March Break in Canada Vacation Ideas

  • 01 of 10
    ••• Every March, students in Canada get a week or two off for March Break. Photo © Klaus Vedfelt /Getty Images

    Every March, Canadian school-aged kids (and their teachers) get a week off.  The week varies year to year and location to location (though provincial schools will tend to coincide).

    Many families in Canada take this break as an opportunity to head south to warmer temperatures, as by March, we're generally pretty fed up with winter.

    However, March Break is also a good time to stay put and check out some home-grown adventures, especially with the low Canadian dollar. 

    Skiing may still be viable March 2016 if you head for the mountains, like in Alberta and British Columbia. March can also be a more affordable time to travel to cities in Canada or destinations that are generally more popular in summer. 

    Be sure if you have kids in grades 4 or 5, you apply for their Canada Ski Pass, which for $30 lets them ski 3 times at the many participating resorts across Canada.

  • 02 of 10

    Mont-Tremblant, Quebec

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    ••• Canada, Quebec province, Laurentians region, Mont Tremblant, ski resort, the village and ski slopes at night seen from Tremblant lake frozen in winter. Photo © RENAULT Philippe / hemis.fr / Getty Images

    Quebec generally has an earlier March Break than the rest of the country. This is good news for families from other provinces as it cuts down the competition at hotels and ski resorts during their break later in March. 

    For example, Mont Tremblant, arguably the top ski destination in Eastern North America, is a popular getaway for Ontario families during their March Break when Quebec students have returned to school.

    In 2017, though special March Break programming is finished, Tremblant continues to offer night-time tubing, first-tracks skiing at 7:45 am, free skate rental and reduced rates for stays of two nights or more. 

    Porter Air flies into the Mont-Tremblant Airport (YTM), 40 minutes from the resort or fly into Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (airport code YUL) about 2 hours away. 

    Mont-Tremblant participates in the Ski Pass program, so if your kids are in grades 4 or 5 and live in Canada, be sure to apply online, and they will ski for free. 

     

  • 03 of 10
    ••• Niagara Falls in winter is cold and snowy. Photo © Peter Mintz / Getty Images

    Especially given the mild weather forecast for mid to late March 2017, Niagara Falls may be an unexpected pleasure. Chalk it up to the ups and downs of planning shoulder season vacations in Canada. 

    Though Niagara Falls in winter has an entrancing quality and winter festivals liven up the scene, warmer weather has distinct advantages for visiting this tourist town.

    Through March, Embassy Suites by Hilton (compare rates with TripAdvisor) is offering a Fallsview room starting at Cdn$119, plus taxes. The package includes breakfast, a $30 voucher for the on-site Keg Restaurant and other savings.

    Embassy Suites is close to all Niagara's action. As its name indicates, all the guest rooms are suites and so are perfect for families. 

     

  • 04 of 10
    ••• Manoir Hovey is a Relais & Chateaux property in Quebec's English Townships. Photo ©

    This Relais & Chateaux property in Quebec's swanky English Townships is a splurge, but the stately lakeside mansion does offer 3 for 2 package in which your third consecutive night's stay is free as long as it's not a Saturday (valid through June, 2017). 

    Though Manoir Hovey oozes luxury in all its details, from the antique furniture and linens that adorn the rooms to the curated collection of books and magazines in the lounge, the overall vibe is not precious. 

    During winter, enjoy the coziness of night time fires on the lake and a pub with a fireplace big enough to do a jig in. Other activities at the lodge include ice skating, ice fishing and snowshoeing, all equipment provided.

    In addition, four local downhill ski resorts round out the array of winter activities. 

    Sleep is usually well earned, comes easily and is deep at Manoir Hovey.

    As long as your kids know basic good manners and maybe even want to learn which fork to use for the shrimp cocktail, Manoir Hovey is a...MORE delightful and memorable family respite. 

    Read reviews and compare rates for Manoir Hovey on TripAdvisor.

     

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  • 05 of 10

    Gite du Mont-Albert, Quebec Parks

    ••• Gîte du Mont-Albert is a gloriously placed lodge in Quebec's Gaspésie region. Photo © Gîte du Mont-Albert

    Gloriously situated within Quebec's Parc national de la Gaspésie, Gite du Mont-Albert is a four-star hotel offering rural relaxation, fine food and stylish digs. Other highlights are the easy access to hiking trails - literally right across the street - as well as the Chic Choc mountains nearby. 

    All rooms at the gîte (French for "small hotel") received a much-needed renovation in 2014, so they are all equal at this point. But rooms higher up at the front have the sweetest views. 

    The location is remote, so consider if this is a family vacation that suits you. Active families who ski or hike and don't mind unplugging for a while would best enjoy this getaway. 

    A family of four can stay here - all taxes and the required park pass included - for less than $200 per night. That price takes advantage of the current (until March 25, 2017) stay 2 nights, get 50% off the third night package

  • 06 of 10

    Big White

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    ••• Big White Ski Resort is in Kelowna BC. Photo © Big White

    Big White: its name is not hyperbole.  British Columbia's second biggest mountain, next to Whistler, and Canada's biggest ski-in, ski-out village is also big on welcoming families. 

    Famous for its champagne powder, sunny conditions and comfortable climate, come March Break, this little town that could, aptly accommodates thousands of skiers in its wide range of hotels, condominiums, vacation homes and luxury cabins and moves them up and down the hills with impressive efficiency.

    Though in 2016, B.C. has its March Break a week before neighbouring Alberta's, there will be lots of crossover due to the Easter holiday a week later. Bottom line, it could be busy. 

    Check out package deals online and don't forget the Canada Ski Pass for kids in grades 4 and 5. They will ski free for three days. 

    See the best resorts in Canada for spring skiing. 

  • 07 of 10

    Valcartier Snow Park & Quebec City

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    ••• Valcartier. Photo © Jane McLean

    If the weather stays cold enough to keep snow on the ground, Valcartier Winter Playground, north of Quebec City, will stay open through March Break. 

    Lots of ski resorts have tubing as part of their activity line up, but Valcartier Winter Playground is devoted solely to creating tubing hills with speed and exhilaration in mind. Dozens of hills of varying lengths and inclines cover acres and acres of terrain.  A rope and pully system efficiently gets tubers up and down the hills. 

    If you're travelling with kids who need to burn some energy and get their sillies out, especially in conjunction with visiting Quebec City, which is more of a historical, cultural experience, Valcartier is the perfect diversion. 

    Compare rates at Valcartier Village online with TripAdvisor, or compare rates for Quebec City hotels

  • 08 of 10
    ••• Jia Pan Pan, one of the panda cubs at the Toronto Zoo, 2016. Photo © Toronto Zoo

    You'll have to decide if the cuteness factor trumps the crowd factor before you embark on a visit  to the Toronto Zoo this March Break.

    The big draw these days are the two giant pandas, who are part of a long-term conservation partnership agreement between China and Canada. They are in Toronto until 2018 and then move on to the Calgary Zoo. 

    The Delta Toronto East hotel has zoo packages available. Compare rates with TripAdvisor.

    Compare rates for all Toronto hotels

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Sugar Shacking

    ••• Sugar shacks in Eastern Canada make and serve maple syrup as the weather warms up in March. Photo © Quebec Region

    As temperatures begin to rise, sugar water starts to flow down through the trunk and root systems of maple trees across Eastern Canada. This sugar water is converted into the sweet sticky condiment Canada is famous for: maple syrup.

    Maple syrup production is an age old ritual in Canada, practiced both in traditional methods and with new technology. 

    Many "sugar shacks," as maple syrup production facilities are commonly known, are open to the public and serve maple-syrup centred meals, such as pancakes, baked beans, sausage, etc. 

    See a list of sugar shacks and maple syrup festivals in Toronto.

     

  • 10 of 10
    ••• Photo © F. Schussler / PhotoLink / Getty Images

    Canada in March is the end of winter and start to spring. You never know which seasonal weather you'll get. Canadians may find themselves donning a t-shirt and shorts or bracing for a snow storm in March, so flexibility is key. 

    This list comprises some destinations in Canada that we suggest for any March, but 2017 comes with its own set of special deals and with the low dollar, we will probably be rubbing elbows with our U.S. friends as well.