March break is nearly here, and those looking to save a buck and staycation close to home are in luck, with several local organizations offering up family-friendly events throughout next week.
The City of London says it will be hosting several drop-in recreation programs across the city throughout the week, including badminton, basketball, public skating, roller skating, and recreational swimming, among others. A full list of activities provided by the city can be found through London’s Play Your Way online portal.
Londoners wanting to hit the slopes can do so at Boler Mountain, which will be open through the week. Ski and snowboard programs will also be available for March break for children aged six to 12 (seven to 12 for snowboarding). Tubing is also available, and plenty of slots are still available.
River Valley Golf and Tube, located on Hwy. 7 just outside St. Marys, will also be open through March Break.
For those looking to expand the mind, there is plenty to do in town, with programming at London Children’s Museum, the London Public Library, Fanshawe Pioneer Village, and the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum.
Various London Public Library branches have free, drop-in and registered March break programming going on throughout the week, including chess, family movie time, and spy school. Other programming options include a comic book jam on Wednesday at the downtown Central branch, games of chance at various library branches, and STEAM activities. A full programming list can be found here.
The London Children’s Museum will have March Break programming running Monday to Friday, featuring different themes for each day, said Andera Novak, marketing and communications coordinator with the museum.
“We have interactive special guests that are joining us, daily themes, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) programming,” Novak said. “We have collection spotlights that are highlighting just a few of our 7,000 artifacts, plus we have all-day themed play for children and their grown-ups.”
Monday will feature environment-related programming, including seed planting, a whale baleen display, and the building of a collaborative recyclable art sculpture.
Space and dinosaurs will be the focus of programming on Tuesday, featuring a dinosaur dig pit, fossil shows, star shows, meteorites, and a paint party. Other themes include tech and science on Wednesday, art on Thursday, and the imagination on Friday.
“All of these programs and special guests are included in our general admission, or they are free for members. We are encouraging people to register or purchase their tickets in advance just save time at the door when they arrive, but we are also welcoming walk-ins,” Novak said.
Museum admission is $10 each for adults and children over two, $5.50 for children between 13 and 24 months, and free for infants 12 months and under.
In the city’s northeast, Fanshawe Pioneer Village will be offering free family drop-in activities on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the Spriet Family Visitor Centre from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The all-ages event will feature the Trillium Community Gallery Exhibit “Downtime in the Village,” along with 19th-century games, parlour toys, and more, said Christina van Hardeveld, public programming coordinator at the village.
“The ‘Downtime in the Village’ exhibit is a small exhibit that’s taking place inside our Trillium Community Gallery, and it is a few of our permanent collection items… coming out from our collection, so you can see them on display,” van Hardeveld said. “We’re lucky to have the violin of Guy Lombardo, a famous London musician from the early 20th century, on display from Museum London.”
The heritage village is still closed for the winter season, and will reopen on the Victoria Day long weekend in May.
At the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum on Oxford Street East, day events will be taking place from March 13 to 17 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., including crafts, scavenger hunts, Morse code, and more.
Just outside of the city, Longwoods Road Conservation Area in Mount Brydges will also feature a week of activities, including guided walks, pottery making, tool making, nature bingo, habitats and communities exploration, and more.
There are a number of events scheduled to take place in the downtown core next week, many family-friendly, according to Tourism London, including a Bubbleology Show, a show by Ricky the Magician, and Dotsy the Clown, all at Covent Garden Market.
Other events include Art Now! A Conversation with Angie Quick at Museum London, Larnell Lewis & Joy Lapps in Concert at Wolf Performance Hall, and a performance by dancers from the Goggin-Carroll School of Irish Dance at the Covent Garden Market.
Also at the market, March 17 will see a St. Patrick’s Day event hosted by the London Beer Fest in Rotary Square from 4 p.m. to midnight, while a Maple Syrup Festival will set up shop inside the market on March 18. Meanwhile, Original Kids will be staging Camp Rock the Musical upstairs from March 10 to 18.
At RBC Place London, beer and tacos will be the name of the game on March 18 for the I Heart Beer & Taco Festival, while in the Old East Village, the Palace Theatre will be staging Roald Dahl’s MATILDA The Musical from March 10 to 12, and a school edition of Sweeney Todd from March 17 to 19.
Elsewhere, TAP Centre for Creativity will host the play White Rabbit Red Rabbit by Nassin Soleimanpour on March 13, described as an “audacious theatrical experiment and a potent reminder of the transgressive and transformative power of theatre.”
At Budweiser Gardens, the London Lightning play at home against Sudbury on March 15 and Kitchener-Waterloo on March 16, while the London Knights will take on Kingston on March 17.
An even more comprehensive list of events can be found on the Tourism London website.
Know of an event we didn’t list? Email us at [email protected].