It's been a long, rough year since spring break 2020, but with COVID-19 case numbers mostly down and vaccinations ramping up, spring break 2021 is as good a time as ever to celebrate the now and do stuff.
Here's a selection of things to do in Metro Vancouver, virtual and otherwise, between March 13 and 28. (For live events, remember to wear a mask, physical distance, and follow all other COVID-19 safety protocols.)
From March 13 to 28 New Westminster's Fraser River Discovery Centre offers interactive family-friendly activities, tours, and online programs which explore the Fraser’s economic, environmental, and cultural contributions to B.C. Facilitated programs include Wax-Paper Watersheds, Animal Artifacts, Sustainable Fishing Challenge, and Clay Fish Creations.
March 13 to 15 and 20 to 22 at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre kids can learn about rockets through Rocket Launch. During the one-hour program families have 30 minutes to explore the exhibits in the Cosmic Courtyard Gallery and learn about the different types of rockets used in space exploration, then the other 30 minutes are spent building and launching a pop-bottle rocket.
CelticFest Vancouver goes online this year. Events include a virtual concert on March 13 featuring the Irish group Fire and Water, YouTube’s Allie Sherlock, and B.C. bands Blackthorn and the Fight Outside, and Family Day on March 14 with four sessions of Irish storytelling, music, and art for children of all ages.
The Britannia Mine Museum is introducing special educational programming during spring break as part of its year of STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art & Math) focus. From March 13 to April 1, daily at 11 am and 1:45 pm, the museum will host short interpreter-led STEAM “Mini Mud Monsters” sessions in the Terralab space, where families or COVID-19 bubble groups can learn about microorganisms in our freshwater ecosystems.
Storytime Saturdays at the Vancouver Maritime Museum feature free virtual storytime programs on Zoom for kids ages four and up. Intern Nikki Hashemian will read Kevin Kurtz's A Day in the Deep (March 13), Sheryl McFarlane's Jessie's Island (March 20), and Anne Wenderhoff's Sea Otters (March 27).
The Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre presents Night Flyers, an online event with biologist Danielle Dagenais from the BC Community Bat Program, on March 15. Kids can learn about the threats to bats--including the deadly disease known as White-nosed Syndrome, that's killing bats across North America--and discover how to help the bats living around their neighbourhoods.
Arts Umbrella is offering spring break programs that teach the fundamentals of each art form while helping children challenge their creative limits and discover new passions. Artist-instructors work with each young person to help them realize their full potential. This year Arts Umbrella is offering both remote online and live options March 15-19 and 22-26, with the in-person classes taking place on Granville Island and in South Surrey.
From March 15 to 19 the Vancouver Art Gallery is presenting Spring Into Art, virtual spring break programs that consider the many ways that we can express our ideas, identities, and stories through the real, imagined, and dream-worthy themes of Underwater, Underground, Playspace, Outerspace, and Intergalactic. Each workshop will be led by Family Programs coordinator Christina Jones and/or a local artist, who will share inspiring artworks and demonstrate imaginative activities that you can make from home. All workshops start at 1 pm Pacific time: Amabie Postcard Project with Cindy Mochizuki (March 15), Virtual Studio Tour with Sonny Assu (March 16), Playing with Sound and Movement (March 17), Space Comics with Cole Pauls (March 18), and Transformation and Imagination: Animal Collages with Sandeep Johal (March 19).
Kidtropolis in Richmond is putting on five-day camps for kids that feature games, art activities, pizza-making, movies, and walks to the park. The camps run from March 15-19 and 22-26, with meal and before/after care options.
Elevate Ultimate provides ultimate-frisbee and disc-golf camps for kids aged six to 19 at parks in Vancouver and Burnaby March 15-19 and 22-26. The program emphasizes the values of respect, teamwork, honesty, and sportspersonship.
Vancouver's Shoreline Studios presents acting camps for ages seven to nine, 10 to 12, 13 to 15, and 16 to 18. The actor-taught workshops run from March 15 to 19 and are meant to introduce students to what it takes to become working film and TV actors.
The Burnaby Village Museum is open daily for spring break from March 15 to 26. You can stroll through the 1920’s village and visit historical exhibits like the Burnaby Lake General Store, the Way Sang Yuen Wat Kee & Co. Herbalist shop, and the Jesse Love Farmhouse. Other events include blacksmith demonstrations and the feature exhibit Across the Pacific, which explores the history of Chinese-Canadians in Burnaby.
The Richmond Olympic Oval offers sports camps for kids aged four to 15 years--including field hockey, badminton, and learning to climb--from March 15 to 19 and 22 to 26. The venue also offers private skating lessons open to all levels of experience.
The Extraordinary Voyages spring break camps at Surrey's Historic Stewart Farm feature five adventures based on the books of Jules Verne. Campers will do crafts, play games, and explore history as they journey to the arctic, around the world, under the sea, and to the center of the Earth, before blasting off into space. March 15 to 19 is for six to 10 year olds; March 22 to 26 for ages eight to 12.
On March 16 at the Vancouver Public Library the 2021 Indigenous storyteller-in-residence, Kung Jaadee, will lead an online workshop on creativity and expression in the time of COVID. In this Zoom event for teens ages 13 to 18, Jaadee she will share tools on how to take experiences and turn them into art and stories.
The immersive Imagine Van Gogh exhibition is scheduled to open on March 19 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Created by French artistic directors Annabelle Mauger and Julien Baron, the event will bring more than 200 of Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh’s canvases to life in a spectacular way.
Maplewood Farm in North Vancouver is home to approximately 200 domestic farm animals, including goats, horses, pigs, rabbits, donkeys, sheep, and birds. Kids can feed the chickens, ducks, and bunnies, and there's a milking demonstration daily at 1:15 pm currently featuring Lima the jersey cow. The farm is open daily (except Monday) from 10 am to 4 pm.
Science World features interactive exhibitions designed to get children and families asking questions, making discoveries, and having fun with science. Bring young kids into the Eureka Gallery for fun at the water table, or introduce the budding inventor in your family to the Tinkering Space: Worksafe BC Gallery.
For outdoorsy types, last time we looked there was still snow on the local mountains, so visits to Grouse, Seymour, and Cypress are always an option for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowtubing, and tobogganing.