Ontario: are you looking for fun outdoor activities for for the whole family over March break? Ontario Parks staff offer these suggestions:
Join a March Break Event
March Break events in Ontario Parks include a Maple Syrup festival, two big birding festivals, a unique cross-country ski touring event, guided hikes and plenty more. This Park Blog post lists where and when March Break events take place.
Hike, Skate, Ski, Snowshoe, Or...
Park staff say having a goal or objective is a good idea for a park visit with kids. Plan a hike to a park waterfall with plenty of snacks en route or organize a skating or tobogganing party complete with campfire for roasting hotdogs and marshmallows. Arrowhead and MacGregor Point Provincial Parks have impressive ice skating trails through the woods. Some parks have outdoor skating rinks. There are parks with toboggan runs and parks with trails that lead to lookout points and spectacular ice-frosted waterfalls. Some parks even have cross-country ski, snowshoe and skates for kids to rent and one park lends out inner tubes for its tobogganing hill. This Park blog post has more ideas to help families and kids create their own March Break event.
Try a New Type of Sleepover
Kids love yurt sleep overs. Temperatures are milder in March and the eight-sided platformed tents offer a fun "fort-like" atmosphere for families and their young park "adventurers." Seven provincial parks across Ontario have winter yurts for rent. The yurts are heated and have electricity, they sleep six and each includes a table and chairs. All yurt campsites have picnic tables and fire pits and some even come with gas BBQs. Winter yurt rentals are listed under 'roofed accommodation' at www.ontarioparks.com. Tips for booking last-minute are in this Park Blog post.
Make Safety a Priority
Ontario Parks offers these winter safety tips:
Winter is an incredibly rewarding time to visit Ontario’s Provincial Parks. The snow-swept landscape reveals a chance to discover scenery and solitude not available at other times of the year. From bold chickadees, snow laden spruce or the subterranean gurgle of a frozen creek, you will create lasting memories with your friends and family.
A visit during the winter, however, does require some additional planning on your part, and the following points are meant to guide you in having the best experience possible.
- Check the weather beforehand and dress appropriately.
- Wear layers so you can adjust your clothing accordingly.
- Let a friend or family member know where you are going and when you plan on returning.
- Plan on being back to your vehicle or campsite an hour before sunset and gauge your trip accordingly.
- Don’t forget to register at the park gate.
- Avoid travelling on ice at all costs! Ice conditions can be extremely variable, and underwater springs or currents can cause dangerous conditions even in the dead of winter.
- If ice travel is necessary, check with park authorities before heading out.
- Bring an emergency pack including the following: dry warm clothing, first aid kit, flashlight, matches, spare ski tip and wire for bindings, water and high energy food.
- Have fun and play safe – ultimately, your safety is your responsibility.