Worried about how to keep those munchkins busy this March Break? Afraid that they – and possibly you – might climb the walls? There's a slew of fun-filled, educational programs out there to keep the kids – and parents – hopping and entertained this week. Here's just a sample of some of the activities around the GTA.
Take the kids to Wizard World, an indoor fun park now in its 10th year at the Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place. Besides the usual midway rides and arts and crafts booths, this year features the Xtreme Wild show, with lions, wolves, baboons and a zebra, courtesy of the Bowmanville Zoo. Performer Trulee Odd shows off daredevil juggling skills in a one-man circus show. Admission is $8.75 or $25 for unlimited rides.
Itty Bitty City
Inspired by the whimsical, childlike art of Kim Adams, the AGO hosts the Itty Bitty City week-long day camp for children from 6 to 13. For a minimum price of $265 (it's slightly more if you opt for the meal plan), kids with a visual arts bent use found and recycled objects to build mini-cities, small ships and other pint-sized marvels.
Stanley's Game Seven
Puck nuts should hit the Hockey Hall of Fame to see the sport's first 3-D film, Stanley's Game Seven, that combines classic archival footage of some of the biggest moments in Stanley Cup history with computer-generated animation. Activity stations are set up for kids to try goaltending or play-by-play calling. There is also a draw for a lucky winner to bring the Stanley Cup to their local hospital, school or arena.
Comic Book Heroes
What kid hasn't dreamed of saving the world? The TIFF Bell Lightbox's Comic Book Heroes movie series is perfect for superhero wannabes. TIFF is screening classics such as Superman, Dick Tracy, The Adventures of Tintin, Megamind and The Powerpuff Girls Movie. Tickets are $8.50 for kids and $12 for adults. After the flick, explore the Kids DigiPlaySpace, an interactive, indoor playground.
Royal Ontario Museum
The Earth Rangers are back at the Royal Ontario Museum with the Wild March Break Show that combines live animals and a multimedia presentation to teach kids about the impact humans have on the animal habitat. Kids can also explore the world through the ROM's Passport to the World program (March 9 to 17) where they can learn Samurai skills, make snake mobiles to commemorate the Year of the Snake and build a Mayan Pyramid out of Lego. It's also the last chance to visit Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants for Gondwana exhibit which ends March 17.
The funny folk at Second City have a new show, Princess Polly and the World's Smallest Ninja from Redi Janisse (creator of Miracle on Mercer). It's the hilarious tale of a pint-sized ninja princess who strikes off on a zany adventure with Second City's puppets. Performances are $14 per person, or $45 for a family four-pack. (A portion of sales go to the SickKids Foundation).
Black Creek Pioneer Village
Everyone loves a good whodunnit, and tickets start at $11 for Black Creek Pioneer Village's Sherlock Holmes and the Clock-Maker Mystery. The clockmaker is missing and so is his favourite clock. Kids search for clues around the village, using Holmseian deduction and logic to solve the puzzle. Other activities include a puppet show, detective workshop and horse-drawn wagon rides.
Disney On Ice
Catch opening night of another Disney On Ice extravaganza called Rockin' Ever After with an all-star lineup of Disney's favourite characters including Mickey, Minnie, Brave's feisty Scottish heroine Merida, the mermaid Ariel, Rapunzel and a chorus of zany hooligans from Tangled. There are nine performances at the Rogers Centre until March 17. Ticket prices vary.
Ride the CN Tower's glass-enclosed, high-speed elevator to the observation levels (including the freaky glass floor) and take in the view 1,136 feet straight down. The nerve-racking EdgeWalk is also open until March 17.
Bata Shoe Museum
Try on a pair at the Bata Shoe Museum's CoolKicks!, billed as March Break's fabulous sneaker fun. Activities include tie-dying shoes, decorating a high-top sneaker key ring and decorating sneaker-shaped cookies. Girls might want to stop by the exhibit of Justin Bieber's hightops.
It's played to sold-out houses around the world and now Potted Potter – The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody comes to Mississauga's Living Arts Centre. BBC personalities Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner ambitiously condense the seven Harry Potter books into a 70-minute performance, in which the audience gets to play a real-life game of quidditch (but with slightly different rules). Tickets range from $31 to $46.
Casa Loma Carnival
Follow Casa Loma's ghost trackers on a tour of Toronto's famous Gothic Revival-style castle. Once spooked, get silly at the Casa Loma Carnival, where you can watch gravity-defying acrobats, aerialists and stilt walkers, have fun with clowns, jugglers and living statues, get your fortune told and explore Henry Pellatt's castle in an interactive scavenger hunt. Children $11, adults $20.50.
Science of the High Seas
The Ontario Science Centre makes waves with Science of the High Seas, a pirate-themed day camp for children from 5 to 12, which delves into the life of a pirate by learning the arts of navigating, map-making and ship-designing, as well as a thing or two about water physics.
Maple Syrup Harvest
Take a sugar shuttle into the bush to learn the rich history of Canada's first harvest of the year: maple syrup. Guided tours, on groomed trails, are offered at a variety of GTA locations, including the Sugar Bush Adventure at White Meadows Farm, Purple Woods Conservation Area in Oshawa, Bronte Creek Provincial Park and the Kortright Centre.