City's recreation and museum programs help make next week's March Break fun and affordable for Toronto residents|
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Every day during next week's March Break, the City of Toronto will offer affordable family activities at its seven museums and at recreation and parks facilities across Toronto.
"There are a lot of great March Break activities that Toronto families can take part in next week," said Mayor Rob Ford. "I encourage everyone to get out, be active and take advantage of what the City is offering."
Parks, Forestry and Recreation programs
Families are encouraged to enjoy March Break together by getting out, being active and having fun. Details about leisure activities and camps for children and families follow. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks and by calling 311.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Centennial Ski and Snowboard Centre Hours: March 11 to 17: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Earl Bales Ski and Snowboard Centre Hours: March 11 to 15: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and regular hours March 16 and 17.
The use of helmets is mandatory when participating in programs and lessons at both centres and the use of a recognized ski or snowboard helmet is strongly recommended for all other participants in snow centre activities. For details including snow conditions, visit http://www.toronto.ca/ski or call 311.
Outdoor leisure skating programs: The schedule at 14 outdoor Artificial Ice Rinks (AIR) will be extended until closing at the end of the day on March 15. Skating will be available at these locations, weather permitting.
Indoor leisure skating programs, including caregiver and tot, family skate and shinny, are free for all ages. CSA-approved hockey helmets are mandatory for children under six years of age for all shinny hockey participants and are recommended for skaters of all ages. Details about safety equipment recommendations: http://www.toronto.ca/parks/skating/safety.htm
More skating information: http://www.toronto.ca/parks/prd/skating/dropin/marchbreak/index.htm
The City's pools will be offering special March Break swim programs, including leisure swim, family swim, preschool swim, and lane swim. Details: http://www.toronto.ca/parks/prd/swimming/dropin/marchbreak/index.htm
The March Break recreational camps are a great opportunity for children and youth to enjoy a range of activities. Participants can enjoy specialty activities such as arts, crafts, music, drama, sports and games. Some programs may require an additional materials fee. More camp details: http://city-dev.toronto.ca/parks/camps/marchbreak.htm
Drop-in programs - Community centres offer various free or low-cost programs.
The perfect March Break destination for families, Riverdale Farm is located at 201 Winchester St. Tour the farm's scenic grounds to see cows, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, rabbits and cats. While there, also visit the residence and the Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum, where the Meeting House hosts drop-in craft activities from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3 p.m. Farming demonstrations are presented at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The farm is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is accessible to all. Admission is free. http://www.toronto.ca/parks/featured-parks/riverdale-farm/
High Park Zoo
Located on Deer Pen Road, the High Park Zoo offers domestic and exotic animals, including bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle and sheep. The zoo is open daily year-round to visitors from 7 a.m. to dusk.
Family Skate at Ricoh Coliseum
Families are invited for free skating sessions from Monday, March 11 to Friday March 15 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. (except Wednesday). Bring your own skating gear - Ricoh Coliseum does not rent equipment. Children 12 years and under are required to wear a CSA-approved helmet. Family skate sessions are first come, first served. No more than 250 people are permitted on the ice at a time. A liability waiver will be available at the Coliseum and must be signed upon entry by a parent or caregiver 18 years or older. The entrance is next to the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place, off Nunavut Road. For more information, call 311.
Just minutes away from downtown by ferry, the Toronto Islands offer March Break fun for the whole family. It's a great place to walk, roll, cycle, explore, view the city skyline and visit the animals at Far Enough Farm.
Located at Flemingdon Park Community Centre (150 Grenoble Dr.), Playground Paradise offers excellent family fun, for children aged 12 and under. Kids can play on a two-storey play structure, go down the spiral slide, swing on the track ride, climb the cargo elevator, talk to friends through the talk tube and play in the ball pool, featuring more than 8,000 balls.
March Break public hours:
Monday, March 11: 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m., 4 to 6 p.m., 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 12: 10 a.m. to noon
Wednesday, March 13: 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m., 4 to 6 p.m., 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 14: 10 a.m. to noon
Friday, March 15: 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m., 4 to 6 p.m., and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Fee: There is a daytime hourly rate of $2.50 for each child, and an evening flat rate of $2.50 a child. More information: 416-395-6014.
Preview of spring flower shows
The spring flower shows are in full bloom at Centennial Park Conservatory, 151 Elmcrest Rd. and Allan Gardens Conservatory, 19 Horticultural Ave. Both shows feature various spring flowering plants. The Easter flower shows open at both conservatories on March 31 and include lilies and hydrangea. Both conservatories are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call Centennial Park Conservatory at 416-394-8543 and Allan Gardens Conservatory at 416-392-7288.
Shared Path - Discovery Walks
The Shared Path - the newest of the Discovery Walks - includes 15 kilometres of trails through a series of park areas along the banks of the Humber River. Details: http://www.toronto.ca/parks/trails/discover.htm
The Discovery Walks program is a series of 10 self-guided walks linking ravines, parks and neighbourhoods. Ranging from 1.5 to 18 kilometres, the walks are designed to showcase Toronto's outstanding natural features, and cultural and historical attractions. Maps are available to download at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/trails/discover.htm.
Museums and historic sites
The City of Toronto's museums and historic sites are offering affordable family drop-in activities and interactive day camps for kids during March Break.
March Break museum camps - three sites
- Gibson House offers March Break Adventures, a full-day program for children seven to 11 years of age. Participants can choose a camp on Wednesday, March 13 or Thursday, March 14, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Montgomery's Inn presents Cooking Capers: Time Travel at the Inn for eight to 11-year-olds each afternoon, 1 to 4 p.m., from March 11 to 15.
- Scarborough Museum offers Pioneer Adventure Camp for five to 12-year-olds Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Extended care is available.
Camp details and registration: http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/camps.htm.
Museum drop-in activities
Colborne Lodge in High Park welcomes families March 9 to 17 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Drop in for a tour of the historic house and a children's activity based on early life in this historic home. The lodge is located close to both the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground and the High Park Zoo. Admission: adults $5.71, seniors $2.62, youth $3.54, children $2.65, plus tax.
Fort York's War of 1812 March Break event runs from March 11 to 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. There are lots of scheduled activities to make this a fun and educational day for the whole family. Directions to access the fort during the construction of the new visitor centre: http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/fort_york_access.htm.
Parking is available at the main entrance. Admission: adults $7.96, youth $4.87, seniors $3.81, children $3.76, plus tax. Admission is free for children under three.
Gibson House offers family fun March 9 to 17 from noon to 4:30 p.m. Go on a discovery tour of the historic house and take part in activities geared to kids and parents. Children make a craft to take home. Explore a different theme each day, Admission: adults: $5.48, seniors and youths: $3.10, children: $2.62, plus tax.
Mackenzie House presents March 'Musements from March 9 to 17, Monday to Friday from noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Typeset your name on the 1845 printing press, make a craft to take home, and have a treat in the historic kitchen. Admission: adults $5.71, seniors $3.54, youth $2.62, children $2.65, plus tax.
Scarborough Museum: Visitors will learn about early rural life in Scarborough. The museum is open to visitors Tuesday from noon to 8 p.m., and Wednesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Special programming is offered Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m., including a scavenger hunt and crafts. Admission is pay what you can.
Spadina Museum: Historic House and Gardens, beautifully restored to the 1920s and 30s, is holding Museum Mystery Madness from March 9 to 17, noon to 5 p.m. While touring the house, families will solve the mysterious case of the missing jewelry. Other activities include making 1920s-themed crafts. Admission: adults: $7.96, seniors $4.76, youth $5.75, children $4.87, plus tax.
Todmorden Mills Heritage Site presents March Mania in the Valley from March 9 to 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors will explore the historic homes and sample treats prepared on the open hearth, learn about life in 19th-century Toronto and create a take-home craft. Tours of the Wildflower Preserve will also be available. Admission: adults: $5.31, seniors $2.14, youth $2.65, children $1.77, plus tax.
Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.