Spring Break will look quite a bit different than last year and even more different than 2019. Last year organizations were dealing with uncertainty and a hastily applied lockdown. While the options for Spring Break activities offered are fewer in 2021, they are thoughtfully crafted with safety in mind. The odds of outdoor spaces being shut down is also slim – giving kids a chance to play on playgrounds, skate parks, and trails. We have put together some options for Lynn Valley adventures – virtual and outdoor.
Lynn Valley Ecology Centre
Coming up for Spring Break the Lynn Valley Ecology Centre is back with its Wildlife Weeks! The naturalists at the centre have prepared a number of fantastic virtual programs, a scavenger hunt and a handful of in-person camps, plus the centre is extending its mid-week opening hours.
The Centre will be open for Spring Break from 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday, with its weekend hours remaining noon – 4pm.
“We are kicking off March with a scavenger hunt and a colouring contest,” said Cassie Allard, Ecology Centre education programmer. “Taking place inside, kids can look around to solve clues. The colouring contest is also available online and can be dropped off during opening hours or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
During Wildlife Weeks – March 15-26 – there are seven family-friendly virtual presentations.
“These are going to be great,” said Allard. “We have Lynn Valley’s Tom Flowers – a local dad and Capilano University biologist – who will be taking us from Africa to BC showcasing fascinating birds. We will also [virtually] visit the Oceanwise Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. In another David Wong will join us with his frogs and families will learn how they can help local amphibians.”
The programs last 30-60 minutes and are geared for children six and up and should interest the whole family, said Allard. A donation of $3.50 is suggested per person or $6 per family. Registration links are here.
- NIGHT FLYERS
Monday, March 15, 2021. 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Join biologist Danielle Dagenais from the BC Community Bat Program. Learn about the threats to bats and how you can help the bats living around your neighbourhood.
- THE GREAT GATHERING
Tuesday, March 16, 2021. 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Join wildlife photographer Liron Gertsman for a virtual exploration of British Columbia’s coastal ecosystems above and below the surface.
- FANTASTIC FROGS
Wednesday, March 17, 2021. 10:30 am to 11:30 am
Join David Wong, “the frog guy” for a virtual talk about amazing amphibians.
- CITY SALMON
Monday, March 22, 2021. 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Take a virtual journey with “outdoor storyteller” Fernando Lessa into the watery world of Vancouver’s rivers and streams
- TALES OF A BIRD BIOLOGIST
Tuesday, March 23, 2021. 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Join Dr. Thomas Flower on a journey to a desert island off the coast of Africa, the Kalahari desert, and meet some sneaky Steller’s jays in BC’s coastal rainforest.
- FLOURISHING OCEANS
Wednesday, March 24, 2021. 10:00 am to 11:00 am
Take a deep dive into marine mammal rehabilitation with Emily Johnson of the Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
- WILD ABOUT BEES
Friday, March 26, 2021. 10:00 am to 11:00 am
Learn how to identify our mason bees, discover what makes their life cycle so fascinating, and build a bee house. Materials needed are listed on the Eventbrite page.
The Centre is also offering three in-person camps for children ages five-eight.
“The camps take place completely outside and we have reduced the number of children to a maximum of six,” said Allard. “They are lead by enthusiastic naturalists and focus on fun, being active and learning about local plant and wildlife.”
She reminds participants to be ready for all types of weather that can change quite quickly in Lynn Canyon. Layers are great, she said. More details on Boisterous Birds, Forest Friends and Pollinator Party can be found here.
There is one more offering that has recently opened at the Lynn Canyon. After several years of planning is a self-guided nature trail. The trail takes 15-30 minutes and uses a booklet ($3) available at the Ecology Centre. It begins to the left side of the centre and goes past almost all the park’s common trees and shrubs.
More Lynn Valley options
The crew from Escape Adventures has put together Covid-19 protocols and an (almost) full roster of Spring Break camps. The camps for the smallest riders (3-5 years) are on hold because they require close contact. There are four camps running this March, and some have a number of different time slots. This late in the game the camps are full but there are waitlists available if you are looking for a last-minute possibility.
Jeri Sue Engen has pivoted to offer virtual camps this Spring Break. She has put together one-hour classes for kids and teens. Her classes feature a range of subjects and materials. Engen’s reputation for engaging, age-appropriate classes extends well beyond her roots in Lynn Valley. Details on her Spring Break programs can be found here.
North Vancouver District Library
The NVDPL has added a handful of virtual programs for Spring Break focusing on cooking. There are two Teen Cook Alongs with Chef Mark March 18th and 25th. Whether you’re a whiz in the kitchen or a cooking novice, teens are invited for an afternoon of side-by-side kitchen help. Participants will receive a list of ingredients beforehand, and the library can assist in providing ingredients as necessary. Open to ages 12-18. Chef Mark of Crisp Cuisine has been a chef for 15 years. Details can be found here.
The whole family is invited to join the NVDPL in helping the BC Parks Foundation rally kids of all ages in our community to become citizen scientists and take on the Foundation’s challenge to post the most observations in Canada. Becoming a NVDPL citizen scientist is simple: upload observations using iNaturalist and complete a NVDPL Nature Challenge activity booklet. Children have a chance to win a book prize. Details are here.