By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: This March Break, my two children who are in primary school have requested I take them on a day trip. I'd like to do something educational with them, but am lost. Any suggestions are appreciated.

A: Remember as a kid how the adrenaline soared when you discovered a butterfly? Well, if you're interested in rekindling that memory, but this time with your kids, you may wish to consider a trip to the Butterfly Conservatory, located in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Since it'll be March Break, it's best to go early, preferably around 9:00 am. On my last visit, the place was fluttering with children and some of them sighed with awe when a Monarch butterfly rested on their arm. With over 40 species and about 2,000 butterflies at any given time, the Butterfly Conservatory provides such activities as a short film, and interactive exhibits.

I inquired at the Niagara Parks Commission for information on March Break programs, and there is a list of activities geared for ages 6 to 12 years. "The Cuddly Caterpillars" is a tutorial on the sometimes-furry larvae, followed by some hands-on learning where children have a chance to create their own. The date is March 12th, 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm. On March 13, from 10:00 am-11:30 am, it's "Clouds and Rainbows."

For rates and and other park information, contact (877) NIA-PARK. If the thermostat continues to plummet, this tropical paradise may be a great substitute because it's always a humid 85F.


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All text & photos 2004.