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family fun

12 Free March Break Activity Ideas for Kids


Free tip #5: hit the public skating rinks (Photo: Cristian Bortes)

March Break is coming up soon, and maybe you’re hopping on a plane to warmer climes. But for the rest of us, Canadian Family has twelve great tips for a family “staycation”—all of them entirely free. (more…)

Hot Attraction: Explore the World of Children’s Author Robert Munsch

"Much More Munsch" features many of Robert Munsch's popular characters. Photo credit: © Manitoba Children's Museum and the London Regional Children's Museum.

The whimsical voice of Robert Munsch comes to life at the Canadian Children’s Museum. This special exhibit, entitled “Much More Munsch,” is based on works by the popular Canadian children’s author, who wrote such books as The Paper Bag Princess, David’s Father, and Love You Forever. Children are invited into Munsch’s imaginary house to engage in interactive activities and create their own cast of characters and stories. On view until April 9.

Hot Date: Disney Characters Come to Life – on Ice!

Disney On Ice Treasure Trove gathers the gang from your favourite movies into one rockin' show.

Feb. 15 to 20. Take a journey with Snow White, Peter Pan, The Lion King, and more, as characters from your favourite movies come to life — on ice! Disney on Ice Treasure Trove combines the best of some Disney classics for nine shows at Scotiabank Place this February. The graceful movements of the skaters will add an extra element of awe to the medley, which will delight children and remind adults why they always loved these classic stories.

Hot Attraction: Animals Up Close at Parc Oméga

Wolves are just one of the types animals you can spot on a visit to Parc Oméga.

If you’re willing to drive about an hour and twenty minutes east of Ottawa, you’ll be rewarded with a highly unique experience that brings you face to face with the animal kingdom. Located in the beautiful area of Montebello, Quebec, is Parc Oméga, an 1,800-acre park where wild animals such as bison, deer, wolves, and boar roam free. As you drive along a 10 km circuit, animals will come right up to your car (especially if you hold a carrot out the window!). Available year-round, rain or snow, this outdoor activity is magical for children and adults alike.

Winterlude: A Canadian Tradition

Skating on the Rideau Canal is an essential Ottawa experience. Photo credit: NCC.

From Feb. 3 to 20, Ottawa transforms into a winter wonderland. This annual festival offers an abundance of indoor and outdoor activities, so we’ve rounded up some of the highlights from this classic Canadian event. By Misa Kobayashi. (more…)

Essential City: Winter Wonderland

Photo courtesy of FortWhyte Alive

Embrace the wonder of winter at FortWhyte Alive, a 600-acre urban nature reserve. Breathe in fresh winter air while enjoying myriad activities, from pond skating to tobogganing to Nordic walking to cross-country skiing. Kids will get a thrill from spotting and identifying the animal tracks using a handy FortWhyte guide. Every second Saturday throughout January and February, strap on snow shoes for a two-hour, all-abilities trek around the site. After, warm up inside at Buffalo Stone Café with a bowl of soup.


Hot Date: Disney’s Coolest Cartoons

DECEMBER 23 TO JANUARY 1 Celebrate some of your favourite animated films with Disney on Ice’s 100 Years of Magic. The skating show features Mickey Mouse, Buzz Lightyear, Nemo and more than 60 other characters in re-creations of memorable Disney movie moments. Rogers Centre, $15 to $90; call 1-855-985-5000 or visit here for showtimes and tickets.

Hot Dates: New Year’s Eve

Grand Parade square in downtown Halifax, in front of Halifax City Hall, hosts Atlantic Canada’s biggest New Year’s Eve party. Festivities begin at 9:30pm, with live entertainment and a spectacular fireworks show at midnight.

Hot Date: The Creepy and Kooky Addams Family

photo by Joan Marcus

NOVEMBER 16 TO 27 It’s every parent’s worst nightmare—your spiteful little princess of darkness has fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. It’s enough to throw The Addams Family into full crisis mode. Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, authors of Jersey Boys, bring this new macabre musical-comedy to life with creative consultation from four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks. Toronto Centre for the Arts, $62 to $180; call 416-644-3665 or visit here for showtimes and tickets.

Picture Perfect Public Art in Ottawa

You don’t have to be inside a gallery to appreciate art. This city is filled with unique public art pieces and commemorations that offer fun photo ops. Get ready to strike a pose! By Misa Kobayashi.

From left: "The Living Room" at City Hall, photo credit National Capital Commission. "Maman" at the National Gallery of Canada, photo credit Louise Bourgeois Trust.

This piece of work, from architecture design firm Urban Keios, inverts public and private space by situating everyday objects and activities in public view. The fun colours and shapes, as well as its surprising placement outdoors, make this an entertaining stop for families. The piece encourages public interaction, so whether you’re reading, resting, conversing, or playing, the audience becomes part of the art.
Where: Ottawa City Hall, Laurier Avenue (more…)

Hot Dates: Rites of autumn

The Maritime Fall Fair (October 6 to 10) is a beloved October tradition for many Maritime families. Exhibition Park on Prospect Road hosts live entertainment, competitions, animal displays, a midway and more.

Hot Attraction: Zip Lining at Camp Fortune

Camp Fortune Aerial Experience

Not for the faint of heart, the exhilarating Camp Fortune Aerial Experience zip lining park offers up a range of adrenalin-pumping obstacles that you complete while walking through the tree tops (we’re talking rope bridges, walkways, and giant zip lines!). Try the first-timer “Explorer” course, the advanced “Amazone,” or the children’s park for young daredevils. And you know what they say: the family that zip lines together… Check it out before the course closes for the season on Nov. 6.