Sometimes I have a really hard time keeping it simple. When I start researching and planning activities for our family, I easily get caught up in all of the amazing destinations in Toronto. All of a sudden, I am loading up the schedule and having to justify back-to-back outings on opposite sides of the city to my husband.

This year’s March Break – Saturday, March 11 to Sunday, March 19, 2017 – I am making an effort to go slow(er). And the best part going about more low key is that it also means keeping costs low if not free.

BUT….if you suffer from FOMO like me and want to go big, follow Kids in T.O. on Facebook as I’ll be sharing 20 March Break destinations for kids in TOw.

Here are nine places to go that won’t break the March Break bank:

1. Go to the Beach: We could spend hours filling our pockets with rocks and skipping stones along the east end of Lake Ontario. The annual Winter Stations, a series of art installations along Woodbine and Kew beaches along The Boardwalk, makes the day trip even more exciting. FREE You can also play in the sand and do some urban sugar shacking downtown at Sugar Beach. Last year saw line-ups, so be sure to go early to get the sweet stuff. Weekend of March 11 and 12 only – FREE entry.

2. Explore a new park: Discover a new neighbourhood and its parks and playgrounds. Some of our favourites are Cherry Beach Soccer fields (next to Cherry Beach, turf soccer fields for playing games and kite-flying and the Martin Goodman trail and sidewalks to bike and scooter.) Corktown Common and Underpass Park.

3. Go geocaching: This can be easily packaged as an adventurous treasure hunt for the kids. Download the FREE app, choose your neighbourhood and try to locate the dot. My kids love that they get to use my phone as a compass. Don’t forget to bring some small ‘prizes’ to leave behind in the cache. More details on how to geocache here.

4. Visit a library or bookstore: A trip to your local Toronto Public Library branch is an easy any day activity. Check the schedule for extra FREE March Break activities. We love visiting the Children’s Book Bank – it’s a cozy spot to discover some new books. Every child gets to leave with one – and not return it, which always blows my little guys’ minds. Be sure to bring some of your gently used books to donate. FREE French in the family? The Children’s French Book Corner is hosting read-a-long in French sessions, which includes storytelling, arts and crafts and music and games. ($15 per child)

5. In the valley: Evergreen Brick Works is open and free for the exploring every day. On Thursday, Friday and weekends during March Break, there are special family nature hikes, campfire cooking and worms. FREE 

6. Game time: You can get a more chill and cheaper version of the NHL and NBA experiences with hometown teams the Toronto Marlies (they are playing at the ACC on Saturday, March 18 – discount tickets here) and the Raptors 905 (also playing at the ACC on Monday, March 13 at noon and at their home stadium Hersey Centre at 2 p.m on Saturday, March 18th. Tickets as low as $8 and up to $65 for VIP section.)

7. Bird watching: There is a FREE family friendly Winter Waterfowl ID Workshop at Tommy Thompson Park (The Spit) on Saturday, March 11th at 11:00 a.m. Register here.

8. Run ’em indoors: Central Tech Stadium on Harbord at Bathurst is hosting FREE community hours Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for kids 12 and under. There will be soccer balls, footballs, basketballs, baseballs, blocks, a parachute and a bouncy castle for kids 8-and-under.

9. Playdates and kid swaps: Strength in numbers. Meet up with another parent soldiering through March Break. Hang out or divvy up the days where you take the other person’s kids. It’s a change of scenery and toys and kids always seem to get along better when play mates are around.