The March break reset

The pressure to travel is gone, setting the stage for a return to the simple pleasures of a week away from school

By Crystal Murray

Lots of people are saying lately that they can’t recall the last time they had to pack a suitcase. I actually can remember, but it’s the anticlimactic unpacking that stands larger in my memory. 

It was March 13, the day before my husband, youngest daughter, and I were to depart to tropical climes for a week of sand and sunshine. Those well-worn carry-on bags have been in our attic ever since.

In the days before our holiday, as we counted down the sleeps to take off for our much-anticipated destination in the sunny south, the reasons for cancelling our trip were mounting. The UN had declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, our prime minister was asking for March break travelers to rethink their plans and we had a good idea that if we did choose travel, we’d face a two-week quarantine when we returned. 

The reality of our new world set in. The only solution for our family was to surrender our trip and unpack those suitcases filled with sunscreen and flip-flops. “Oh well,” we said. “There is always next year.” 

And just like that, next year is here. Last March, our sand and surf holiday did a quick pivot to Netflix and nacho nights. We did end up in quarantine for two weeks because one of our kids flew in from South Africa and we decided to hunker down together. 

And just like that, next year is here. Last March, our sand and surf holiday did a quick pivot to Netflix and nacho nights

 At the time of writing this message all of the directional arrows point towards a bit more freedom than last year, but the dream of sandy beaches and drinking out of coconuts is on hold for a little while longer. 

But we Nova Scotians have staying close to home down pat. We have lots of great options for local adventures. Contributing editor Janet Whitman frees up some of your search engine time and does everything but make the snacks and load up the car for your March break fun. Check out her feature for some of the best activities in the HRM and easy day trips not too far out of town.

We didn’t travel far for March break when I was a kid. It was a treat just to stay up a little later, sleep in a little longer, and find our own fun. My parents didn’t spend weeks planning a family getaway. I grew up in Pictou County, a trip to the city for a new pair of jeans and a stop for KFC in Stewiacke on the way home was about as exotic as it got. And we were happy. Somewhere along the line, the expectations for March break morphed from a few days without homework to trips south, to the ski hills of New England, or a full list of activities to keep the kiddos busy. 

As I start to count down the sleeps before another March break and wish that I could dust off those suitcases in the attic, I am reminded of those school holidays from my childhood when getting outside to play, skate on the neighbours’ pond, make cookies, and just hang out with my friends was all I needed for a great vacation. 

a stack of grey, blue, and red rolled blankets
Photo: Steve Smith/Visionfire

We’ve hit the reset button many times in the last year and with tremendous success! I would love to hear what you and your family have planned to pack in your own March break fun. Send us your photos and a short description, insert, or tag us in a post, and we will share on our social platforms. We will also send you one of our cozy fleece blankets to cuddle up in while the days are still chilly. 


Have fun, stay safe, and make some memories.

Read the full Spring 2021 issue of Our Children for free.

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