City of Toronto offers free and affordable March Break activities

Monday, March 11 to Friday, March 15 is March Break for elementary and high school students in Toronto. The City of Toronto offers many free and affordable activities for students and their families that week.

Drop-in programs
City community centres offer free or low-cost programs for all ages. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/rec or call 311.

Skating
Many outdoor artificial ice rinks will be open during March Break, weather permitting. Locations and live rink status updates are available at https://www.toronto.ca/data/parks/prd/facilities/outdoor-rinks/index.html.

Indoor leisure skating programs, including caregiver and tot, family skate and shinny, are free for all ages. Hockey helmets approved by the Canadian Standards Association are mandatory for children under six years of age and all shinny hockey participants, and are recommended for skaters of all ages. Schedules and locations are available at http://www.toronto.ca/skate.

Skiing and snowboarding
Earl Bales and Centennial Ski and Snowboard Centres will offer downhill leisure skiing and snowboarding during March Break. More information about drop-in rates and equipment rentals is available at https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/skating-winter-sports/downhill-skiing-snowboarding-centres/.

Swimming
City pools will offer free leisure swimming during March Break. More information is available at https://www.toronto.ca/swim.

Riverdale Farm
Visitors can tour Riverdale Farm’s scenic grounds to see domestic farm animals such as pigs, horses and sheep. The farm is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/riverdalefarm.

High Park Zoo
Established 120 years ago, the High Park Zoo is home to domestic and exotic animals, including bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle and yaks. Admission to the zoo is free and it is open daily from dawn to dusk. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/zoo/.

Toronto Island Park
Just minutes away from downtown by ferry, Toronto Island Park is a great place to walk, cycle, explore and enjoy the city skyline. The ferry schedule and fees are available at http://www.toronto.ca/ferry.

Conservatories
Spring flowers are in bloom at Centennial Park Conservatory, 151 Elmcrest Rd. and at Allan Gardens Conservatory, 19 Horticultural Ave. Both conservatories feature various flowering plants, including tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. The conservatories are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and admission is free. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/conservatories.

Toronto History Museums
Many of the City’s 10 History Museums are open during March Break. The sites highlighted below will offer drop-in family activities including crafts, games and tasty treats from historic kitchens. Regular admission fees apply. Times and activity details vary by location. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/museum-events.

Colborne Lodge (Colborne Lodge Dr. in High Park)
March 9 to 17, noon to 4 p.m.
Families can engage in a sleuthing adventure by searching for modern items that do not belong in the Lodge’s 1870’s home. Participants can learn about the Victorian era items in addition to dress-up activities, games and treats.

Fort York National Historic Site (250 Fort York Blvd.)
March 11 to 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Children can try soldiers’ drill classes, officers’ sword drill, music workshops and dressing-up in period costumes. Visitors of all ages can sample treats from the hearth of the 1826 historic kitchen and learn about the Fort’s exciting history through colourful exhibits, including the Fort York Visitor Centre and Battle of York Experience. A Kids’ Guide to Fort York will add to the fun as families can find the clues to complete games and puzzles throughout a site tour.

Gibson House Museum (5172 Yonge St.)
March 9 to 17, noon to 5 p.m.
Explore 19th century family life through self-guided tour, hands on time in the historic kitchen and the Discovery Gallery.

Mackenzie House (82 Bond St.)
March 9 to 17, noon to 5 p.m.
Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the home of Toronto’s first mayor and typeset their name on the 1845 printing press and print a personalized souvenir.

Montgomery’s Inn (4709 Dundas St. W.)
March 9 to 17, noon to 5 p.m.
Participants can find out what it might have been like to visit the Inn when it was run by Thomas and Margaret Montgomery by playing house detective and exploring some of the Inn’s hidden histories.

Scarborough Museum (1007 Brimley Rd.)
March 9 to 17, noon to 5 p.m.
Families can sample butter tarts and maple lemonade, make a four leaf clover bookmark, and play musical instruments.

Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Rd.)
March 9 to 17, noon to 5 p.m.
Visitors can create a family crest this March Break and also decide on what creature might appear on the crest – a dragon, or perhaps a mermaid? Families can also learn about the meanings of colours, plants and animals and how they could come together to represent their family. Tours of the home will also take place at 12:15, 1:15, 2:15, 3:15 and 4 p.m.

Todmorden Mills Heritage Site (67 Pottery Rd.)
March 9 to 17, noon to 5 p.m.
The public is invited to enjoy a tasty treat, make a unique take-home craft and discover toys and popular games from past generations while looking for signs of spring in the wildflower preserve with a round of outdoor nature bingo.

Zion Schoolhouse (1091 Finch Ave E.)
March 12 to 14, noon to 4 p.m.
Artists from Vibe Arts will re-examine and reconstruct the traditional subjects of the 1910 schoolhouse through art.

Four of the historic sites are also offering March Break day camps. More information about these camps is available at http://www.toronto.ca/museumcamps.

Toronto Public Library
Toronto Public Library will host more than 400 activities for children, teens and the whole family during March Break. Highlights include magic and science camps as well as puppet shows and robotics for children. Exclusively for teens, library branches will offer hands-on workshops on sushi making, hip hop, photography and more. Details are available at http://www.tpl.ca/marchbreak.

Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo offers extended hours during March Break from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the last admission at 5 p.m. Visitor highlights include Thomas & Friends, daily keeper talks, the indoor Orchid Oasis, animal babies and the Wildlife Health Centre viewing gallery. More information is available at http://www.torontozoo.com.

Union Station
Union Station offers free kids programs March 11 to 14, including an opportunity to join Canada’s National Ballet School Sharing Dance Kids Program, participate in an interactive opera performance with the Canadian Opera Company. colour and draw. Hot chocolate and coffee will also be available, compliments of Union Station retailers. No registration is required. More information is available at https://torontounion.ca/events/.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of more than 2.9 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cityoftoronto, on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cityofto.