It may seem like March Break is far away, but it will be here before you know it! If you are like many families planning on sticking around the National Capital Region this March, you’re probably wondering what there is to do to keep the kids busy, entertained and happy.
With that in mind, here are 10 March Break Activities in Ottawa:
1) Ride a roller coaster
Did you know Funhaven has an indoor rollercoaster? It’s called the Crazy 8 and it’s the only roller coaster in Ottawa, and it's indoors! Funhaven also has laser tag, a rock wall, a laser maze and arcade games. Parents and caretakers have free access to the Jungle Gym and Ballocity area and children aged 0-3 years can play for free there too.
2) Try Downhill Skiing or Winter Tubing
March break is a prime time to take the kids downhill skiing or enrol them in downhill ski lessons. But if you aren’t skiers, hills such as Pakenham, Mont Cascade and Domaine de l’Anne-Gardien offer winter tubing too! Don’t be afraid to try tubing yourself – it’s fun for all ages!
3) Visit a Museum
Ottawa has many great museums that appeal to any interest. Whether you want to teach kids about farming and agriculture at the Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum or visit with live reptiles at the special reptiles exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Nature, there are plenty of things for kids of all ages to see and do at a local museum.
For younger kids the Children’s Museum at the Museum of History is always a hit and older kids may appreciate the history at the Canadian War Museum. Exploring a museum is a great way to spend a couple of hours or an entire day!
4) Take a Haunted Walk (for older kids)
Older kids, who are also fans of a good ghost story, may appreciate the fun and mystery of Ottawa’s Haunted Walk. They run every night from downtown Ottawa and are definitely a memorable way to spend an evening as a family. There are usually a couple of different tour types to choose from and each offer a unique way of seeing our city!
5) Go Cross Country Skiing
Given the snow we have on the ground, my guess is that there will still be snow around for March Break this year. It will be a prefect time to check out the groomed cross country ski trails in Gatineau Park or the new multi-use Sir John A. MacDonald trail. If you don’t own skis you can usually rent them from places such as Mountain Equipment Co-op and Fresh Air Experience.
6) Skate as a family at the Sens Rink of Dreams and Rideau Hall
Weather-permitting, the Sens Rink of Dreams at Ottawa City Hall is open daily from 6 am to 11 pm and unlike many other public skating rinks there is also a heated changing facility. If you don’t own skates (or you just discovered your kids have outgrown theirs) you can rent skates right on site (during designated times).
Rideau Hall also has a public outdoor skating rink which is open until March 26th, weather-permitting. In celebration of Canada’s 150th there may also be various special celebrations occurring here too!
7) Slide or Dive into a City of Ottawa pool
The City of Ottawa offers a wide range of public swimming schedules during the March Break and have locations all over the city that offer everything from standard swimming, to slides to waves! The great news is that it isn’t expensive, in fact kids 2 and under are free!
8) Sign up for a program at the Ottawa Public Library
Every year the Ottawa Public Library offers free programs for school age children and teens as part of their March Break. Program themes and length vary depending on the library, but past programs have included programs about science, technology, arts and more!
9) Paint Pottery
If your kids love to be creative bring them to a ceramic painting place in Ottawa. There are several including Pottery Playhouse in Stittsville, The Mud Oven on Bank Street and Gotta Paint in Westboro. Kids can paint something as simple as a plate or mug and make it their own – or get a head start on birthday gifts for family and friends. It’s a lot of fun and the mess is left behind!
10) Try Bowling
If you’re anything like me the last time you went bowling was on the Nintendo Wii. Bowling is great exercise and a fun way to play together as family. Ottawa has several bowling lanes to choose from including Walkley Bowling Lanes and Orleans Bowling Centre. Merivale Bowling Lanes even has glow in the dark bowling!
How do you plan on spending your March Break this year? What are some of your favourite family acitivities?