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Free Things to Do in Your City this March Break

Keep saving those pennies for a rainy day and spend March Break doing one of the many free things your city offers.

Free Things to Do in Your City this March Break

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March Break is right around the corner, and if you find your bank account is a little too stretched for a vacation, there are still lots of fun things you can do in your city that are free (or almost free) – not only are they inexpensive, but they will leave your kiddos with long-lasting memories. Keep saving those pennies for a rainy day and spend March Break doing one of the many free things your city offers.

Public library

Parents all too often forget how wonderful their community library can be. They have endless books, magazines, comic books, and movies that you can check out. What about getting a recipe book and trying some new dishes? Or a craft book? Also, be sure to check out what your local library might offer in terms of activities over March Break – they often have cool, interactive things that are free for families to do.

child sitting on the floor at a local library iStock
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Community pool/skating rink

Most cities have at least one indoor swimming pool open in the off-season, and it can be a great way to burn off some steam and spend a day exercising and having fun. You can also go ice skating at a city rink. If you don't feel like participating, check their schedules for local sports games that will help them and cheer on the home team.

Museums

Again, thanks to the break from school, many museums have special rates or even offer free days. Whether it's art, science, history, or pop culture, there is always something interesting to learn about. Check their schedules, too – they come up with a slate of daily activities that will keep kids busy and engaged throughout their week off.

kids at a local museum iStock

Take public transit

I live in Montreal, where we have numerous forms of public transport: metro (subway), bus, train, and a light rail system, and I'm always amazed when kids tell me they've never taken any of it. It's such a cool experience – you could take it to a destination and back again or stop off in an interesting area of the city you've never explored. And, thanks to March Break, some cities waive the fare for children and teens that week.

Federal and provincial parks

You'll find them in every province, and while each has something unique to offer, they all boast beautiful surroundings and many outdoor activities. Use this free time to go hiking, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing. And again, check their March Break activities for some one-of-a-kind stuff to do. National parks in Quebec offer free access to the parks three days a week until March 13, 2024, so take advantage of this special if you live nearby.

kids playing outside looking in the dirt iStock

Malls and sports stores

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We love our local mall, especially when my 10-year-old was younger. It has free open spaces to run around, different stores to check out, and you can bring all your own food and snacks. It's warm and cozy, with lots to see and do, and can be a great place to chill out, especially with littles. We also love sports stores like Decathlon, where you can "test" out some of their equipment – the one near us has a trampoline, rock-climbing wall, bikes, skates, a basketball hoop, and more. We can spend hours there, and it doesn't cost a thing.

Pet stores

One of our favourite places to wander around is a pet store. We love seeing all the different animals they have there. We peer into the amphibian tanks to find the camouflaged snakes and lizards, we try to get the parrot to say hello (or "bonjour," since even our pets respect the bilingualism of our province), and we admire all the different fish that are fascinating to look at. Just don't come home with a new pet (one of the risks of this free hangout).

woman holding a parrot at a pet store iStock

Local firehouse

Most firehouses love inviting kids to see what they do and to chat about important things like fire safety. And children find it equally fascinating to see the trucks up close and meet a firefighter or two. Call ahead to make sure it's okay to visit. And even though this is free, bringing them some baked goods to thank them for their service doesn't hurt.

Big-box chains

Many larger stores arrange fun in-house activities during March Break, a great way to lure in people and entertain kiddos. Places like Michaels Craft Store, Indigo Book Store, The Home Depot, and others will host different daily hands-on projects and demonstrations that kids and parents will love participating in.

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