Museums for March Break and Beyond

March Break is coming way too quickly for some parents. Each year the spring vacation seems to creep up awfully soon after the annual year-end break, so it’s no wonder many moms and dads scramble around trying to find activities for the kids to enjoy during their school hiatus. With budget limitations, what can you do?

We were the same way when our kids were at that stage. Then we discovered museums. At the time, we lived in Guelph and decided to check out the Ontario Science Centre (OSC) in Toronto for March Break. As I recall, there’s a natural tendency to arrive at a museum early and try to visit all the exhibits in one day. The result is tired and cranky kids that don’t make it through, plus adults who end up not enjoying the experience either.

A quick scan of the entrance fees led me to the family membership option. I figured purchasing a family membership would pay for itself in two visits. I bought it. That day we explored the OSC until the kids had exhausted their attention span, which was two hours. Then we headed home and everyone was content with the outing. We had lots more to discover at the OSC so we made three more trips, each time coming home happy.

In Ottawa, we are fortunate in having many incredible museums that all offer family memberships. I was at the recent opening of a new exhibit in the Vale Earth Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Nature. The display explains how geological forces have shaped our planet and the fascinating exhibition also showcases dazzling minerals and rocks. There are many interactive games and simulations, which visitors of all ages enjoy. Certainly, there’s plenty to capture both kids’ and parents’ attention.

When you’re finished with the Earth Gallery there are numerous other spaces to explore, including the museum’s popular dinosaur room. Throughout the year, the Canadian Museum of Nature hosts special exhibitions, which are included in the family membership.

As a family we really enjoyed frequenting the OSC and staying as long as we wanted. Museum memberships offer the same value and can offer great opportunities for fun on March Break.

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