By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: Here's a quick plea from one anxious mom. Do you have any suggestions on children's activities during the upcoming March break?

A: In Toronto, you'll find during the annual March break, many of the usual children hot spots are going to be packed with tikes trailing inside the ROM's bat cave or trying their hand at the interactive exhibits at the Ontario Science Centre. But, if you want to take them on a day trip, there are several programs that'll certainly entice the kids to have fun and to learn at the same time. Venture into the countryside in a horse drawn carriage and stop off at the sugar bushes of St. Jacobs country.

On Saturday March 13, Thursday March 18 and Saturday March 20, Sugar Bush Tours are being offered from 9am to 3pm and start from the town's market horsedrawn trolley barn. Adult tickets are $10 and kids are $9. For reservations, call (519) 888-0302.

The next time the kids want to know where the cell phone is take them to the Bell Homestead in Brantford for "Alexander's Adventures," a special children's program. This charming mid-Victorian residence, a national historic site, was the family home of the Bell family and their son, the young Alexander Graham Bell. The kids can explore the rooms of the 1870s house, learn about the invention of the telephone, discover the story of the Bell family and try out the historic phones.

For guaranteed spots, it's best to make reservations before your visit. The museum is open daily (except Monday) 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Admission is $4 for adults, $3.25 for students and seniors, and children under 6 are free. For more info, call tollfree 1-800-265-6299.

Lastly, wandering through the fresh outdoors in one of our parks is always a treat. Over at the Presqu'ile Provincial Park on Lake Ontario near Brighton, the return of the mighty scaups will be fast underway. For centuries, thousands of ducks have been flying to these marshes.

Up to 10,000 birds of as many as 25 different species have been recorded in the waters off the park. A staging ground for the spring waterfowl migration, the family can suss out the diving ducks dipping their bills into the frigid water or zoom their binoculars to view the birds mysteriously vanishing beneath the melting runoff only to playfully bob up their heads to the crowd of onlookers.

Each year, Presqu'ile Provincial Park has an educational event introducing its visitors to the fascinating world of ducks, geese and swans. The 28th Annual Waterfowl Festival is scheduled on March 13 - 14 and 20 - 21. Viewing stations are open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during the festival. For more information about Presqu'ile's annual waterfowl festival and other spring migration viewing opportunities call the park at (613) 475-4324.


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