If you want to ensure you won’t hear “I’m bored” or “are we there yet?” from your children this March break then plan to spend some time exploring all there is to see and do in Burlington. March Break is a great time for families to get out and enjoy activities and events together. Whether you are looking for a day trip, planning a “stay-cation” or visiting from afar there is something for everyone here in our beautiful city.
Your kids will be thrilled to head to one of the many maple syrup festivals in Burlington/Halton where they can experience first-hand the process of tapping maple trees to the creation of maple syrup (educational and delicious!)
Maple @ Bronte Creek
Fresh Ontario maple syrup begins flowing at Bronte Creek Provincial Park on March 3rd, when the park’s annual Maple Syrup Festival gets under way. The maple syrup festivities are open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every weekend in March and from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily through March Break (March 12-16th). Enjoy a guided tour of the Maple Lane, where 1890s costumed interpreters demonstrate how to tap maple trees, make maple syrup and maple sugar. View artifacts in the maple museum or tour the 100-year-old Spruce Lane Farmhouse. Be sure to browse through the maple products and souvenirs available in the Maple Gift Shoppe and pick up a bottle of syrup to take home. Hop on a wagon that will take you to a heated pancake house where you can enjoy fresh, hot pancakes with pure maple syrup and sausages ($), served up throughout the festival hours. They even make their own Fresh Maple Sugar and Maple Taffy! Visit their website for more information.
Maple Festival @ Mountsberg
Conservation Halton’s Mountsberg and Crawford Lake both feature Maple Syrup Festivals weekends, holidays and March Break. At Crawford Lake you can view Native style sweet water presentations and taste complimentary samples of cornbread dripping with pure maple syrup. While you are there explore the 15th century Iroquoian Village and reconstructed Longhouses, 19km of hiking trails and the beautiful and rare Crawford Lake. Kids will enjoy free craft making and a discovery hunt with prizes. Maple Products are for sale in the Gift Shop and snowshoe rentals are available (weather permitting). In March, Mountsberg transforms into Maple Town. Visitors can see how sap is magically transformed into sweet, sticky syrup and smell the fragrant steam rising from simmering kettles. You can learn the secrets of maple candy making and taste FREE candy samples (my personal favourite!). Enjoy piping hot pancakes smothered in fresh maple syrup ($) then stay to enjoy a guided horse drawn wagon ride through the sugar bush ($). Kids will love the chance to slide, climb, jump and run in the Play Barn or visit Mountsberg’s resident raptors in live demonstrations (12pm, 1pm, 2pm & 3pm). If you need to burn off the calories from your pancake breakfast, take a walk along the wildlife walkway and view bison, eagles, hawks and owls. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to visit both these parks as there is lots to do.
Skiing @ Glen Eden
With 14 runs, it’s easy to go on a ski getaway right here at home! Glen Eden is a great place to ski, snowboard and they for those that don’t want to hit the slopes, there is a tube park with 4 chutes. For a deal consider the “March Madness” ski or snowboard packages, including a beginner’s lift ticket, equipment rental, and lesson; starting at $29.99. Check out Glen Eden’s websitefor park conditions and more details.
If you are headed to Glen Eden make sure you keep your eyes open for the Mapleview Centre on the slopes. The Mapleview Style patrol will be patrolling the slopes at Glen Eden to kick off March Break. Put your style to work for a chance to win 1 of 10, $100 Mapleview Gift Cards. Show them what Mapleview store best represents your style and have your photo snapped by their Style Patrol paparazzi on March 10th or 11th from 11AM-6PM to enter. For full details visit www.mapleviewcentre.com >
@RBG Chocolate: The Exhibition
If you have a sweet tooth, Chocolate: The Exhibition at the Royal Botanical Gardens can teach you everything there is to know about Chocolate! You can see chocolate start as cacao and watch it become your favourite treats, while you learn about its history and mythology in this family-friendly interactive exhibit. While the exhibition runs 7-days a week until April 15th, there are also specialty chocolate events covering everything from DIY chocolate spa treatments to dessert-making. And if that still isn’t enough for the chocoholics out there, you can take some time to explore the 18 locations on the Burlington Chocolate Trail.
Ireland House @ Oakridge Farm
Museums of Burlington are a great place to visit and take in some local history. Ireland House at Oakridge Farm interprets the lives of the Ireland family, the historic farmstead, buildings, gardens and contents as they were acquired and used by the Ireland family c1830 to the 1900s. The Joseph Brant Museum will be offering admission, a heritage craft, and refreshment for the inclusive price of $15 at their “Workshop Wonders”, scheduled twice daily on March 13th and 14th. You can also explore the museums exhibitions, interactive displays, a hands-on discovery gallery and visible storage. Burlington’s Joseph Brant Museum, tells the important story of the historical founding settlement and development of the Burlington area. If you can’t make it to the museums drop by our Tourism Burlington visitor centre and pick up a copy of “Joe Jr.” a heritage newspaper for kids full of interesting stories and fun activities.
The Burlington Art Centreis a great place to visit as part of a family outing to downtown Burlington or Spencer Smith Park, with ongoing exhibitions, the lush Conservatory, the Art Etc Gallery Shop and the Shoreline Cafe for snacks or a light lunch. The best part is admission is always FREE!
The library is a great place to spend some time with your kids whether it’s choosing a great book to read or finding a DVD to watch, it’s free and fun! This March Break Burlington Public Libraries are hosting events with something for everyone. Drop by to listen to stories, create art from an old book, tie-dye a pillow case, make your own gummy sushi, or even see a magic show! Event times are listed at the BPL website.
Burlington Mallis inviting kids to join them in centre court from March 12-18th to play at our play centre. Kids can get creative; making Play-doh® characters and playing games on-line. The play centre is open Mon – Sat 10am to 4pm and Sun noon to 4pm. When you are done playing spend some time checking out the new spring arrivals in stores throughout the mall or relax and enjoy a coffee or lunch at their food court.
If you are one of the many parents that have to work during the March Break there are lots of day camps available from sports to creative arts and some have programming for children as young as 3 years old.
The City of Burlington offers full week and day camps with a wide variety of activities, from fun to fitness, including everything from Playdium visits to drop-in basketball. The popular Babysitter Training program, certified by the Canada Safety Council, is also offered March 14th and 15th. Registration may be completed online via RecExpress.
@Burlington Art Centre
Give your children an artistic March Break. The Burlington Art Centre has half-day morning and afternoon art classes running all week! Whether they go to Art Camp for Kinders (from 4 to 6 years), the Mixed Bag for kids (from 6 to 8 and 8 to 10 year) or drawing, photography or pottery for the 11+ set, it will be a great week for them and for you! Go to thebac.ca/classes for more information or call 905-632-7796, ext. 307. Register by age group, for either a morning or afternoon session. (There is no supervised lunch period).
Museums of Burlington-Ireland House Museum is proud to offer the “String in Spring” camp this March Break. Kids up to age 12 will engage in games and activities all about string, yarn, and rope, all on the historic grounds of Ireland House at Oakridge Farm! Registration is available on a day-to-day or weekly basis. Supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Joseph Brant Museum is celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee with “Camp Jubilee”, a two-day camp featuring royal history, fun, games, and of course, tea! Camp Jubilee runs March 15th and 16th, free of charge, so contact Museums of Burlington
before all the spots are gone!
If you’re looking for something different this March break, the Royal Botanical Gardens offers several week long Discovery Camps for children ages 4-13. These programs combine outdoor adventures, lessons about nature and the environment, and fun kid-friendly activities like crafts and games. These programs require pre-registration, so be sure to visit the RBG website for details. To tie into their chocolate exhibit, the RBG offers day-long camps on March 13th and 15th focused on chocolate, with an environmental and historical twist.