Building a better break

Here are our choices for some of the best March break options in HRM

By Katie Ingram

 

Between the holiday season and summer vacation is another magical time of year: March break.

While the break does come with a vacation from tests, quizzes, and projects, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. Halifax has an abundance of activities to keep your child or children busy and, in some cases, they can learn something new.

Read on for some of Our Children’s top picks for the week:

Art Classes at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

This year your little artist has four classes to pick from at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

In Paint it Up: Painting and Drawing, they’ll use charcoal, watercolours, acrylics and pastels.

In Clay it Up: Clay and Sculpture, participants are shown how to sculpt and transform lumps of clay into art.

With Print it Up: Printmaking, kids learn about different types of the printing technique and how it works.

Most of these skills are combined in the fourth workshop, Mix it Up: Mixed Media, where participants learn how to use different media together.

The gallery will also be open for public viewings during regular hours. This includes a few of its temporary exhibits (“Alphabetical Order: Things Artists Have Drawn,” which closes at the end of March; and “Autism Art”) and the permanent collection, including the Maud Lewis house.

Cost for art classes: non-members $130/week for half-days; $260/week for full-day classes. Pre-registration required.

Age/Grade Level: Ages 5 to 12. The day is divided up into two sessions. The first is from 9 a.m. to noon for ages five to seven. The second is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is for kids aged eight to 12.

Gallery entry fee: $5 for youth aged six to 17. Five and under are free.

Bowling at Bowlarama

March isn’t known for its most reliable weather. It could rain, it could be sunny, and it could even snow. With bowling, kids can exercise and practise their math skills at the same time. The city has three Bowlarama centres, one in Spryfield, one in Halifax, and one in Dartmouth. An afternoon at one of the locations is sure to delight even the most novice bowler, especially if you’re there during cosmic bowling, when the lights are turned off and colours glow in the dark.

Cost: The regular price of a lane is $11 per person, but there is often a deal or two for March Break. Call ahead to see what’s being offered this year.

Circus Classes

Who doesn’t want to run away and join the circus? And now, your child can, at least for a week. Atlantic Cirque is holding a March break camp from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, where kids can learn different circus skills such as juggling, stilts, human pyramids, and aerial silks. To celebrate the end of the camp, parents will be invited to a week-ending show on March 22 at 3 p.m.

Cost: $275 per child. Space is limited, so register early.

Age/Grade Level: Ages seven to 12.

Mount Saint Vincent University Day Camp

Not all March break activities are focused on physicality. Some exercise the imagination.

This year’s March break camp at MSVU is focusing on books, allowing kids to, according to the website, “step inside their favourite storybook.” Authors whose books will be featured include Dr. Seuss, J.K. Rowling, and Robert Munsch.

Cost: $38 per day or $160 for the week. Please note, pre-registration is required.

Age/Grade level: Primary to Grade 6.

Superheroes by the Dalhousie Chorus

If you’re kid loves superheroes, this might be perfect for capping off the week. Held in the Halifax Central Library’s Paul O’Regan Hall, the Dalhousie Chorus will be preforming and sharing odd-defying stories of fictional, and non-fictional, heroes.

Superheroes takes place on March 24 at 2 p.m. For more information, contact jmailhio@dal.ca.

Cost: $15 per person

Upstage Studios and Annie

The sun will come out tomorrow, or so the song says. But in this case, it doesn’t matter because you’ll be inside with Upstage Studios’ Annie theatre camp. Divided into three two-hour blocks, participants will learn signing, dancing, and acting from camp leaders. Campers will preform the musical at the end of the week.

Classes are at Saint James United Church in Dartmouth from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: $190 per child.

Age/Grade Level: Age eight and up.

Juniorpreneur Camp

Kids are always asking questions about how things work. What better way to spur on that curious nature than with entrepreneurship? Organized by the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development, kids will spend a week learning about business.

Participants will build on both their leadership and teamwork skills, while also learning about innovation, critical thinking, and the risks associated with entrepreneurship.

They will be able to earn money from their venture and, at the end of the week, pitch their idea to a group of local business owners.
The camp is from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Suite 225, 7071 Bayers Road.

Cost: $180 per child. Pre-registration required.

Age/Grade Level: Ages eight to 14.

Discovery Centre Day Camps

The natural and the artificial are being explored during March break at the Discovery Centre.

With Weather Wizardry, campers will learn and take part in activities that focus on how weather works and varies each season.

The Digital Discovery Camp brings together human curiosity with technology. Campers will spend the week learning about video game development, robots, coding, and other topics. They will also be mentored by information and communications technology professionals.

Weather Wizardry: cost: $215 for members, $230 for non-members. Pre-registration required.

Age/Grade Level: Ages five to 12

Digital Discovery: cost: $250 for members, $275 for non-members. Pre-registration required.

Age/Grade Level: Ages nine to 14.

Looking for more?

While most of our top picks last more than a day, there are many other daily excursions for you and your family to enjoy.

Museums: No matter what your child is interested in, you’ll find a suitable museum nearby. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is hosting nautical games and other activities, crafts and holding film screenings in their Warehouse Theatre. Its most recent exhibit, Canada at Play, which looks at Canadian toys from the past 100 years, will also be open to the public. The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 holds its March break at the Museum event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. everyday. It features movement and food-based workshops and special guests. The Museum of Natural History is offering Dinosaurs Unearthed with animatronic dinosaurs. Roar!

 

Public Skating: The last scheduled day for the Halifax Emera Oval’s winter season is March 17, so glide over. There are also several other public skating options if you can’t make it to the Oval: the Halifax Forum, RBC Centre (formerly 4Pad) in Dartmouth, and the Sackville Sports Stadium, among others.

Cineplex: As part of its March break offerings, Cineplex has $2.99 movie deal. Titles are released closer to the break.

Halifax Public Libraries: Libraries have more than 100 events across 14 branches. They include the SuperNOVA Science Camp for Newcomer Youth at the Keshen Goodman and The Annual March Break Chess Tournament at Alderney Gate. For more events visit: halifaxpubliclibraries.ca/marchbreak

Artech Camps: Artech has been teaching kids about digital technology since 2005. This year’s March break offerings include: Encounters with Aliens (a game design camp where kids seven to 12 years old create their own characters, aliens, and worlds); Reach for the Stars – Get Animated (an animation camp for all ages teaching different ways to animate, such as stop motion, claymation, frame-by-frame, and more); and Outta this World with Unity 3D (a 3D game design for youth 11 and up that shows new and returning campers how to develop games with Unity 3D. 

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