One-tank Trips: Spring, March break as sweet as ever

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If you’re not able to escape to the sunny south, there’s plenty of fun to be had close to home for this March break week.

“Syrup sap, gossipy clothing, entomophagy and more make it a wild and crazy holiday,” said Helen Lovekin of Ontario Tourism.

Entomophagy – the eating of insects – is possible and “kids seem to love this idea,” she said.

It’s part of Bugfest at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory’s entomologically inclined event now through March 18 with “yummy ants, mealworms and crickets that get the chocolate treatment.”

Inside this hot-and-humid enclave are some 2,000 butterflies and moths, and honey bee hives.

Ontario Tourism suggests these and the following events in a March break sampler.”

Sappy getaways

The sap is flowing in the sugar bushes including Aylmer’s Springwater forest with the traditional wagon rides, maple syrup-making demonstrations and a pancake house.

It happens daily during the break and weekends through March 25.

They’re tapping into maple in Orillia and area where producers have been harvesting sap for more than 100 years.

There’s a self-driving route with stops for sugar-bush tours and events, maple-laced cuisine and overnight packages.

The Elmira maple syrup festival on April 7 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., is called the “world’s largest” one-day event of its kind.

Get a taste of the Quebecois cabane a sucre (sugar shack) experience this weekend from the producers of the Redpath waterfront festival at Lower Jarvis and Queens Quay in Toronto.

The 13th annual 4-H pancake house is open at Jakeman’s Maple Farm in Sweaburg, near Woodstock.

Meals of fluffy pancakes with syrup, breakfast sausages, maple baked beans and beverages are served weekends and March 14 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. through March 30.

Other samplers

• Get the best of the late winter at Ontario Place in Toronto by skating by the lake and strolling along the West Island by day.

At night, check out the winter lights, until March 18, from sunset to midnight.

• There are guided night snowshoe hikes at the Collingwood scenic caves and Arrowhead Provincial Park has ice trail fire and ice nights, both until March 17.

• Kitchener is painting the town green with the Irish Real Life Festival, now until March 18, including theatre, film, dance, music and craft beer.

• Cambridge’s Fashion History Museum will open the 101 Tales of Fashion exhibit March 14 to year’s end.

Clothes and artefacts tell the story of who wore what when and “run the gamut of history and myth to outright gossip.”

For Ontario event listings, check out

Fox trots

• An all-new Disney On Ice show, Dare To Dream, featuring Moana and Beauty and the Beast, glides into Hamilton’s First­Ontario Centre, March 15-18 for nine performances. Mickey Mouse and Minnie take audiences on an expedition across raging seas and snow-covered mountains. See

• The City of Kitchener invites people to “celebrate the changing of the seasons on an evening vernal equinox Shinrin-Yoku guided walk led by a certified nature and forest therapy guide. The free event March 20 for adults stems from the Japanese practice known as “forest bathing” and will explore the Huron Natural Area by twilight or moonlight. Registration is required. See

• Break activities are available at 26 Ontario provincial parks including a maple syrup festival at Oakville’s Bronte Creek. There’s the waterfowl weekend March 17-18 with thousands of migrating ducks, geese and swans at Presqu’ile park and the return of the tundra swans this month at Pinery park. See

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