A budget-conscious guide to March break fun and entertainment
By Katie Ingram
For many families, an expensive trip to another country or even a weekend getaway for March break might not be financially feasible. But the week doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, kids can enjoy a variety of activities and adventures in their own backyard.Read on for a day-by-day itinerary of events your child can take part in, including places to go for a meal, and all for under $20 a day.
A Learning Experience
From seafaring history to immigration to the natural world, Halifax’s museums have something to offer everyone. Along with a courteous hello to their parrot resident, Merlin, March break visitors to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic can take in the various galleries and exhibits, including the special Halifax Explosion centennial exhibit: Collision in the Narrows. From there they can watch a film in the Robertson Warehouse Theatre and try their hand at a sailor’s rope toss. General admission is $3.10 for youth aged six to 17.
If a child’s interest in history isn’t related to schooners, pirates, and the Explosion, don’t fret; Pier 21 is holding a few March Break-focused activities. During the entire week, there will be a presentation of Interactive Theatre: In Time, which is described as a “theatre meets escape room” experience. Museum visitors will be able to either help an immigration officer with his job or a refugee navigate the gateway to their new home, while also helping the Red Cross and attempting to solve the secret a security guard is hiding, all within an hour. Groups of up to 20 people can reserve their spot by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participation in In Time is included with the Pier 21 general admission, which for children aged six to 16 is $9.25 (HST included).
For those more interested in nature, the Museum of Natural History is the place to be during the break, as their newest exhibit, Body Worlds RX, is worth a visit. It showcases different parts of the human body, including organs, the nervous system and the human skeleton, and shows how these parts change when affected by diseases and ailments, such as cancer, obesity and back pain.The exhibit is included with the museum’s regular admission, which is $4.05 for children.As a day is not complete without a good meal.
You can always top a day of learning with lunch in one of Halifax’s historic areas. One such place, the Old Triangle Alehouse, has $7 kids’ meals, ranging from grilled cheese to a hamburger and chips.
With the Maritime Museum: $10.10
With Pier 21: $16.25
With the Museum of Natural History $11.05
Let them eat cake, or maybe chocolate lasagna
Who says you can’t spend a day learning and eating at the same time?
The PC Cooking Classes at the Atlantic Superstores on Braemar Drive and Portland Street in Dartmouth are having camps for ages six to 11. Along with the chocolate lasagna, which is part of the Crazy for Chocolate session, other classes focus on Mexican, Italian, and Hawaiian food, and spring-themed dishes such as Carrot Patch Cupcakes and ham and potato soup.
The sessions, which are held on March 12, 13, 15, and 16, vary by location and go from either 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., or 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Cost: $20 a class.
Embrace your inner, or outer, artist
Just because kids are on a break, that doesn’t mean they can’t embrace their creative sides with a visit to one of the municipality’s three Michaels’ locations and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Not only will AGNS be opened for self-guided and staff-guided tours, but it will also be hosting Sketching in Gallery. At the drop-in event, from 1:30 p.m. 3:00 p.m. on March 14 and 15, artists of all skill levels can learn from a local artist. All supplies are provided.
Cost is included in the museum’s general admission, which for children aged six to 17, is $5.
As for lunch, during your art day you don’t have to go far. AGNS is home to Pavia Gallery, which has sandwiches for less than $10, salads that range from $6.25 to $7.95 and soup for $4.50 a cup and $6.50 for a bowl.
While Michaels’ is still ironing out specific events for March Break, it will be offering Kids Club during the week, where children, aged three and up can create an art project or craft within a half-hour time span. The cost is $2, and sessions start every hour from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Total Cost (with a $7.95 salad): $14.95
Along with affordable activities, many places in Halifax are holding free events
• At both their Halifax waterfront and Mahone Bay locations, Amos Pewter will be giving visitors the chance to finish and personalize a pewter sand dollar that has been cast from molten pewter.
• Argyle Fine Art is still working out a few details regarding their activities, but everything the Barrington Street gallery is hosting for March Break will be free. Confirmed activities include the annual Pun Off event and Family Days on Friday and Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m.
• For those looking to get in a skate or two before the weather warms up, the Halifax Emera Oval will be open for public skating hours. The BMO Centre in Bedford and 4 Pad in Dartmouth will also be having free public skates. Contact each location for times and days.
• Chapters locations throughout the Halifax Regional Municipality will be hosting several themed events, including arts and crafts, build and discovery, and imagination and adventure from Monday to Friday at 11 a.m.
• Halifax Public Libraries will be hosting a variety of events at its branches, including a March Break dance party at the Tantallon location, a talent show at Woodlawn and a Jumanji themed activity at Keshen Goodman. More information, and other events, can be found at halifaxpubliclibraries.ca/ or by calling a specific branch.
For those looking for a day or two away from the HRM, there are places that are not only affordable, but within driving distance
• Ross Farm in New Ross will have a new theme each day, relating to life on the farm. Themes include Spring Time on the Farm, Traditional Skills, and Tasty Treats. Along with general activities there will be crafts to make and hot chocolate available throughout the day. Child admission is $3.
• For those looking for an adventure that’s a bit sweeter? Sugar Moon Farm in Earltown is worth the drive. It’s open throughout the week and has a variety of public events, including sugar camp tours, hiking and snowshoeing trails, and a maple brunch.
• Perhaps, your child is more interested in animals for day away from Halifax. In that case, the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park is the place to be. The will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during March break for animal viewings. Admission is $1.75 for youth aged six to 17.