Parents are facing a second pandemic March break after a year of living with COVID-19 restrictions. Many of the usual programming options are not available, and group-based activities may feel risky right now.
Here are six ideas for budget-friendly – most are free – March break options that involve little to no contact with others outside of your household.
Note: Keep in mind that Public Health restrictions are fluid and can change at a moment’s notice. Stay informed about the latest recommendations for your area, always wear masks and keep distance from others, stay home if you feel unwell, and don’t hesitate to book a COVID-19 test for yourself of your family members.
Ross Farm Museum
It’s an excellent time to visit Ross Farm, a family favourite and part of the Nova Scotia Museum. Costumed interpreters share their knowledge of 19th-century trades and household activities like blacksmithing, barrel making, and flax and wool spinning. Rare heritage breeds of farm animals, including Silver Gray Dorking poultry, Berkshire pigs and Cotswold sheep, can be seen throughout the farm. Check the website on Thursdays for programming updates – you might be able to take a sleigh ride or go snowshoeing. Recently adapted COVID restrictions mean a maximum of 25 people can visit at a time, from either 9:30 a.m. to noon or 2 to 4 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday, and the site is sanitized between slots. Visits must be booked online and admission fees apply.
Black Loyalist Heritage Centre
The Black Loyalist Heritage Centre, also part of the Nova Scotia Museum, offers virtual tours to families for just $15 and online Q&A sessions for $25. (These prices are flexible – contact staff for details.) Learn about Birchtown, the largest free Black settlement in the 1780s, and the rich history of Black Nova Scotians, including Loyalists, Maroons, Caribbeans and refugees.
Want to get crafty with your kids but concerned about in-store shopping for supplies? Wonder’neath is an art society in Halifax’s North End that distributes 200 themed art kits to folks of all ages on a first-come, first-serve basis each Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. There’s no sign-up or fee required, and Public Health protocols are followed while the kits are put together and given out. Drop by 2482 Maynard Street and look for the “Free Art Kit” sign in bold orange letters.
Virtual library programs
Many libraries are offering alternatives to in-person programming during March Break. For example, Cumberland Public Libraries will be providing Take and Make kits with themes like Family Game Night, Hot Chocolate Bombs and Sharpie Tiles (kits are free but call to reserve), as well as virtual programs like Snow Frozen Yogurt Melts and puppet shows. Check your local library for more options.
Got a youngster fascinated by this nautical tragedy? Take them to the three cemeteries in Halifax – Fairview Lawn, Mount Olivet and Beth Israel Synagogue – where victims are buried. Information panels on site help to locate the graves.
Yarmouth County Museum
The Yarmouth County Museum offers free outdoor and indoor games and exhibits throughout March break. Admission to the 12,360-square-foot granite-walled building lets you view historical items like a horse-drawn funeral hearse, a 100-year-old electric car, stagecoaches, musical instruments, toys and costumes, and explore displays about the Mi’kmaw and Acadian peoples of the area. Kids 12 and under get in free. Only 35 people are allowed in at once, and public health protocols are in place.
WHAT’s your plan for march break this year? Share your suggestions in the comment section below. And Subscribe to our newsletter to get all of our content first!
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