In case you don’t have school aged kids and hadn’t heard… it’s Spring Break. While it might not make as big a difference to those of us with kids under 5, it sure means that there’s a lot of family events over the next two weeks! I’m happy about the “spring” part if it means more green and warmth, and with a teacher for a husband, I’m looking forward to the “break” of having a helping hand at home, too! Enjoy the change in the season…
Free Spring Break Activities at the Library over Spring Break
Many of the library branches around town have great programs for entertaining little ones, and they’ve ramped up the schedule for spring break. Here’s a run-down of the programs that don’t have a designated age range and would be better for kids under 5. You can find more, including programs for older kids such a Lego, more crafts, origami and “Share Your Favourite Book” events, at the Vancouver Public Library website. (Choose “Programs for Children” and type in “spring break” in the search menu).
- Spring Craft Workshop – Tuesday March 19, 2:00 – 3:30 pm, Kerrisdale Branch: 2112 West 42nd Avenue
- Puppet Show – Wednesday March 20, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, Champlain Heights: 7110 Kerr Street
- Wacky Animal Stories and Puppets (ages 4 – 6) – Thursday March 21, 11:00 – 11:45 am, Fraserview Branch: 1950 Argyle Drive
Puppet Show – Tuesday March 26, 10:15 am-11:00 am, Hastings Branch: 2674 East Hastings Street
- More Wacky Animal Stories and Puppets (ages 4 – 6) – Thursday March 28, 11:00 – 11:45 am, Fraserview Branch: 1950 Argyle Drive
- Movies, Scavenger Hunts and Artwork – See dates below, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Children’s Library, 350 West Georgia Street
- Tues March 19: Movie “Wreck-It Ralph”
- Wed March 20: Scavenger Hunt
- Thurs March 21: Movie “Stuart Little”
- Sat March 23: Artwork “Studio Saturday”
- Tues March 26: Movie “Rise of the Guardians”
- Wed March 27: Scavenger Hunt
- Thurs March 28: Movie “Hop”
“Kidz Zone” Playgym Activities Downtown, $3.25 – $4.25
Where: King George Secondary School Gym, 1755 Barclay St (near Denman and Robson)
What: This event sounds like a playgym on steroids, so it’s a great option for rainy days anytime in the next two weeks. Included is an 18-foot wave slide, bouncy castle, a “huge” obstacle course and pedal cars. Parent supervision and socks required (shoes off, kiddos!). Prices are: Toddlers (6 mths-2 yrs) $3.25/child, Preschoolers (3-5 yrs) $3.75/child, Child (6-12 yrs) $4.25/child. Call for more information (604-257-8454) and check out the Mini-Kidz Zone facebook page.
Crafts, A Dragon and Balloon Art at Kids Market in Granville Island
When: March 18 – 29 (see details below)
Where: Kids Market at the entrance to Granville Island (on the right), 1496 Cartwright St.
What: Although it’s risky on the wallet to take a self-aware tot / child into a massive collection of toy stores, Monita has enjoyed just looking at everything so far. If you’re stuck for something to do over the next two weeks, Kids Market has daily activities on (including a free craft during weekdays) to entertain you and your kid. Including:
- Make a craft from recycled materials: Monday to Friday – 11:00 am to 3:30 pm (Main Floor), Free
- Bee Bop the Clown – facepainting and balloon art: Daily – Noon to 3:00 pm (2nd floor landing), $5 and up
- Sand Art: Monday to Friday – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm (2nd floor party room), $5
- Rainbow the Dragon: Sundays March 17, 24 and 31 – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, free (as far as I can tell…)
Free Spring Break Games and Crafts, River District Centre
Where: River District Centre, 8683 Kerr Street (At SE Marine Dr.)
What: The River District Centre is offering free “crafter-noons” with games and crafts suitable for older kids or mature younger kids. In addition to traditional games like Jenga and Scrabble, they’ll have Xbox games, Just Dance and the opportunity to get messy with some crafts. Check out more details here.
Family Art Fun at Roundhouse (ages 2 – 8, $2 donation)
Where: Roundhouse Community Centre at 181 Roundhouse Mews (map), near Yaletown Skytrain
What: If you missed making an artistic creation together as a family in the past couple of months, come to Roundhouse Community Centre’s final “Make it Mondays!” this season to get your chance. Families and kids aged 2 – 8 are invited to experiment and create art together for a fraction of the cost of the regular art programs. Bring a $2 donation to cover costs and an open mind. Head to Room A at the Roundhouse Community Centre to drop in!
Free Easter Activities at City Square – Easter Egg Hunt, Magic Shows and Free Photos
Where: 555 West 12th Ave (on the Northwest corner of the 12th and Cambie intersection, directly across from City Hall)
What: City Square Shopping Centre is hosting Easter-themed events for free, including an Easter Egg hunt, magic shows, face painting, and a “giggle booth” that lets you take home free photos. There will also be cookie decorating by donation ($3 minimum donation requested). Not a bad place to stop for an Easter fix, particularly since it’s on the Skytrain line and a good option for free Saturday fun if it’s raining.
Easter Egg Hunts at Community Centres ($5)
Where and What: There are two Easter egg hunts for kids at community centres this weekend. Pre-registration is a good idea, since these events tend to sell out. See the links below for more details!
- Douglas Park Community Centre – Saturday, March 23 (3 to 8 years), 11:00am – 12:30pm. Includes: Outdoor Easter Egg hunt with the Easter Bunny. Rain or shine! ($5)
- Hastings Community Centre – Saturday, March 23 (under 5 years), 11:00am–1:00pm. Includes: Easter Egg Hunt in the Parent Tot Gym. There will be crafts, face painting, tattoos, and the play area . ($5)
More Easter-related events are coming up in the next few weeks at many community centres. See the full list so you can reserve a spot in advance.
Interactive Programs about Wildlife
Is your kid crazy for animals? While these programs sounds like they would be better suited to kids older than 5, they could also be a fun, and free, stop for your little one to learn a bit more about the local wildlife or even some exotic animals if you’re willing to hop at train to Richmond.
A Day in the Life of a Wildlife Rescuer – South Hill Library, free
When: Tuesday March 19, 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Where: South Hill Branch Library, 6076 Fraser Street
What: In this program, kids will learn about the operations of a wildlife hospital, the dangers faced by wildlife in urban environments, and how we can help wildlife. There will be interactive stations with activities. Please pre-register for the program at the South Hill Branch, or by calling them at 604-665-3965.
Wildlife Safari – Joe Fortes Library, Downtown, free
When: Thursday March 21, 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Where: West End Community Centre, Joe Fortes Branch Library, 870 Denman Street
What: Hosted by the Stanley Park Ecology Society, this is an interactive wildlife program for kids. Pre-registration is not required, but you can get more information at the Joe Fortes Branch or by calling them at 604-665-3972.
Wildlife Weeks – Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre, by donation ($2 or $5/family)
When: March 17, 18, 20, 22, 25, 26, 27 (see details below)
Where: Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre, 3663 Park Road, North Vancouver
What: Check out shows and activities featuring reptiles, birds of prey, bears, salmon, arctic animals and more. There are many programs on over the next two weeks that you can drop into. Find the details on the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre site. If you’re willing to pay a little more than $5, you can also join the first “Imagine and Explore” program Saturday March 23rd, which is a walk with stories specifically for children aged 3 – 6 with an adult ($8.25 / child). Pre-register for Imagine and Explore at 604-990-3755. All other programs are drop-in.
Exotic Reptile Show, Richmond Nature Park, by donation
When: March 23 and 24, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Where: Richmond Nature Park, 11851 Westminster
What: Presented by the West Coast Society for the Protection and Conservation of Reptiles, you can meet geckos, snakes, lizards and herpetologists (experts in reptile behaviour and care).