Dr. Alan Viau

Yoga teacher, health scientist, dad & stage artist

Museums for March Break and Beyond

March Break is coming way to soon for some parents. Many are frantically trying to find activities for the kids during their seasonal hiatus. Museums are an excellent value that can be used for more than just March Break.

It seems to come up awfully fast after kids go back to school after New Year‘s. March Break planning can send parents in a panic as they search for a meaningful activity for the kids. Frantic internet searches take up evenings with an eye on the budget. What can they do?

Earth

Earth display at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Photo by Alan Viau

We were the same way when our kids were at that stage, . Then we discovered museums. At the time, we lived in Guelph and decided to check out the Ontario Science Centre (OSC) in Toronto for March Break. The tendency is to arrive at the museum early and try to visit ALL the exhibits in one day. Sure! The result is tired and cranky kids that don’t make it through. You end up not enjoying the experience either.

A quick scan of the entrance fees led me to the family membership option. I figured purchasing a family membership would pay for itself in two visits. I bought it. That day we explored the OSC until the kids had exhausted their attention span – which was two hours. Great – we headed home and everyone was content with the day. We had lots more to discover at the OSC which we did over three more trips – each time coming home happy.

Crystals at Museum of Nature. Photo by Alan Viau

Crystals at Canadian Museum of Nature. Photo by Alan Viau

In Ottawa, we are fortunate in having many museums that all offer family memberships. I was at the recent opening of a new exhibit in the Vale Earth Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Nature. The display explains how geological forces have shaped our planet with a fascinating exhibition showcasing dazzling minerals and rocks. There are many interactive games and simulations, which visitors of all ages will enjoy.

Mining Display at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Photo by Alan Viau

Mining Display at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Photo by Alan Viau

The new exhibit is quite stunning with a large collection of minerals and gemstones. There is certainly enough there to capture both kids’ and parents’ attention.

Gemstone display at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Photo by Alan Viau

Gemstone display at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Photo by Alan Viau

Gemstones at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Photo by Alan Viau

Gemstones at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Photo by Alan Viau

If you are finished with the Earth Gallery there are numerous other exhibits to explore – including the popular dinosaur room. Throughout the year, the Canadian Museum of Nature hosts special exhibitions which is included in the family membership.

As a family we really enjoyed frequenting the OSC and staying as long or short as we wanted. Museum memberships offer the same value and can be a great place for March Break and beyond.

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This entry was posted on February 25, 2013 by in Dad Decisions and tagged , , , , , , , .

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