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National Gallery of Canada

March Break Activities in Ottawa

Note: Due to current issues related to COVID-19 concerns, some events and programming in the Ottawa region may be cancelled or affected. Please refer to individual attractions, events and organizations directly to confirm whether or not specific programming is affected.

Canada’s capital is a March Break mecca with its many cultural institutions, outdoor activities and indoor attractions. And since Ottawa shares a provincial border with Gatineau, Quebec, much of the special programming is offered during both the Quebec March Break (March 2-6, 2020) and the Ontario March Break (March 16-20, 2020). So gather the kids and come experience some of the fun activities below for an epic March Break in Ottawa!

Get active (indoors and outdoors)

Altitude Gym

During Spring Break Camp at Altitude Gym, kids between 6 and 14 years of age enjoy learning the basics of rock climbing, bouldering, outdoor activities, and more. Choose from Altitude Gym’s two locations: Gatineau, Que. where they offer this camp during both the Ontario and Quebec March Breaks, and Kanata, Ont. where they only offer the camp over the Ontario break.

Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum

The Diefenbunker is hosting a unique laser tag experience inside the decommissioned bunker from March 18 – 21, 2020! The activity takes place in over 15,000 square feet of space on the 100 level of the bunker (normally off limits), as well as on the 200 level. The museum is located about 30 minutes west of downtown Ottawa in Carp, Ont.

Funhaven Family Fun Centre

Located just minutes west of downtown Ottawa, Funhaven offers a world-class laser tag arena, the latest high-tech mini-bowling lanes, an indoor roller coaster, bumper cars, an arcade and prize games, simulators and a huge jungle gym. The little ones are sure to be entertained during March Break!

Gees-Gees March Break Camps

The University of Ottawa’s Gee-Gees Sports Camps welcome active kids of all ages during the Ontario march break! The bilingual programs encourage learning and development of athletic skills through sports, games and activities. Kids can participate in a multi-sport camp or sign up for a specialized program for sports like rugby and soccer.

Camp Fortune

How often can you access a downhill ski center within a 15-minute drive from a major city? This is what makes Gatineau Park’s Camp Fortune, located in Chelsea, Que., so convenient – especially for Spring Break Lessons. The 3 or 4-day programs for kids aged 4 and up include a two-hour lesson and open skiing (the lift ticket is valid for the day), and full day programs are available for kids aged 7 and up. All programming is offered on weekdays during both the Quebec and Ontario March Breaks.  

Mount Pakenham

Mount Pakenham is located about a 45-minute drive West from Ottawa in the town of Pakenham, Ont. During the Ontario March Break, kids aged 6 to 14 can participate in a 3, 4 or 5-day ski camp that offers a minimum of three hours of ski instruction per day, plus other activities such as tubing, snowshoeing, movies and more!

Maple Syrup Fun

Maple taffy on snow, horse drawn sleigh rides, delicious pancake breakfasts or brunch – what’s not to love about maple season? Several sugar bushes and other sites located throughout Canada’s Capital Region offer programming during the maple season, which runs from late February to early April. Check out some of our suggestions for maple syrup fun.

Get cultured

Ottawa Art Gallery

The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) in downtown Ottawa is offering fully bilingual and hands-on creative camps during the Ontario March break. Kids aged 8 to 12 enjoy interactive mini tours of the OAG and field trips in the city.

Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum

The Diefenbunker is hosting a unique laser tag experience inside the decommissioned bunker from March 18 – 21, 2020! The activity takes place in over 15,000 square feet of space on the 100 level of the bunker (normally off limits), as well as on the 200 level. The museum is located about 30 minutes west of downtown Ottawa in Carp, Ont.

Canadian Museum of Nature

The Canadian Museum of Nature is always alive with special programming. Walk among hundreds of fluttering butterflies and luscious live plants in the museum’s solarium during the Butterflies in Flight special exhibition. You can also learn how microbes affect your body at the Me and My Microbes: The Zoo Inside You special exhibition. And be sure to check out the 3D movies in the museum’s theatre!

Canadian War Museum

Build, play, create and learn as a family at the Canadian War Museum during the Ontario and Quebec March Breaks! Use Imagination Playground blocks to create engineering and architectural marvels; challenge your family to a game of giant chess; and explore the Museum’s galleries on a family-friendly tour with a program interpreter. 

Canada Agriculture and Food Museum

During both the Ontario and Quebec breaks, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum celebrates all things spring during their Barnyard Break! Special programming is offered each day, including encounters with farm animals, kitchen demonstrations, maple taffy on snow, children’s story time and creative crafts. It’s all free with the price of museum admission!

Canada Aviation and Space Museum

During both the Ontario and Quebec breaks, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum is offering out-of-this world programming. Have fun imagining what life might be like on another planet by participating in imaginative activities, hands-on crafts, tours, and more. Activities are available for children of all ages and are free with the price of museum admission.

Canada Science and Technology Museum

Keep the kids’ brain cells active during both the Ontario and Quebec breaks at the Canada Science and Technology Museum! They can participate in fun-filled activities, experiments and demonstrations linked to coding, engineering, neuroscience and more. Activities are available for children of all ages and are free with the price of museum admission.

Get wild

Omega Park

Omega Park, located in Montebello, Que. – just a 45-minute drive from downtown Ottawa – is a large wildlife park that immerses visitors in Canadian wildlife and First Nations’ history. You can take a Canadian safari any time of year through the natural habitat of animals like deer, elk, bison, caribou and wolves. Plus, the park usually offers a variety of special programming during both the Quebec and Ontario March Breaks.

Little Ray’s Nature Centre

Enjoy a hands-on and educational experience through encounters with bats, pythons, alligators, cobras, birds of prey and more at Little Ray’s Nature Centre. Many of the animals are permanent residents at the zoo, while others are special guests that rotate throughout the year.

Get locked up

Haunted Walk of Ottawa

The cloaked guides from the Haunted Walk of Ottawa dare you to join them on their tours of the historic old Carleton County Jail! The Ghost and the Gallows tour (available separately in English and in French) focuses on the Jail’s reputation as one of the most haunted buildings in North America. Tour the cellblock where inmates were once imprisoned and walk the steps from Death Row to the one of the last working gallows in Canada.

Escape rooms

Nothing bonds a family and friends together like choosing to be locked up in a room and working together to escape! Escape attractions throughout the city like Escape ManorEscape Manor Junior and Jigsaw Escape Rooms have rooms and themes that are suitable for all ages. If your kids are older, you might even be able to create your own escape by sitting back and relaxing in the lounge areas (some of which have cash bars) while your kids have a blast solving clues and attempting to breakout.

For even more ideas of what to do during March Break or anytime in winter, check out our Free or nearly free Ottawa in winter suggestions!

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