Events and deals: Guide to spring break 2019 in Metro Vancouver
CTV News Vancouver has put together a guide of some of the events and offers planned this spring break. (Photo from Vancouver Aquarium)
With many Vancouver-area schools putting classes on hold for two weeks this spring break, parents may be looking for ways to beat the boredom that can come from staying home.
Feeling uninspired? Looking for a new idea or something tried-and-true?
CTV News Vancouver has put together a guide of some of the events and offers planned for this March break, which for most school districts is the 18th to 29th.
The Vancouver Aquarium has a host of activities planned, including family sleepovers in front of one of the facility's marine galleries. The popular local attraction is also hosting AquaCamps for kids four to 12, featuring hands-on activities, crafts and outdoor time.
It will be extending its hours of operation from Saturday, March 16 to Sunday, March 31. The aquarium will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. during those two weeks.
Family programs are available at the Vancouver Art Gallery, including programs that let children make what they've seen in exhibits.
As part of Family Fuse Week, the gallery is hosting workshops and offering kids the opportunity to speak to experts about the work they see while visiting.
The gallery offers free admission for kids 12 and under every Sunday, provided they're accompanied by an adult, and admission is by donation on Tuesdays after 5 p.m.
Image from Vancouver Art Gallery / Dora Varga-Lencses
The Vancouver Police Museum is recruiting rookies! The facility is hosting a CSI spring break camp for junior detectives.
All sports are booked, but the museum has a waitlist in case of last-minute changes.
Want a history lesson with a great view? Check out the Vancouver Lookout, where kids can ask the attraction's guide about Vancouver landmarks and history or learn about clouds from above.
If you're planning to be downtown, FlyOver Canada is featuring its latest show, FlyOver America. Residents of B.C. can get a discount on tickets, and those who book tickets online to both the Canadian and U.S. shows can save more than 35 per cent.
For ways to get active and eat better, the Healthy Family Expo is on at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Sunday, March 24. Kids under 16 get in free, and access includes a rock wall, trampolines, an indoor beach, archery and bouncy castles.
Kids under four also get in free at the Bloedel Conservatory, and admission is less than $5 for anyone under 18.
If your children are more interested in indoor activities this year, the Vancouver Public Library has drop-in events planned both weeks at most branches. Activities include film screenings, puppet shows, Lego parties, story time, board games and crafts.
For budding scientists, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre will have two weeks of kid-friendly activities and programming focused on the sun and moon. No registration is required.
Activities are recommended for children aged seven and older.
Image from the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre
Love science, but not astronomy? Science World has interactive drop-in activities, live science shows and a new mirror maze exhibit. Topics range from construction to the ways animals adapt.
Music lovers should head to Trout Lake for Music on the Bow, a series of free live performances at the community centre. Shows are scheduled on Thursday, March 14 and Wednesday, March 20. There will also be an intergenerational sing-along on March 23.
More interested in theatre? The Carousel Theatre for Young People is hosting the musical "Elephant and Piggie's 'We Are in a Play!'" until March 31.
Over on the University of British Columbia campus, there will be a Community and Kids Festival on March 24. The event includes face painting, balloon art, a magician and prizes.
Also at UBC, kids can take part in Robotics Camps through the Daedalos Academy.
Have a new driver in the house? Or just a kid who loves cars? The Vancouver International Auto Show starts March 19 and runs until March 24, and family admission rates are available.
Future athletes can cheer on their favourite players at Rogers Arena during several Vancouver Canucks home games scheduled over spring break.
The Vancouver Whitecaps are away on March 16, but back at home at BC Place on March 30.
Raising a kid who loves adventure? Pacific Spirit Regional Park will line its trails with lanterns for Night Quest on March 23. The event is all ages but pet-free.
All trails are stroller accessible, and it's free to take part in the quest.
Photo from Metro Vancouver
Rides and games will fill part of the parking lot when the annual Lansdowne Centre Spring Carnival returns from March 21 to 31. Ticket information and hours are available online.
Over the next two weeks, kids can take part in the Spring Break Bobsleigh Challenge using a simulator at the Richmond Olympic Oval. Children get in free with an adult's admission.
There are prizes for the top three.
Head to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site for Mystery in the Museum – a self-guided exploration of the attraction's interactive exhibits. Younger kids can take part in Cannery Kids' Corner – an area with fishing-related toys, games and costumes. Admission is free for kids under 17.
The Richmond Public Library has family-friendly pop-up events, story time, sing-alongs and a Pokemon event all planned during spring break.
Animal lovers can sign up for Tales for Tails story time and shelter tour, hosted by the Delta Community Animal Shelter on March 25. Organizers warn that space is limited for the free classes, so parents should call ahead to register.
The Tsawwassen Arts Centre has an open stage event planned for March 27, with tickets for $5.
Some hotels and lodges in the area of Whistler Blackcomb are offering spring break savings for families. Many hotels are offering discounts for skiers and snowboarders who book their lift tickets and accommodations at the same time.
In addition to the slopes, the resort features a "magic castle," Nintendo gaming lounge private family lessons and adventure camps.
Spring break at the Britannia Mine Museum includes scavenger hunts, artifacts, colouring, crafts, hands-on science lessons and more. Admission is free for kids four and under, and the museum also has daily family rates.
Take part in Snowshoe and Fondue at the Sea to Sky Gondola on March 15, 16 and 17. The attraction offers free admission for kids under five, and also has an option for family passes.
Want to hit the slopes a little closer to home? Cypress Mountain is hosting two Family Fun Nights that fall within spring break, on March 22 and March 29. On those nights, the mountain has pizza and s'mores kits for sale, plus fire pits, music and more.
And on March 31, families can head to Hollyburn Lodge for Nordic Spring Fest, featuring pancakes, a barbecue, live music and the "dummy jump."
Photo from Cypress Mountain
The district also has several spring break day camps planned for the next two weeks, with themes ranging from dance and sports to art and science.
Celebrate Persian New Year at Ambleside Park on March 19. The party is free for children and includes live music, fire jumping, food and dance.
Looking for a way to keep active over the next two weeks? North Vancouver Recreation and Culture has Pool and Play passes on sale for $5.
The passes for children aged three to 18 allow unlimited access to public swimming, skating and gym sessions from March 15 to 31.
Head uphill for 24 Hours of Winter at Grouse Mountain. The slopes will be open 24 consecutive hours on March 23 to 24, and features a snowboarding skills competition, live snow sculpting, snow cave, s'mores, fireside talks, midnight snowshoeing and more.
Kids under six can get in free at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, an attraction that also features a cliffwalk and treetop board walk. The site has mini guided tours offered hourly.
Photo from Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is free, and this year, the park has several presentations planned during spring break. Kids can meet reptiles and birds, build a bee house and learn about bear safety, among other topics planned for March 17 to 28. There are also two "mini camps" scheduled during that time.
Become a farmer for a day at Maplewood Farm on March 26 and 28. The farm also offers pony rides, provided they're pre-booked, and lets kids feed the animals during their visit.
At Mount Seymour, March 24 is retro day. The event is free to enter (with a valid lift pass or season pass) and family-friendly. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favourite '70s, '80s or '90s gear.
Ski and snowboard passes are also currently on sale, and on Wednesday evenings, groups of three or more pay just $99 for everyone in the vehicle to ski.
The North Vancouver District Public Library has a variety of events planned, from Lego drop-ins and family dance parties to story time and movies.
Head to Burnaby Lake Regional Park for spring break activities and crafts from March 18 to 22. It's free and open to all ages.
The Burnaby Public Library has Learn to Camp sessions planned at the Bob Prittie Metrotown branch, and movie showings at McGill. Also among the upcoming children's events are Lego Club, crafts and puppet shows.
Step back in time at the Burnaby Village Museum, where admission is free and carousel rides are just $2.65. Spring break activities include games, demonstrations and crafts.
Skate for just $2 on March 16 at a St. Patrick's Day-themed event at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre. Face-painting, crafts and games will also be available. An Easter-themed toonie skate is scheduled for the following Saturday.
The City of New Westminster has drop-in classes and day camps planned at the Queensborough and Centennial community centres, as well as the Anvil Centre, Queen's Park and Irving House.
Among other topics, there are camps that teach kids how to cook, act, design video games, perform magic tricks and more. There are also babysitter training courses and CPR courses planned over spring break.
The city also offers classes at the Youth Centre and two themed family swims.
The Emerald Pig Theatrical Society is putting on several performances of "The Three Musketeers" at the Inlet Theatre. The show's family-friendly, but there are scenes of sword-fighting that may frighten young children, producers warn.
Also at the theatre, children's movies will be screened on March 22, 27 and 29. Admission is free, but seating is first come, first served.
The Sasamat Outdoor Centre is running spring break day camps for kids aged six to 12. Activities include canoeing, archery, rock climbing, camp crafts, hiking and nature games.
Celebrate French-Canadian culture at the annual Fesitval du Bois from March 22 to 24 at Mackin Park. Visitors will enjoy music, dance and traditional food, plus shows for kids and activities.
Photo from Festival du Bois
As part of its Spring Break Festival, the Evergreen Cultural Centre is putting on productions of "Sleeping Beauty," "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Romeo and Juliet" during the week of March 18.
The City of Coquitlam has events planned including a St. Paddy's Day swim and obstacle course at the City Centre Aquatic Complex.
Kids aged five to 12 can join in the free family fun at Pinetree Community Centre. This year's spring break event is focused on physical literacy, helping youth develop the skills and confidence to live a physically active life.
Spring break in PoCo includes sports-themed day camps at the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre. The city also has art and theatre camps, but both have waitlists.
At the Terry Fox Library, kids 10 and up can try out virtual reality games and educational experiences on March 26.
Enjoy a 45-minute guided nature walk through Tynehead Regional Park, ending at a campfire, on March 30. Organizers provide stories and roasting forks, but ask participants to bring their own marshmallows and songs.
Take part in spring break day camps at the Nature Centre, with activities including fishing, games and orienteering.
The City of Surrey is offering a Family Fun Pass this year, which gives families access to all public pools, arenas, gyms and fitness rooms for one flat rate. Prices range from $11.50 for children to $23 for adults, and discounts are available for students and seniors.
Head to the Museum of Surrey for Dinosaur Days, a drop-in all-ages event that includes crafts, hands-on exploration and games.
Image from the City of Surrey
As another part of your history lesson, check out Historic Stewart Farm to see how people lived in Surrey in the year 1900.
TOWNSHIP OF LANGLEY
The Greater Vancouver Zoo has family passes available for animal lovers. The zoo has 140 different species, and hosts hourly keeper talks.
"Experience the forest through the eyes of a gnome on a one-hour nature quest," Metro Vancouver says of the Enchanted Forest event at Aldergrove Regional Park on March 21. Visitors are encouraged to bring food to roast on the campfire and wear their favourite costumes.
Kick off spring break in the virtual world with games at the City of Langley Library on March 16. Younger kids can get creative with Play-Doh at the same location on March 26.
Harry Potter fans can get some extra credit this month in a wizardry class at the Brookswood Library. Learn to make potions, get sorted into a Hogwarts House and pose for photos at Platform 9 ¾.
Go to the Fort Langley National Historic Site for old-fashioned fun. Admission is free for youth 17 and under.
There's a Pitt Troopers spring break day camp put on by the city that includes indoor and outdoor activities, games, crafts and sciences.
The city also has planned a Youth March Madness Basketball event for teens at the Pitt Meadows Family Recreation Centre, which is free, but requires signup.
Laugh and sing along at the Maple Ridge Public Library during the Springtime Tales Puppet Show on March 19. Other spring break events at the branch include painting, a toddler dance party, family movie day and story time.
Planning to spend your spring break in Abbotsford? Learn to fish in a three-hour session at the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery for $10 per youth.
Highstreet Shopping Centre is holding a scavenger hunt both weeks, with a $250 gift card up for grabs. The mall also has a story time and craft event planned on Tuesday mornings.
Sevenoaks Shopping Centre will feature a Lego certified professional builder making an Abbotsford mural, and there's a Lego play area for kids. The mall also has some science-related presentations scheduled and two theatre productions on March 25.
Along the same theme, the Abbotsford Community Library is holding a Lego bridge building contest on March 26. The branch is also hosting a spring break "crafternoon" on the 21st, story time on the 22nd, 23rd, 27th and 30th and coding workshops on the 25th.
The Abbotsford Arts Centre is putting on a production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" on March 22 and 23, and March 26 to 30.
The Chilliwack Cultural Centre is hosting kids' art camps that allow participants to choose a class at a time. Themes include superheroes, Pokemon, theatre, sewing, dance, journaling and more.
Learn how to program a robot at a drop-in workshop at the Sardis Library on March 21. Other events at the branch include rock painting, Lego Club and virtual reality.
The library also has an upcoming show with Norden the Magician, which is a ticketed event on March 25.
Graphic from the Fraser Valley Regional Library
The Mission Library asks who will win: heroes or villains? Kids 12 to 18 are asked to dress up and choose a side, then compete in a series of challenges to see who emerges as the winner.
Cineplex is offering steep discounts for family favourites starting at 11 a.m. Monday to Friday during the break. Tickets are just $2.99 each for "The Grinch," "Mighty Pups," "Smallfoot" and "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" at participating theatres.
A list of theatres is available online. The same offer is on every Saturday at the same time, and each weekend is a different film.
Landmark Cinemas in New Westminster and Surrey are also offering a March break promotion. Tickets are $3, and $1 from each ticket goes to Kids Help Phone. Movies under the Landmark promotion include "Spider-Man: Spider-Verse," "Aquaman" and "Bumblebee."
Chapters and Indigo stores across Canada have activities planned, but availability varies, so parents are advised to contact their local store to find out if they're hosting events.
Mastermind Toys franchises are having free events every day at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. from March 18 to 22 in B.C. Activities include colouring, making slime and painting plaster figures. Space is limited and participants must sign up in-store before each event.
Science World is going on the road, with stops in White Rock, Port Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Pitt Meadows, Mission, Agassiz, Hope and more. "From flying chickens to hair-raising electrical displays," kids are invited to experience the hands-on demonstrations at several branches of the Fraser Valley Regional Library.