Compiled by Jenna Morton
Grab a towel, a bathing cap, and a twoonie (per person) and head to the pool this March Break. Family swims are being held at CEPS Louis-J.-Robichaud (Monday, 9:30am to 11:30 am), St. Pat’s Family Centre (Wednesday, 4pm to 6 pm), and the Moncton YMCA (Friday, 6:30pm to 8:30 pm).
In Riverview, the Pat Crossman Aquatic Centre is holding daily public swims starting at 2pm and family swims on Wednesday and Friday from 4pm to 6pm. Admission is $3 per child, $4 per adult, $2 per senior, or $10 per family.
Swimming is on the agenda three times a day at the Dieppe Aquatic Centre (10am – 11:25pm, 2pm – 3:55pm, and 6pm – 7:25pm). This special schedule runs through until Sunday, March 8. All three pools are open during the swims; the recreational pool varies in depth from 0 to 1.4 metres (perfect for the littlest water lovers), a 17-foot waterslide, and a children's pirate ship. The evening swims will include either the inflatable structure or the Ice Tower.
Lace ‘em up at the Red Ball Internet Centre on Monday and Wednesday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm for free. There’s also free skating at the Kay Arena (Crossman Community Centre) on Thursday from 2pm until 3:30pm, and on Friday from 3:30pm until 4:30pm.
Don’t forget Moncton’s outdoor rinks (Centennial Park, Victoria Park, Mapleton Park, Riverfront Park, and City Hall); you can find details about the ice conditions updated daily online.
The Byron Dobson Arena is offering free public skating each week day during March Break between noon and 2pm.
You can take the family to the ice for free in Dieppe Monday through Thursday, from 2pm to 3pm, at both the Centenaire and Arthur-J.-LeBlanc Arenas; there are also free hockey and ringette sessions detailed on their holiday schedule. Dieppe also maintains two outdoor rinks at Rotary St-Anselme Park (one for skating, one for hockey and ringette); check online for conditions.
On Friday, March 6, you can skate on the outdoor rink at Place 1604, while the Big Bad Marty Band entertains on stage. There will be bonfires and hot chocolate.
Head to Shediac’s Festival Arena for free public skating on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30am to 10:30am, as well as 3pm to 3:50pm on Wednesday. There will also be a free skate Saturday from 6:25pm to 7:25pm. There is also skating at the outdoor rinks in Pascal Poirier Park, Jubilee Park, and Ourson Park.
The Ski Hut at Camp Centennial will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am until 4pm. You can rent youth and adult snow shoes and cross country skis to explore the park. The costs range from $5 to $10 per person; rentals are also available on Saturday and Sunday. There will also be an introductory course for youth aged 12 and over on Wednesday; call 853-3507 to register.
The trails in Rotary St-Anselme Park in Dieppe are open to snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
In Riverview, there are 15km of groomed trails in Mill Creek Nature Park, behind the Bridgedale Community Centre at the top of Manning Road; these trails are ideally suited for intermediate level skiers.
A 680m long trail that leaves the parking lot of Moncton's Irishtown Nature Park and loops back is also used for snowshoeing.
One of the easiest winter sports of all! Every neighbourhood has its favourite hills, but there are a few municipally approved toboggan runs at Centennial Park in Moncton and Rotary St-Anselme Park in Dieppe. In Riverview, head to Winter Wonderland Park, on Quinn Court (off Gunningsville Boulevard). There’s also a giant slide at Pascal Poirier Park in Shediac.
Have you checked out the Indoor Skatepark and Youth Centre in Riverview? A full indoor skateboard park, a multi-purpose youth centre, video game area, interactive games, and a resource library. If not, there’s a free all ages skate Friday from 2pm until 10pm.
Bring your indoor sneakers and sense of fun to the Crossman Community Centre for Open Gym time, Monday through Friday, from 10:30am until 4pm. (Don’t forget the walking track is open to strollers and walking aids each day from 10:30am until 12:30pm; for more indoor walking options with strollers, see our previous post.)
Cineplex at Trinity Drive is giving parents a break on admission for March Break with Toonie Matinees Monday through Friday. Along with a Toonie ticket, you can buy a kids combo for $5.50 plus tax. The movies are Annie (showtime 10:10am), Mr. Peabody and Sherman (10:50am), Rio 2 (9:50am and 11:10am), and The Pirates (10:30am).
Admission to Resurgo Place comes with a whole lot more during March Break. There will be drop in crafts and experiments Monday through Saturday, between 11am and 4pm. Monday is a Battle Balloons, Tuesday is Sail Cars, Wednesday is Rocket Balloon Cable Cars, Thursday is Marshmallow Catapult, Friday is Rocket Boats, and Saturday is Cloud in a Bottle. There’s also the ongoing exhibit, A Perfect Match: Sports vs Science, which is a great way to get everyone moving. Check the museum website for admission prices and hours.
Grab a latte and hang out with the kids at Chapters this week. There are events planned each week day at 11am; registration is required, but as of Saturday, all sessions still had availability. Contact the store to reserve your spot. On Monday, it’s plenty of hoopla and silly stories during Dr. Seuss storytime. Tuesday is jokes and stories from the Wimpy Kid series. Wednesday is the ever-popular LEGO minifigure swampathon and make-and-take activity (more than 80 children took part last March Break!). On Thursday, it’s a royal ball fit for Cinderella; dress up and enjoy some Disney stories. Friday wraps up with hands-on fun using Klutz activity kits.
Toys R Us is also celebrating March Break with events in store Monday through Friday, between 1pm and 3pm. On Monday you can make your own inflatable Balloon Baymax robot from Big Hero 6. Tuesday you can check out Sew Cool, a threadless sewing machine, as well as demonstrations of Kinetic Sand, Bloom Pops, and Goldie Blocks. On Wednesday, its Avengers Bingo and Cinderella storytime. Thursday you can search through the store in a Star Wars characters scavenger hunt. Friday you can build Olaf out of Play Doh. The store’s website suggests the events are for ages 5 and up; no purchases necessary, but there are limited quantities.
Friday is open fun at the Moncton SportsDome; giant inflatables, games, and lots of activities. Runs from 5:30pm to 8pm. Parents get in free, kids under 5 are $10 each, $15 for those 6 and older.
Break out your neon and white gear and head to Fairlanes for Glow Bowling each Friday and Saturday night from 7pm until midnight. They’re open all week, with 36 lanes that can switch to ‘no gutter ball’ mode for the little ones. Monday through Friday you can bowl from 4pm to 6pm for $5, including shoe rental. ‘Bumper bowling’ is also available at Parklane Bowling in Riverview.
A free LEGO & Robotic exhibition is taking place at the Shediac Multipurpose Centre on Friday from 6pm to 9pm and again on Saturday from 10am until 4pm; all ages welcome.
On Monday, the Moncton Library will welcome Bricks 4 Kidz and a LEGO program for children in Grade 5 or older. Tuesday is puzzles and board games from 10am until 1pm, and another Bricks 4 Kidz LEGO session for Kindergarten to Grade 4 starting at 2pm. Wednesday is belly dancing at 10am for those aged 7 and up, face painting from noon until 2pm, and a French-language magic show for ages 5 and up at 2pm. Thursday’s Minecraft event is full, but be sure to drop by for a family concert with Coach Pat starting at 2pm. Friday is Movie Day; Big Hero 6 will be shown in English at 10am and 3pm, and in French at 1pm. Saturday is Robert Munch Day, with stories and activities relating to the author’s works starting at 10am. This event is geared to children ages 5 and up. All events require advance registration; phone 869-6036. The library will also have drop-in crafts available all week.
Tuesday the Riverview Library hosts an afternoon of X-Box Gaming from 2pm to 4pm. On Thursday, it’s Gadgets & Gizmos with Bricks 4 Kidz: Remote Control Mania from 2pm to 3 pm; register by phoning 387-2108.
Help a leprechaun find his pot of gold at the Dieppe Public Library, Tuesday to Saturday. The scavenger hunt is a drop-in activity, available during regular hours with no registration required. The clues are geared to school-aged children.
Author Diane Carmel Léger will visit the library on Thursday at 10:30am for an hour of activity with children ages 8 and up.
Big Hero 6 (in French, with English subtitles) will be shown on the big screen Tuesday at 2pm; the library will provide the popcorn! On Friday, it’s Planes: Fire and Rescue in English with French subtitles at 10:30am, and Guardian of the Galaxy (in French, with English subtitles) at 2pm.
Tuesday is Messy Morning at the Salisbury Library, starting at 10:30am. Wednesday afternoon is LEGO and board games from 2pm until 4pm. Bingo is Thursday afternoon from 2pm until 3pm, and on Friday it’s Big Hero 6 at 2pm. Call 372-3240 for information.
Shediac Public Library
There are lots of great painting workshops for all ages being held at the Shediac Public Library during March Break – Initiation to acrylic paint for ages 6-12 on Tuesday from 10am to 11:30am, Acrylic Painting Workshop for Teens (ages 12 to 16) at 2pm on Tuesday, Beginner Gouache Painting (ages 3 to 5) from 2pm to 3:30pm on Wednesday, Acrylic Painting Techniques for Collage (ages 6 to 12) on Thursday at 2pm, Acrylic Painting Collage for Teens on Friday at 2pm. And don’t forget the Family Musical Story Hour on Friday from 9:30am to 10:30am.
There will be an Open Gym at Salem Elementary School from 9:30am until 11am on Monday and Thursday. The gym will be sectioned off to accommodate both younger and older children.
On Monday, from 9am until 11pm, there will be a Parent & Tot session for children up to age 4 at Bill Johnstone Memorial Field House. There will be music, toys, and a snack. There’s hope this will become a weekly event.
A free family swim will be held at the Mount Allison Pool on Monday from 2pm until 3pm.
Head to the Civic Centre field for Disc Golf on Thursday. This event is open to everyone, from 1pm until 4pm.
The Vogue Cinema will host a movie on Friday afternoon at 2pm. Admission is $2 and a non-perishable food item.
Saturday is Family Day at Beech Hill Park; skiing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, and hot chocolate from 1pm to 3pm.
On Sunday there’s a toonie skate at the Tantramar Veterans Memorial Civic Centre from 3pm until 4pm; check out the centre’s website for other skates during the week.