A rambly review of some of my favourite ideas for March Break family fun in Ottawa

by DaniGirl on March 8, 2014 · 2 comments

in Ottawa Family Fun

Two years ago just after the March Break, it it 26C in Ottawa. Sigh, remember that? I don’t think we’ll hit shorts weather this year on the March Break, but after a deep freeze of a winter the forecasted near zero temperatures will make it just about perfect for getting out of the house and having some fun with the kids. Here are some of my favourite ideas for March Break fun in and around Ottawa.

We recently discovered the Diefenbunker, which is WAY more fun for kids and grown-ups alike than I ever expected!


For those of you who don’t know it, the Diefenbunker is a decommissioned military base. Back during the cold war, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker had a complex built deep under some pastoral meadows in Carp, on the very western edge of Ottawa, to house Canada’s top government officials in the case of a nuclear attack. It was the biggest of a series of such complexes built at the time, known as the Continuity of Government plan. From the Diefenbunker website:

The Diefenbunker is a four-story, 300 room, 100,000 square foot underground bunker, and was meant to house 535 Canadian government officials and military officers in the event of a nuclear war. Shrouded in mystery, the Diefenbunker, nicknamed after then Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, was designed and built in secrecy during the crest of Cold War fear, between 1959 and 1961. The name of the facility was given by a Toronto Star journalist who exposed a story of its development.

Read more about our visit to the Diefenbunker here.

Another favourite excursion was to the RCMP stables – and it’s free!

RCMP stables tour

Most people have heard of the RCMP’s Musical Ride, featured on the back of the Canadian $50 bill, but did you know the stables where they keep and train those magnificent horses is right here in Ottawa? I’d been meaning to take the boys down there for ages, but never got around to it. On Sunday morning, we were invited to join Simon’s Beaver scout colony for a private tour, and I have to tell you, I was amazed that I don’t hear more people raving about this.

Read more about our trip to the RCMP stables here.

Last year, I blogged suggestions for five days of family fun in Ottawa, including suggestions for a touristy day, an expensive but fun day of play, a fresh-air day, learning day, and a stay at home day. A couple of years before that, I blogged about seven days of FREE family adventures around Ottawa.

New to us this year is the idea of skiing. Did you know you can get a lesson, a lift pass and rentals for only $49 at Calabogie Peaks or Mount Pakenham?

First day on skis :)

I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest a visit to a sugar bush this time of year. We love the Log Farm off Cedarview near Barrhaven and Stanley’s Old Time in Metcalfe, but I don’t know what their hours are this year. Ottawa Start has a great map of local sugar bushes on their site.

March break at the Log Farm (3 of 9)

My very favourite thing to do this time of year is get the heck out of the house. Get yourself a bag of birdseed and feed the chickadees on the Jack Pine Trail – my kids never get enough of this one!

Brothers on a winter walk

What are YOU doing this March Break?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 valerie March 8, 2014 at 9:45 pm

My kids get two weeks of March Break, so 2 yrs ago we were sitting on the hill watching the musical ride train IN SHORTS. It was awesome. Last year we were skiing – looks like this year, too. I think the sap isn’t running yet for the sugar bush, unfortunately.

2 Peady March 9, 2014 at 10:59 am

I like your round up and love your photos!

We LOVE the Little Log Farm (I call that Nepean!) and always had the best time there. We were actually there during that very warm day and it was fabulous. The kids were in winter jackets, which were unzipped and wide open, no snow pants required. The woods were still very full of snow, though, so it was really fun trudging in to collect sap and joyously being knee-deep in snow and then feeling toasty warm – even as the melting snow left wet knees. ๐Ÿ˜€

I agree being outside is the best, so we also would feed the chickadees at Stony Swamp and spent time outside at the Agricultural Museum. Of course, classics such as the SciTech Museum and the Museum of Nature are always wonderful!

We are still getting our bearings in Halifax and are searching for fun and FREE things to do! I’ll let you know how it goes! ๐Ÿ™‚

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