during the construction of the new visitor centre. Paid parking is available at the main entrance off Garrison Road. Admission is free for children under five years of age. Adults $7.96, seniors/youth $4.87, children $3.76 (plus tax).
Gibson House offers family fun March 8 to 16, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a discovery tour of the historic house and activities geared to kids and parents. Children make a craft to take home. Adults $5.48, seniors/youth $3.10, children $2.62 (plus tax).
Mackenzie House presents March 'Musements March 8 to 16 from noon to 4 p.m., and weekends from noon to 5 p.m. Visitors can typeset their name on an 1845 printing press, make a take-home craft and have a treat in the historic kitchen. Admission is free for children under four years of age. Adults $6.19, seniors/youth $3.54, children: $2.65 (plus tax).
Scarborough Museum welcomes families on Saturday and Sunday, March 8 and 9, 15 and 16 from noon to 4 p.m. with special March Break activities. Sample fresh baked treats, join in a scavenger hunt, and try out a simple craft. Admission is pay what you wish.
Todmorden Mills Heritage Site presents March Mania in the Valley from March 7 to 16, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors will explore the historic homes and sample treats prepared on the open hearth, learn about life in 19th-century Toronto and create a take-home craft. Visitors can also tour the Wildflower Preserve during their visit. Adults $5.31, seniors/youth $3, children $2 (plus tax).