Kids love to hang with their friends on March Break so why not take them to Ontario Parks where they can burn off a bit of energy outdoors and have a good time. A little pre-planning in the comfort of your home can make for an extraordinary day or overnight park adventure. Park staff suggest involving your kids in the planning as much as possible. This helps build excitement for your excursion. Choose a park nearby based on what there is to see and do, plan snacks or food, what to wear and what equipment to bring. Some Ontario Parks have March Break events and equipment rentals to make planning easy. Here are some staff suggestions for cool March Break outings:
Host a yurt sleepover
A heated yurt is a cozy sleepover for a group of young friends. The 8-sided tent has a fort-like feel and is a fun alternative to a kids’ sleepover at home. MacGregor Point Provincial Park northwest of London is one of seven provincial parks that rent heated yurts in the winter. Yurts book quickly for weekends and holiday/vacation times but always check for last minute availability especially during the weekday or at Ontario Parks which are a bit further north. Simply log on to the Ontario Parks’ reservations and select:
1) Reservation type: Yurt / Camp Cabin
2) Your arrival date and number of nights
3) Click on “Availability List” tab and then be sure to “Sort by availability” so all parks with any availability will be at the top of the list.
4) Click on Park name for campgrounds where yurts are available.
5) Click on tab for “Availability Calendar and the site will show you all of the dates with availability of yurts by campground.
Plan an ice skating or tobogganing party
If weather permits, pack a winter picnic and head to Arrowhead or MacGregor Point Provincial Parks for an ice skating or tobogganing party. Both have cool ice trails through the woods and campsites with picnic tables and fire pits. Roast a park favourite, “spider dogs” over an open fire! Yum. A “spider dog” recipe is a popular recipe in our Learn to Camp section.Arrowhead has tubes to borrow for its toboggan run and MacGregor Point has winter yurt rentals if you want to stay over. Watch this video for a Dad’s take on the MacGregor Point ice skating trail.
See the Northern Lights or stargaze
Did you know that March is considered a good time to see the Northern Lights? Armed with a sky chart showing winter constellations and a bit of patience, stargazing is also a fun March Break activity. The Canadian Space Agency helps budding astronomers get started. And there are many apps that can be downloaded and used in the field to help with stargazing.
Go on an Owl Prowl
March is perfect for an Owl Prowl. Park staff suggest an evening walk in an Ontario Park with lots of tree cover. Check this Owl Prowl blog for details.
Ever wonder what park wildlife do at night? The perfect time to find out is after a light dusting of snow. Follow tracks in the snow and discover just how busy animals can be in winter at Ontario Parks. A recent Park blog post gives examples of different animal tracks.