How to survive March Break without tearing your hair out!

We asked two seasoned parents for ideas on how to get through the week

Tried and true tips for keeping your kids engaged without breaking the bank

Veteran parents Margarita Ibbot, mother of three, and Chris Burton, father of seven. (Juliane Hazlewood/CBC)

March Break can be a great time for kids if they're engaged in interesting activities. But when boredom sets in, their discontent can drive parents crazy.

How to keep children immersed in meaningful activities doesn't always come easily for parents. So CBC's London Morning called on two veteran parents for tips on how to survive the week.

Margarita Ibbot is a travel and lifestyle blogger and a mother of three children. And Chris Burton is director of the Dad Club in London, and a father of seven.

Here are some their recommendations:


  • Chris says when booking a family trip, plan ahead. Hotels and restaurants charge prime rates during March Break. Best to check websites in advance and keep an eye on the up-and-down Canadian dollar. 
  • His family waited an extra week to make their bookings and it cost $300 more just because of the fluctuation of the dollar.


Margarita's suggestions include:

  • A visit to the London Public Library. It's "probably the best" if you're looking for activities that are "free, affordable and have a really wide variety of things to do." Most library branches lend family movies and family games. "So you can have a family game night." The libraries also have puppet shows for the little ones and activities for teens, as well.

  • Visit a sugar bush. It's a great opportunity for kids to be outside. And the prices are reasonable.They range from $3.00 a person to $10.00 for a carload of kids.

  • Attend a music production, such as The Wizard of Oz by the Original Kids Theatre Company. Tickets are affordable and the production runs all week.

  • Send your child to day camp, dance camp or drama camp. These options are a little pricier.

How to Keep Young Ones Happy

  • Chris says the key is to get the kids away from TV, video games, and computer screens. Try to get out with your children.
  • Try to keep them organized, whether it's family games or arts and crafts.

  • Get your kids to take ownership of planning. Have somebody in charge of each day and ask them to arrange events for the family. Empower them to make the decisions.

Motivating Teens

Students are required to do 40 hours of volunteer work during their high school years, and Margarita says Spring Break is a great time to put in some time.

  • Social agencies, church groups and other non-profits are always looking for volunteers. So make some calls.
  • Take a course. Consider first-aid training, life-saving courses or driver education.
  • Get a head start on others and look for a summer job. The Central Library offers a teen resume workshop.
  • Volunteer for the Ontario Summer Games coming to London August 2 to 5.