It’s almost that time of year: March break. If you don’t have anything planned yet, don’t fret! Here’s a round-up of day trips near Toronto that will keep your kids entertained and back home in time for bed.
Niagara Falls Indoor Waterparks
Craving some sun and surf but can’t make it down south? Then head to Niagara Falls, which is home to three indoor waterparks. While Great Wolf Lodge’s park is only available to those staying at the resort, Waves Indoor Waterpark (part of Americana Resort) and Fallsview Indoor Waterpark both offer day passes. Though both of these parks offer wave pools, toddler areas and plenty of slides, the general consensus is that Waves is better for younger kids.
Featuring 60 different species, including tigers, wolves and monkeys, Jungle Cat World in Orono, near Clarington, is purr-fect for the animal lovers in your family. Aim to get there for the free feeding tour, which takes places at 1:30 pm daily. Just be sure to call ahead first—Jungle Cat World is closed during snowy or icy weather.
No list of March Break day trips is complete without a mention of this family favourite. In addition to skiing, there are sleigh rides, snow tubing and even something called the Mountain Coaster. There’s also Plunge! Aquatic Centre, which features indoor and heated outdoor pools.
Been there, done that with Blue Mountain? Then check out one of Collingwood’s other outdoor attractions, the Scenic Caves. Cross-country ski on the site’s 27 km of groomed trails then try snowshoeing across a suspension bridge (rentals are available for both sports). Afterwards warm up by the fire with a cup of hot cider.
While southern Ontario is packed with ski slope options, Durham Region’s Dagmar ski resort is noted for its kid-friendly ski lessons thanks to its dedicated Family Learning Centre. And while alpine skiing is the star of the show, cross-country is also available, weather permitting.
Looking for some winter outdoors fun that doesn’t involve skiing? Horseshoe Resort offers Ontario’s longest snow tubing hill. Kids four-to-ten can also try riding a mini-snowmobile while anyone who can pedal a bike can rent a fat bike and tour through the resort’s scenic trails.
Looking to do something really different this March Break? From March 10 until the 18, Cambridge’s Butterfly Conservatory is hosting its annual Bugfest and this year the theme is chocolate. All attendees will get to try “three bugtastic food samples” and learn about why eating insects may soon become the norm.
March Break falls right in the middle of maple syrup harvest season and while there are plenty of sugar shacks to choose from, we’re partial to the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival, which takes place across four different towns: Stouffville, Woodbridge, Halton Hills, and Orangeville. While each location offers different activities, all include samples of sweet, sticky maple syrup.
Can’t fit a day trip into your schedule but still want to get a taste of nature (and maple syrup) this March break? Then check out this special twilight event starts with a guided tour through the Kortright Conservation Area’s very own sugar bush, near Vaughan. Then it’s over to the sugar shack, where you’ll learn how everyone’s favourite pancake topping is made. Finish up with a seat by the fire where you’ll enjoy a special snack.
PHOTO: HIKE N’ TUBE/BLUE MOUNTAIN RESORT