Across the province of B.C., there are environmentally-friendly options for spring break activities -- low impact but highly eco-educational ways for kids to spend their week away from school that don't involve mastering the latest iGadget.
Alouette River in Maple Ridge offers a Lifestyles Eco-Camp during the week of March 18-22, effectively jamming the week packed with an exciting array of fun and practical activities like soap-making, candle construction with organic materials, and teaching kids how to create healthy snacks for themselves. Camp-goers will also have the chance to partake in nature photography, build and track homemade rockets, and make forts using recycled materials! Alouette River's Lifestyles Eco-Camps are payable daily or for the week. For children aged six to 12 years old.
Day camps are also available at Surrey Nature Centre, allowing children to learn about environments and ecosystems alike through exploration and play. Developing teamwork through structured game and group play activities, kids will also learn how to fish at nearby Green Timbers Lake, build shelters, and all the ins and outs of nature. For children aged six to 13 years old.
Ziptrek Ecotours has been on B.C.'s must-do adventure list for families since 2002. You might remember the zipline strung across Robson Square during the Olympics? Year-round you can slip away to the same free-swinging adventure deep in the natural surroundings of Whistler.
During spring break, Ziptrek offers a number of adventure packages including their Peak 2 Peak Combo and the Treetrek Canopy Walk, where your family can meander through thick woods via suspension bridges, ground trails, and ziplines high above the trees. Ziptrek is partnered with the Resort Municipality of Whistler and Whistler-Blackcomb to teach visitors about renewable energy and sustainability measures to preserve the world's ecosystems.
Over on the Island, let your little monsters meet nature's monstrously-sized wonders during whale watching expeditions with EcoTours Victoria. Aside from exposure to sea spray, sea lions and many other coastal wonders on a 450 horsepower-fueled boat, this "seafun safari" includes the likelihood of seeing orca whales up close and personal. These majestic creatures up to nine feet long can appear boatside! Tours are safe for animal enthusiasts of all ages under the leadership of certified marine naturalists and biologists.
Inlet Express in Prince Rupert offers eco tours in a "one-two punch" land and sea combo, taking visitors westward into waters toward Oval Bay on Porcher Island for a wildlife-packed adventure. You can experience creatures such as humpback whales, orcas, dolphins, wolves, and eagles in their respective elements. Lunch is provided and roof deck viewing is available on nice days.
BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops offers a science-savvy spring break day camp with daily themes and relevant activities designed to get kids gussied up about wildlife and learning. The interactive curriculum includes games, crafts, exploring and visiting animals at the B.C. zoo. Daily or weekly registration is available. For children aged six to12 years old.
Dubbed as a "natural paradise" is Spring Lake Ranch near 100 Mile House, a tranquil and accessible inland getaway that offers private log cabins, horseback riding, horse-drawn wagon rides through lush meadows, canoeing and fishing, all within the "relaxed western atmosphere" of Cariboo country. Spring Lake is surrounded by 10,000 acres of woods so you can try great hiking trails and abundant wildlife. If it's crappy out, there's an indoor games room with ping pong and foosball, as well as a hay loft basketball court.
If you're looking for a getaway without the kids in tow, or want to escape the city while it fills up with families during spring break, take off with your significant other to a quiet eco-friendly B&B.
Green B&Bs across the province include Beacon Inn at Sidney by the Sea, Sunflower Inn B&B in Christina Lake, Kennedy House B&B in Nanaimo, Royston House Oceanside B&B in Courtenay, Thistle Down House in North Vancouver, and Villa Marco Polo in Victoria. Get the full listing at BCsBestBnBs.com.