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Why go south for March Break when you can have just as much fun heading north?
Pack the kids and the rest of the family and head to Ontario’s cottage country this March Break for great events, activities, and some old fashion “R ‘n’ R”. Here’s just a partial list of what’s happening during the dog days of winter:
Delight the kids with a dog sled adventure, and head out with one of many mushers in the region. Cross this quintessential Canadian activity off your bucket list once and for all, before the spring thaw arrives.
Head to Arrowhead Provincial Park near Huntsville, Muskoka to try out Ontario’s new favourite winter attraction, the Ice Trail – a 1.3 kilometre loop through a snow-frosted forest. Arrowhead also has 33 km of exceptional cross-country ski trails, tubing, snowshoeing, hiking, winter camping and more. (Check snow and ice conditions here, and check if the Ice Trail is open before you go – it is sometimes closed for maintenance.)
You can also hit the snowshoe trails at Muskoka Lakes Winery in Bala (located around the bogs of the world-renowned Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh), and then enjoy an apres-shoe wine tasting on site (including their award-winning selections, which are all created using plants indigenous to the area – cranberries and blueberries).
Lovers of downhill skiing and snowboarding in warmer temperatures will want to spend the week at Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area, near Huntsville. During March Break, skiing hours are extended, from 9am to 6pm, and ski/snowboard camps for kids are offered too. (Check conditions here.) Algonquin Outfitters is also hosting a Slopestyle Comp Series on Friday, March 9th – this is an all ages event, so kick your March break off right by showing off your skills to win some great prizes!
Cycling fans can try winter’s fast-growing outdoor activity – fat biking. There are plenty of shops to rent your rides, and great local trails to try, including those at LivOutside in Bracebridge, at Georgian Nordic Ski & Canoe Club in Parry Sound (pass purchase required), and at the Echo Valley Nature and Bike Trails in Dwight.
Be sure to check out the park’s webcam to take in a live view of Algonquin and to inspire your late winter adventuring. While you’re in the park, stop into the Visitor Centre (open throughout the year) to learn from the natural and human history displays and to peruse the bookstore/gift shop.
Arts, Culture & More
The Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts in Parry Sound has a great line-up of March Break events, starting on March 13 with a screening of the movie Sing, as well more interactive family fun including the Long & McQuade Musical Petting Zoo and Science North Exhibits on March 15, and Zoo To You on both March 16 & 17, an opportunity to interact with dozens of exotic animals – for free.
If your kids have dramatic leanings, they’ll love the Hub Productions March Break drama camp at the Rene Caisse Theatre in Bracebridge, who will put on a production of The Little Mermaid this year. At the Algonquin Theatre’s March Break camp in Huntsville, March 12-16, kids will perform an Arabian Nights show with instructor Robin Clipsham and the Muskoka StageWorks Team.
If you think the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre in Gravenhurst, Muskoka is a summer attraction only, you and your children are in for a treat. Their amazing KidZone features all kinds of interactive installations, and they have a whole line-up of special events taking place all week long you won’t want to miss!
Spas & Wellness
If there’s one place you’ll find a serene spot to book your spa getaway, it’s Ontario’s cottage country. Set against the backdrop of towering forests, a relaxing spa will help you recharge as you wait out the last stretch of the winter season. Click here for a list of spas in the region and book some pampering today.
Maple Syrup Fun
March Break can often be a little early for maple syrup production to be in full swing, but with a little luck you may find some sugar shack fun, including the one onsite at Deerhurst Resort. (Temperatures above freezing during the day and below freezing at night are what makes the precious sap run.)
Be sure to check out the Muskoka Maple Trail, a driving route from one sweet venue to another throughout the area (including syrup producers and restaurants featuring maple dishes) that is open March 9-April 20. And plan to return for the Muskoka Maple Festival in downtown Huntsville on Saturday, April 21.
Click here for a list of maple syrup producers located throughout the region, and for more syrup-inspired recipes from some of the best eateries in Explorers’ Edge (maple crème brulé, anyone?), click here.
More March Break Fun
PD Day Art Program at Let The Cat Go Fine Art & Craft Studio Bracebridge: March 9
Algonquin Outfitters Comp Series at HVHSA Huntsville: March 9
12th Annual Whitestone Ice Fishing Derby Dunchurch: March 10
March Break Programming at the Discovery Centre Gravenhurst: March 12-16
Great Moose Adventures March Break Camp Gravenhurst: March 12-16
Sing at the Stockey Parry Sound: March 13
3rd Annual Kids Ice Fishing Derby & Fun Day McKellar: March 17
Arrowhead Ice Trail Fire & Ice Night Huntsville: March 17
March Break Family Snowshoe at Marsh’s Falls Dwight: March 17
Face Painting in the Chalet at HVHSA Huntsville: March 17