It’s March break. The kids are out of school for five days. That’s 120 hours to fill. This list of 54 things to do is a good place to start.
1. Kick off the week with a pair of Justin Bieber’s kicks. The teen superstar’s shoes will be unveiled at the Bata Shoe
Museum on Monday, March 14, following an 11 a.m. performance by Bieber tribute artist Landon Holmes. $8 for kids and adults. Call 416-979-7799, ext. 242, or email email@example.com for more info.
2. Check out the newly refurbished African Rainforest Pavilion at the Toronto Zoo, where budding biologists can now see ring-tailed lemurs alongside meerkats and pygmy hippos. The Education Auditorium is the site of the “Playtime Forest,” with exotic plant and animal life, and twice daily arts and crafts for kids. $4 per family member.
3. Daily activities at the Art Gallery of Ontario include making art inspired by the Maharaja exhibit, short children’s films from India, puppets and storytelling, and performances by the Toronto Tabla Ensemble. Check out book signings by authors Joan Yolleck on March 13, and Laurel Croza and Matt James on March 15. Go to www.ago.net/march-break-2011 for more info.
4. It’s a weeklong carnival at Rogers Centre, complete with a ferris wheel, merry-go-round and other kid-friendly rides. Tickets are $20 for all-day rides, $10 without rides and $16 early bird.
5. After the midway shuts down at 6 p.m., Disney on Ice presents Toy Story 3 from Tuesday to Sunday. Go to the Spring Fling page on www.rogerscentre.comfor deals on both events.
6. The Royal Ontario Museum is hosting a special week tied to its Water exhibition, with live reptiles, crafts, a live animal show by the Earth Rangers, jewellery-making, a medieval dance and fashion show. For more info, call 416-586-8000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. $10 off admission after 4:30 p.m., museum open until 8:30 p.m.
7. Meet a storm chaser or a firefighter, catch a Maori dance performance or learn how to make your own paper, just a handful of things going on throughout the week at the Ontario Science Centre. Find the entire schedule at www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/calendar/marchbreak/
8. Nurture your child’s inner auteur with filmmaking workshops at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Drop them off Monday and watch the films on Friday. Find out about day camps for kids 9-12 and teens 14-18 at www.tiff.net.
9. Animation workshops at the NFB Mediatheque fill up fast, but there are still spots on March 12, 13 and 18 to 20. Techniques in classical 2-D animation, 3-D clay and even sand animation are on offer. Email Merrill Matthews at email@example.com or call 416-973-0896 for details.
10. There’s a French drop-in program at Queen’s Quay Terminal à l’atrium sud all week long. It’s an earth theme, from Monday’s Explorons la terre to Wednesday’s Toi et moi, on se ressemble to Friday’s La croisière s’amuse. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-944-3183, ext. 228.
11. Is your kid the next Billy Elliot? Throw them into a March break camp and see how they well they dance tap, hip hop or jazz, at Swansea School of Dance (416-767-2842), Toronto Dance Vibe (416-385-9481) and the Conservatory of Dance and Music (416-497-1793).
12. Or is your kid the next Jamie Kennedy? The Jr. Chef March Break Camp at The Chef Upstairs, at 516 Mount Pleasant Rd., covers basics to baking. Then they battle it out Iron Chef-style at the end of the week. Call 416-544-9221 to register. $550 for the week or $125 per day.
13. Spend a day at a mall without spending a penny. Hillcrest Mall offers free rock climbing and arts and crafts. Go to http://www.hillcrestmall.ca/en/centreinfo/Pages/EnjoySpringBreakwithHillcrest.aspx. The Shops on Steeles and 404 has reptile and jungle cat shows (plus free lunch for the first 100 kids each day and free haircuts for kids under 12). Go to http://www.theshops.ca/events.htm. And Burlington Mall has a free Lego playland. Go to http://www.burlingtonmall.com/events.php for more information.
14. Participating Indigo and Chapters stores are also hosting free activities from Monday to Friday at 11 a.m. Share a story, play a game, create a craft and more. Find your nearest store onwww.facebook.com/chaptersindigo for more details.
15. Come for the pups, stay for the pomp. It’s the Purina National Dog Show, billed as Canada’s most prestigious dog show. It runs March 11 -13 at Mississauga’s International Centre. Go towww.thepurinanational.ca for more information. Weekend passes are $10 for children under 12 and $20 for adults; day and family passes also available.
16. The Toronto Public Library has free events all week, from board games at Danforth/Coxwell to a Hawaiian beach party at the Jones branch. Teens can learn how to DJ, break dance, take writing workshops and more. Check www.torontopubliclibrary.ca to see what’s happening at your branch.
17. Kids can get a taste of life in the 19th century at historic sites around the city. They can cook in an open-hearth kitchen at Montgomery’s Inn, make Victorian toys at the Scarborough Museum or typeset their names on an 1845 printing press at Mackenzie House.
18. If cookies and crafts aren’t their thing, let them explore a Toronto home as it was in the 1920s and ’30s through the Spadina Museum at 285 Spadina Rd. Find out more about activities at city-run historic sites atwww.toronto.ca/culture/museums/camps.htm.
19. Two words: Laser Quest. GTA locations (1980 Eglinton Ave E. in Toronto, 1224 Dundas St. E. in Mississauga, 241 Clarence St. in Brampton and 9625 Yonge St. in Richmond Hill) are open late during March break, until 9 or 10 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and 11 p.m. or midnight on Friday. Checkwww.laserquest.com for details.
20. The McMichael Canadian Art Collection houses thousands of artworks by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, along with pieces by First Nations and Inuit artists. Visit the gallery or sign up for art workshops inspired by the collection. Go to www.mcmichael.com for more information. Pre-register for the week ($250) or drop-in for a day ($60).
21. Sunnybrook Stables offers full or half-day riding camps at 1132 Leslie St., with intensive clinics in dressage in the morning and jumping in the afternoon. Call 416-444-4044 for more information. $325 for half day and $550 for a full day.
22. Master the elements of earth, wind, air and fire at Big Wave Camp’s March break program. At 1010 Dream Crest Rd. in Mississauga, Big Wave Camp emphasizes nature, imagination and play. More info atwww.bigwavecamp.ca/#MarchBreak.
23. The University of Toronto is offering camps for aspiring golfers, gymnasts, hockey players, and track and field athletes. Contact by phone at 416-978-3436 or email at email@example.com or go to www.campuoft.ca.
24. Evergreen Brick Works is hosting a community screening of the documentary Vanishing of the Bees on March 17. Starting at 6 p.m., the evening includes honey-soaked treats and an expert panel discussion about the implications of disappearing bees. Tickets ($12 or five for $50) can be purchased athttp://ebw.evergreen.ca/cal/event/march-break-buzzz/
25. The March break camps at Harbourfront Centre run the gamut of activities, from Dungeons and Dragons (suitable for everyone from first time players to experienced gamers) to fashion design camp. Go towww.harbourfrontcentre.com for more information. Fees range from $215 to $330.
26. The Humber Arboretum and Centre for Urban Ecology is offering snowshoeing, tobogganing, maple syrup harvesting and more for kids aged 5 -13. Cost for the week is $190. Call 416-675-5009 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
27. Take an afternoon drive on Sunday, March 13 to the Halton Region Museum for a concert by jazz pianist Ron Davis. Kids can enjoy the museum’s heritage programs that explore pioneer toys and the collection’s artifacts. The museum is at 5181 Kelso Rd. in the Kelso Conservation area, beneath the Niagara escarpment near Milton. For more museum information, call 905-875-2200.
28. Not far away, you’ll find skiing and snowboarding at Glen Eden. You can also hit the slopes at Blue Mountain near Collingwood. For those staying closer to home, there’s Centennial Park at 256 Centennial Park Rd. or Earl Bales Park at 4169 Bathurst St. Make sure they’re open by checkinghttp://www.toronto.ca/parks/skiing/ before heading out.
29. Just because school’s out doesn’t mean they don’t have to (or want to) study. The University of Toronto is offering 3-day math-intensive programs for students in Grade 7 through 12. Lectures and fun activities are led by passionate undergraduate and graduate students studying math and engineering. Runs Wednesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Go to www.outreach.engineering.utoronto.ca for more information.
30. Head out to the Kortright Centre for Conservation at 9550 Pine Valley Drive in Woodbridge for the Maple Syrup Festival. Along with sap sampling and maple syrup walks, there are daily March Break activities like face painting and magic shows. Call 416-667-6295 for more information.
31. The CN Tower is celebrating the release of Disney’s Tangled all week long, with a day dedicated to the movie on March 16. Toy Story 3 gets its own day on March 15. Visithttp://www.cntower.ca/whats_up/whats_new/take_march_break_to_a_higher_level_at_the_cn_tower/ for more information.
32. Also at the CN Tower, kids can be a Mountie for a day from March 14-18. Mini-mounties who register on site will get an official trading card from the RCMP Foundation and pose for photos with a real Mountie. All activities are included with admission.
33. Thomas & Friends are on stage at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Thomas Saves the Day,” March 18-20. Tickets range from $21.90-$56.90 and can be purchase by calling 416-872-2262 or online atwww.sonycentre.ca.
34. Empire theatres in North York and Richmond Hill and are offering $2 matinees during March Break. Checkwww.empiretheatres.com for movies and showtimes.
35. The Living Arts Centre at 4141 Living Arts Drive in Mississauga has two shows during March Break: Second City Presents Big Bad Wolf vs. Lord Underwearface von Schtinker and Max & Ruby — Bunny Party. Ticket prices vary. Call the Box Office at 905-306-6000.
36. For more laughs, head over to Second City for family-friendly improve at The Absolutely Positively Completely Made-Up Show! Daily performaces during March Break starting at 11 a.m. Tickets are $12 each. Family 4-packs for $40. Go to www.secondcity.com for more information.
37. Take the stage at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People at 165 Front St. E. March Break campers will work on improvisation, acting and voice, and catch a performance of the theatre’s production of Alice In Wonderland. There are half day programs for kids in JK-Grade 2 and full day for kids in Grades 3-6. Call 416-862-2222 for more information.
38. Check out Marvellous Munsch at Solar Stage, located at 4950 Yonge St. The popular production, based on Robert Munsch’s books Down the Drain, No Clean Clothes, Class Clown and Stephanie’s Ponytail, is showing three times daily during March Break. Some shows are already sold out. Call 416-368-8031 to purchase remaining tickets.
39. Kids can meet their favourite Canadian television stars during The Kids’ CBC mall tour. Jeremie Huckle, Sid from Kids’ Canada and Gi-Ant from What’s Your News? will be at Woodbine Shopping Centre Tuesday at 500 Rexdale Blvd. in Etobicoke on March 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Milton Mall at 55 Ontario St. South, Milton on March 16 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and Shoppers World Brampton at 499 Main St. South, Brampton on Friday, March 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information go to www.kidscbc.ca
40. Budding fashionistas can learn the basics of sewing and design at Sew Be It Girl’s March Break camps, one for teens and one for tweens. . To register, please call 647-347-6353 or email email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org.
41. Summer is so close, yet so far away. Pretend it’s here already and plan a beach day (minus the sandcastles) at one of the city’s indoor pools. Check out a map of facilities athttp://www.toronto.ca/parks/pdf/facility_map.pdf.
42. There’s something different every day at Toronto Botanical Garden at 777 Lawrence Ave E. Kids between 5 and 10 can go to Creativity Camp on Monday, Food Camp on Tuesday, Eco-Art Camp on Wednesday, Animal Camp on Thursday and Painting and Drawing Camp on Friday. Go to one or all. $65 for public and $60 for members each day. Go to http://www.torontobotanicalgarden.ca/children/marchbreak.htm for more information.
43. Ever wonder who used to live in your room? Research the history of your house as a family at the City of Toronto Archives at 255 Spadina Rd. Start with your address and go from there. Visithttp://www.toronto.ca/archives/yourhouse.htm to find out more.
44. March Artbreak at the Artbarn School at 250 Eglinton Ave. W. Classic storybooks are the inspiration for the week’s art workshops. Children will create princesses and castles, dragons and wizards in multi-media and painting. The week will culminate with a dress up celebration. $235 for 5 days or $50/per day. Call 416-518-6108 or email email@example.com for more information.
45. Yoga class for kids is offered on Saturdays from 3-4 p.m. at Octopus Garden. Parents can take their own class at the same time. The new location is located at 967 College Street. Visit www.octopusgardenyoga.com or call 416-515-8885 for more information.
46. Get a crash course in how to make graphic novels from author-illustrators Willow Dawson and Evan Munday on March 16 from 1-6 p.m. Presented by small print toronto and Theatre Direct at 601 Christie St. The workshop is $30 advance or $40 at the door. Sign up at www.smallprinttoronto.org.
47. The Tim Burton Exhibit is still on at TIFF Lightbox, with free drop-in activities from 11:30-3:30 p.m. during March Break. Go to www.tiff.net or call 416-599-TIFF (8433) for ticket information.
48. The Lower Ossington Theatre at 100A Ossington Ave. is showing four children’s shows during March Break:Free To Be You and Me, Pinkalicious, Piff, Paff, Poof and The Musical, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Go to www. lowerossingtontheatre.com for show times or call 416-915-6747.
49. Cineplex Theatres is screening The Wizard of Oz on March 16 at 7 p.m. as part of their Classic Films Series. Catch the show at Scotiabank Theatre at 259 Richmond Street West, SilverCity Fairview Mall Cinemas at 1800 Sheppard Ave. E., Cineplex Odeon Eglinton Town Centre Cinemas at 22 Lebovic Ave., Cineplex Odeon Queensway Cinemas at 1025 The Queensway in Etobicoke, and SilverCity Richmond Hill Cinemas at 8725 Yonge Street in Richmond Hill. Tickets are $5.
50. The Promenade Shopping Centre in Thornhill invites you to learn how to bake an apple strudel (cost $5) or Zumba dance (free) or both. Activities on alternate days, starting on Tuesday. Reserve your spot by calling 905-764-0020 or go to www.promenade.ca. Located at 1 Promenade Circle in Thornhill, just south of Hwy 7 and Hwy 407.
51. Treehouse Television’s Judy & David are putting on their musical, BeanStock, at the Markham Theatre. Catch the show twice daily on March 16 and 17 at 171 Town Centre Blvd. in Markham. Tickets range from $21 to $34 and can be purchased at www.markhamtheatre.ca or by calling 905-305-SHOW (7469).
52. Go on a scavenger hunt, dress up in black parliamentary robes and do a craft at Ontario’s Parliament Buildings, Main Legislative Bldg, South Doors. The free sessions are 2.5 hours each morning and afternoon during March Break. Pre-registration is required. Call (416) 325-7500 to book your spot or for start times and other details.
53. Wizard World, an indoor family fun park, is on from March 13 to 20 inside the Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place. There will be rides, crafts, magicians and more. Admission is $8.50, plus $15 for an all-day ride pass. Kids under 2 are free. Go to www.wizardworld.ca/toronto for more information.
54. The Hockey Hall of Fame has extended hours from March 12 to 20, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Kids can get their photo taken with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Carlton the Bear, Toronto Argonauts’ Jason and others during Mascot Monday on March 14. For information on other events go to www.hhof.com/html/giMarchBreak.shtml.