Build your own fun kid-approved activity days in the capital this March break with some free or almost free things to do in Ottawa. Of course, there are plenty of things to do that are always free—bundle up and go skating, sledding, hiking or just hang out at the park. But for some more inspired events and ideas, read on.
Ottawa Irish Festival
If the weather is cooperating get outside and enjoy the activities put on by the Irish Society of The National Capital Region during the Ottawa Irish Festival. March break begins right after St. Patrick’s Day, so enjoy the parade and children’s party on Sunday, March 10 and kick off March break in style.
For older kids, ages 8 and up, borrow some snowshoes from the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre and enjoy the Animal Tracking on Snowshoes family activity in the snow. This free guided snowshoe hike is led by a nature interpreter and will help kids and parents identify animal tracks left in the snow. Available twice a day on Saturdays and Sundays, call to reserve your spot.
Canada Science and Technology Museum
The museum is hosting a range of hands-on and interactive science activities for kids of all ages available free with your admission ticket. Kids can learn to code, have a go at wiring up electrical circuits, and even see their brainwaves on a computer!
Place D’Orleans shopping center has a full program of free March Break Fun kids’ activities, including face painting, balloon animals and movie and popcorn afternoons.
Winter Magic & Maple Harvest
Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush offer a real Canadian tradition for a low price. Parking and admission are free, including a kid’s playground, while maple taffy and sleigh rides will set you back just $3 each. After fueling up with their reasonably priced pancake menu head out on the four hiking trails to work off all that sugar. Bonus: Curious George will pop by for a visit March 11–14!
Public Library Programs
Check out the Ottawa Public Library’s calendar to find free events over March break, including storytime and arts and music activities. Kids ages 7–12, in particular, will enjoy the Build It Up workshop at Greenboro Public Library on Wednesday, March 13.
Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Every day of March break the Canada Aviation and Space Museum will be showcasing different careers in aerospace. Kids will have the opportunity to learn all about Juno the Astro dog and make space-themed crafts, included in the price of admission.
Jack Pine Trail Hikes
Grab some birdseed and head to the nature walk at Jack Pine Trail. The trick is to stand very, very still with a handful of seed and wait for the chickadees to land on you.
New House of Commons Tours
Learn all about Canada’s laws and government by taking a free tour around the newly refurbished House of Commons Chamber and Senate. Book tickets online to ensure there is space in the tour group and instruct kids to look up to the unique glass roof in the House of Commons Chamber.
Artissimo at the National Gallery of Canada
Get messy at the Artissimo kiosk, inside the National Gallery of Canada, free with entrance to the museum. These activities, which include art appreciation, games and making their own art are suitable for kids ages 3 and up.
The Canadian Museum of History
Selfie obsessed tweens will be amazed to hear just how tricky it was to get the perfect portrait during the Victorian era at The Canadian Museum of History. Learning all about photographer William Notman may well inspire them to try their hand at capturing a special family moment before making their own photo frame in the Children’s Museum, all activities are included in the cost of museum admission.
Welcome spring at the farm by joining the animals at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum for their Barnyard Break program. Included with the cost of admission kids will get to make a maple treat and meet some new baby animals.
Cineplex Family Favourites
If the weather is still a little unpredictable enjoy some inexpensive indoor fun at Cineplex Family Favorites. At select movie theatres, the family-friendly movie picks cost just $2.99 per ticket on Saturday mornings at 11 am. Playing during March break: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Smallfoot, PAW Patrol: Mighty Pups, and The Grinch.