Also available in: French
Spring break 2021 will be quite different than in previous years. But, for us outdoor enthusiasts, it’s the perfect excuse to spend more time in the great outdoors! Need inspiration for what to do to enjoy it to the fullest, even during an unprecedented pandemic? Look no further! Here are our suggestions for a spring break to remember.
1. Head out on a spring hike
There is a plethora of beautiful parks to visit and enjoy in the province of Ontario. And whether you’re a beginner or expert hiker, there is no lack of available trails to try! Fresh air, calming views, and getting your fill of energizing exercise with your family – or small, socially-distanced outdoor group (make sure to follow government guidelines!) – is just the ticket for this week of rest. Depending on your hike of choice, select either hiking boots or hiking shoes, the right accessories and gear, and you’re sure to get a well-deserved breath of refreshing spring air.
Check out the Ontario Parks website for more ideas.
2. Try out trail running
For the slightly more daring – we see you! – now is the time to try out something you may have never done before. To amp up your spring break outing, you may decide to test out this sport that is ever-growing in popularity! Trail-running offers more than just a run around the block. Get close to nature, test out your footing on varying terrain, and give yourself an exciting, new challenge by timing yourself or monitoring your steps and heart rate with a smart watch or fitness tracker. A well-designed, comfortable pair of trail running shoes and proper hydration are musts.
3. Camping season begins early this year
If you’re still being wary about camping, there’s no need to fret. Try it out in your own backyard! Who says campgrounds are the only place to enjoy a night out under the stars? Gear yourself up with the right tent, lamps, mats, chairs and sleeping bags and you’re all set.
4. Geocaching with the fam
If you’ve never heard of geocaching, spring break can be the perfect time to get into this activity – solo, or with the family! With over 6 million logged geocaches around the world, this activity consists of hiding a small object somewhere outdoors and linking it to an app with geographical coordinates and clues on how to find it. You can hide your own caches, or head out on the hunt to log caches that others have hidden.
This activity often requires a GPS, geocaching app, and a comfortable pair of hiking or walking shoes to do your searching. To learn more about it and how to get started, read more about geocaching and you’ll be ready to go.
5. Outdoor treasure hunt
It doesn’t take much to entertain the kids. You just need a bit of creativity! Pick a few things to hide in the house, in a nearby park or in the woods near your home, time the little ones as they put on their jackets and lace up their shoes, and then head out on the hunt for the hidden treasures. Think about some fun clues to include and have fun with it – you can even ask your kids to pick special detective names for themselves! Crown the winner or offer a chocolate medal. You’ll have a blast as a family.
With a good pair of binoculars, map, and sometimes a guide, birdwatching is an educational spring activity for the whole family. Before heading out, read up on the different bird species in your area, and where to go to see some of the best and most original ones. The kids will love this! If you’d prefer to stay closer to home, build a bird feeder with the little ones and research what different bird foods will attract your feathered friends straight into your own backyard. You’ll be sure to enjoy the sights of these magnificent, colourful creatures.
7. Waterfront walks
No matter where you live in Ontario, there is a canal, a river, or a lake within driving distance. And of course, in southern Ontario, the waterfront of Lake Ontario is a sight to see. Why not put on some comfortable, technical outdoor clothing and head out for a long walk along the water wherever you live? You may choose to bring your bicycle, a ball to throw around (have you tried out this ice cream ball?), and even your furry family friend to enjoy the outdoors! Don’t forget to layer up this time of year, as the weather can often be unpredictable. It’s a guaranteed enjoyable time whether you head out with the family, your partner, or a friend.
8. Picnic in a park
Who doesn’t love a picnic? Especially when the weather is mild and you’ve been stuck indoors for most of the winter! Feel free to get creative with your meals with all kinds of camp kitchen gear. And if you’re going with your family, bring along some garden or board games to play or learn try out different ways to make coffee in the outdoors for a fun challenge! And if you need some solo time in a peaceful park, bring along an exercise mat and do your workout in nature.
9. Observe the wildlife
Love animals? Well, the very beginning of spring is the perfect time to catch a glimpse of creatures you have never had a chance to observe. In the right place, at the right time, view animals awakening in all their splendor. Sightings of deer, whales, chipmunks, beavers, otters and more are not uncommon, you just have to know when are where to look. Read our tips to stack the odds in your favour when it comes to partaking in this exceptionally unique outdoor activity.
10. Survival skill workshop
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you can never have too many survival skills up your sleeve. For a fun family activity, why not introduce the kids, or your partner, to some survival activities in a survival skill workshop – organized by you! Practice building a fire, using a compass, purifying water; or bring along flashlights and walkie-talkies for testing. Even bringing books to read outdoors about different animal and fish species would make for an interesting and educational discussion. How you plan it is completely up to you! Reward the littles with badges for every skill they learn or have them draw up their own checklist that they can check off themselves.
Also available in: French