10 ways to spend Spring Break in Edmonton

March 13, 2017

By Gene Kosowan

As the ice begins to melt, Edmonton Public Schools are set to take time off for Spring Break March 27 to 31, meaning there will be a gaggle of youngsters who claim they’ll have nothing to do. Here are 10 ways to remedy that complaint. [Photo credit: Alberta Ballet]

10 ways to spend Spring Break in Edmonton

Alice in Wonderland

Start the weekend off by taking the brood to Alberta Ballet’s production of Alice in Wonderland (March 24 and 25) at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. That’s where you can catch the protagonist ballerina fall down the rabbit hole into Lewis Carroll’s colourful imagination, where Mad Hatters imbibe tea, rabbits complain of tardiness and Cheshire cats grin from ear to ear. It’s all done courtesy of Edmund Stripe’s choreographic adaptation executed in pointe shoes.

Make It!

For the craftier kids in the family – as in sewing and knitting, as opposed to making trouble – there’s Make It! at the Edmonton Expo Centre (March 24 to 26), which dedicates the whole weekend to everything handmade. Here’s a chance to open young eyes to all that is possible when it comes to creating one-of-a kind items from clothing and artwork to fashions, knitwear, décor, photography and even pet accessories.

Victory at Vimy

With this year marking a century since Canadian forces took over the strategic Vimy Ridge in Europe during The Great War, here’s an opportunity to enthrall the young historian and social studies buff in your household. War historian Ted Barris holds court in Sherwood Park’s Festival Place (March 24) to present unique accounts of this pivotal victory that also marked Canada’s maturity as a nation. While you're there, check out an arsenal of World War One paraphernalia in the lobby.

Angry Birds Universe

Who would have thought that one of the biggest wastes of time on Facebook (which one could argue is also another unnecessary distraction) could turn into an educational experience for pre-teens? The Angry Birds Universe exhibit at the Telus World of Science, taking place every day during Spring Break, bases a number of activities on the virtual game that combines the laws of physics and math with a physical experience. The big attractions here include the climbing wall and a zipline that demonstrates to kids how they can simulate a bird into flight while having a universe of fun doing just that.

Popup Makerspace

Young inventors are already well-versed with Makey Makeys, a business card circuit board that enables them to make use of alligator clips and wires to make anything unusual, from banada pianos to primitive Nintendo games. With Popup Makerspace (March 28, 4 p.m.), the Mill Woods branch of the Edmonton Public Library opens its doors to kids who want to make a slew of fun stuff of this nature, whether they’re already old hands at it or just want to learn.


Discover more fun things to do in Edmonton:


Touch Lab: Leave Your Mark

During the rest of the year, kids are always being given the “look, but don’t touch!” treatment – especially when it comes to valuable art. Well, the Art Gallery of Alberta has a solution to that inconvenience by offering kids a chance to get interactive with the works in the Touch Lab: Leave Your Mark exhibition going on all week. It’s also one way that the attraction’s artist and designer Anna-Karolina Szul can examine how art’s form and presentation can be altered by time, as well as a little wear and tear.

Everything is Electric

Now here’s where kids can embark on a shocking experience that may even leave them with their hair standing on end. Enterprise Square is ground zero for Everything Is Electric (March 29), where elementary students can get to know all the positives and negatives about electric currents, circuits and even conductors. Watt a way to spend an afternoon!

Minecraft club

For parents not exactly in the know, Minecraft is a video game variation of the sandbox and building blocks that once amused young folks back in the day. The Londonderry branch of the Edmonton Public Library presents Minecraft Club (March 28), allowing pre-teen fans of the game to show off their digital fortresses, create three-dimensional designs or take on their pals in tournaments where they battle to capture the enemy’s flag. It’s recommended for kids eight to 12.

City Market downtown

Between the time Spring Break ends and school is back in session, how about treating the kids to something healthy, such as the homegrown affair that’s available at the City Market. April 1 bears witness to the 2017 launch of the market at City Hall, which will eventually move to 104 Street when it gets warmer. But for now, don’t miss out on the selection of farm-fresh food from the produce, meat and dairy on display as well as a variety of food, jewellery, art and fashions created by independent artists and merchants.

Peter and the Starcatcher

The weekend before the munchkins venture back to the hallowed halls of learning is probably a good time to remind them that growing up isn’t everything that’s meant to be. Hence the Citadel Theatre’s mounting of Peter and the Starcatcher (premiering April 1), which sees Neverland’s eternal youngster as well as more than 100 other unique characters swashbuckle their way through this enthralling, Tony Award-winning production.

Some of these activities are educational, some are strictly entertaining, while others offer the best of both worlds. But what they all have in common is that they’ll keep young hearts and minds occupied during that whole week when school isn’t in session. And for the parents, Spring Break will also serve as a preparation period for when school is definitely out... for the summer!

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