Spring’s official arrival (and anticipation of springtime weather) has got us thinking green. While nothing has poked out of our garden yet, we are hearing birds chirping and plenty of chatter about activities around TOwn celebrating the Earth. While raising eco-conscious kids is a year-round practice, now is a super time to get outside and inspire little environmentalists. Toronto families, mark your eco-calendars:

Earth Hour: The World Wildlife Fund’s annual Earth Hour takes place this Saturday, March 28 between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm. Our city is among 7,000 communities worldwide turning off lights for one hour in support of the planet. Don’t skip it. For those with early bedtimes, shift the festivities a couple hours ahead and plan some crafts or board games by candlelight. If you’re up for heading out into the darkness, here are a few community events to mark the hour.

  • The University of Toronto hosts a free Astro Tour with planetarium shows, telescope observing and astronomy chats.
  • Eco-loving Eastenders are meeting up at Kew Gardens in The Beach for the LIGHTS OUT Celebration. Live music, paper lanterns and giveaways.
  • Roncesvalles Village hosts its annual Earth Hour Candlelight Walk down Roncesvalles Avenue (bring your own candle and lantern), followed by an evening by candlelight in one of the participating restos and cafés.

Green Living Show: This annual event is a mecca for those searching for the best products, food, services and innovations that promote eco and healthy living. If you’re bringing little ones in TOw, be sure to hit the EcoParent Village. (We’re told there will be a rock climbing wall and a backyard playground, plus special kids’ composting presentations on Friday and Sunday and puppet show on Saturday.) Bring the kids along to check out the exhibit of items made from the Maple Leaf Forever tree.

Community Park Clean Up Days: Pitch in with your neighbours at local Clean Up Days on April 18 and 19. The City’s annual tree planting takes place on April 25.

Earth Day: It’s the 25th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22th. While your children will likely be marking it with some school activities, add some more environmental awareness on the April 25-26 weekend. Evergreen Brick Works, one of our favourite spots, has a whole weekend of Earth Day celebration with community tree planting, nature walks and clay play for kids. The Toronto Zoo has some hands-on activities that talk about climate change and its affects on wild animals. Search for more Earth Day events in Toronto.

Spring Blossoms: Allen Gardens and Centennial Conservatories have been showing off their spring colours all month. The annual Easter Flower Shows start Sunday, March 29th and run until Sunday, April 26th. They’re free and guaranteed warm.