Every winter seems long around here. Make the best of it by getting outside with the kids this March Break. There’s lots to do around Simcoe County, and it doesn’t have to cost you a lot.
Hardwood Ski and Bike will be running a Camp Hardwood March Break camp where kids can enjoy a week, or a day of camp in the snow regardless of their experience level, says Meghan Brown, Guest Services at Hardwood Ski and Bike in Oro-Medonte.
Brown says kids ages 5-10 can partake in a two-hour ski and snow program for one or several sessions. Plus, kids can enjoy cross-country skiing, tobogganing, fort building, snowshoeing, and more.
Some skating trails around the area could still be open too. The Simcoe County Museum, and various locations throughout Barrie such as the Circle at the Centre, Centennial Park Community Ice Rink, or Heritage Park Pond have outdoor skating. Penetanguishene has an outdoor skate trail, and the Scenic Caves at Blue Mountain have Mountaintop skating. Call ahead, or check each locations’ websites to ensure the skating rinks and trails are open.
The Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre in Midland is also running a camp for ages 6-12 where they’ll learn about animal tracking, orienteering, wilderness survival skills, eco-crafts, and more, says MaryAnn Milne, Executive Director.
“Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre will have a lot of daily family friendly activities over March Break such as sugar shack tours, bannock roasting, meet the creature, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing,” informs Milne.
Considering we live among The Simcoe County Forest, the largest municipal forest in Ontario with over 33,000 acres, there’s no shortage of trail hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing. Take the kids for a walk, identify birds, or simply walk in silence.
“Unstructured outdoor play is just as valuable for children’s development as organized camps, activities, and sports programs. Over the March Break, take your child for a walk, or a snowshoe in a local park or forest to explore. Follow their lead as they discover animal tracks to follow, climb up fallen trees, build houses for animals, or use their imagination to create worlds of their own, while exploring the natural world we all share,” says Lindsay Sargent, Lead Educator and Co-Director at Oro-Medonte Forest School.
For a really unique outdoor adventure with the kids, take a day trip to Blue Mountain Village to ride their Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster, or check out their Blumination Dream Trail, a free walking trail illuminated with lights.
“The Blumination Dream Trail is a one-kilometre, magical winter stroll within the village around the Mill Pond…featuring a number of interactive and unique light installations. Be sure to take photos along the way, and don’t forget to #Blumination,” says Shannon Szucs, Marketing Manager for the Blue Mountain Village Association.
I’ll be lighting a bonfire, having a hot beverage, and sledding with the kids on our homemade snow hill we piled using the snowblower. Get outside, and enjoy the break!
Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre
Oro-Medonte Forest School
Hardwood Ski and Bike
Blue Mountain Village Association