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10 Family Day Trips

Here with kids? Dare a day trip! These destinations are just a couple hours away—or much less!—to minimize stir-craziness in the car.

FALL FOR THE FALLS The Falls is one of Canada’s best-known attractions. Many a head of state have had their photo taken here with the crashing water of the falls as the backdrop—and kids love it, too!

UP, UP AND AWAY To really appreciate the majesty of the falls, get the full vantage point with a view from the top at Skylon Tower, which takes you 520 feet up in the sky where on a clear day you can see 80 miles into the distance.

THE MAIN DRAG Located just a block away from the falls, Clifton Hill is a colourful street lined with more than 35 restaurants and attractions that will amuse all ages. Check out museums such as Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, the Guiness World Records and the Movieland Wax Museum of the Stars.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER See more than 300 birds—some flying free—at the Niagara Falls Aviary. Chirping fills out the lush setting, which includes a jungle canopy.

TAKE FLIGHT Walk along the 180-metre (600-foot) path of the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory to see several dozen butterfly species flitting about in this temperature-controlled environment.

NIAGARA’S FOREFATHERS Niagara-on-the-Lake is well-known for its wines, but the region also has an impressive history, which is chronicled at the Niagara Historical Society & Museum. The collection, composed of portraits, maps, photos, furniture, textiles, documents and artifacts, traces key events such as the War of 1812 and the development of the area’s fruit-growing industry.

A STEP IN THE PAST Re-live Hamilton’s history first-hand with a visit to Dundurn Castle, the former home of one of its most distinguised residents, Sir Allan Napier MacNab (1798-1862), a premier of the United Canadas from 1845 to 1856. Explore 40 rooms refurbished in the style of 1855 as costumed staff guide you through the three floors.

KID’S PLAY The hands-on activities at the Hamilton Children’s Museum, such as a theatre with puppets, costumes and artifacts which kids can pick up and touch, are part of the museum’s allure. March Break features five fun-filled days: Mad Science Monday, Twister Tuesday, Way Out Wednesday, Ideals of March (Thursday) and Fun Day Friday.

IN BLOOM Get in the mood for spring with a visit to Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens, one of the country’s largest botanical gardens, complete with a six-acre rock garden.

MAPLE MANIA Celebrate the sugaring-off season at the Kortright Centre for Conservation, which hosts the TRCA Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival from March 3 to April 9. Sample pancakes with maple syrup, watch tapping demonstrations and enjoy wagon rides.

For fun in downtown Toronto, see March Break Madness.—Linda Luong

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