Plenty to do on Manitoulin Island this March Break

MANITOULIN—While a great number of the Manitoulin population will head off-Island for Little NHL hockey fun during the March Break next week—some perhaps to even warmer climes—there is still fun to be had in your own backyard.

In Assiginack, youths and their families can look forward to a number of activities, all to be held at the Assiginack arena and fairgrounds.

March Break in Assiginack starts off with Monday night activities for children that include: learn to knit a scarf with local expert Susan Holmes, learn to crochet with new entrepreneur Trish Leeson of T-Lee, card making with Nancy, who has taught local school children her wonderful craft. Lastly is ‘create fabric flowers to use for embellishments, headbands, or bags’ with Jackie White.

Tuesday morning Assiginack is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party for kids and snowshoe games. “Don’t worry if you don’t have snowshoes, we have enough for everyone!” the municipality urges.

On Wednesday evening youngsters are invited for more workshops, including ‘grow your own food using recycled coffee pods;’ cookie decorating with local extraordinary baker Jennifer Hooper; and building a bat house with the Fields family.

Pre-registration for the events is required at the municipal office. The telephone number is 705-859-3196.

On Thursday, from 1 to 3 pm, come on out and meet at ‘The Big Hill’ (Manitowaning’s newly named sliding hill located behind the tourist information centre) and go sliding with your friends!

Assiginack has snowshoes that any Island resident can borrow free of charge. Call or check out their website to find out more information,

Assiginack is also hosting a number of sponsored free skates through the March Break. The times are as follows: Friday, March 13, public skating from 6:30 to 7:30 pm with ice time donated by Assiginack Township and a Crazy Kid Skate from 7:30 to 8:30 pm, also donated by Assiginack Township; Saturday, March 14, public skating from 1 to 3 pm, ice time donated by Assiginack Family Health Team; Monday, March 16, public skating from 1 to 3 pm donated by Loco Beanz; Wednesday, March 18, public skating from 1 to 2 pm donated by Manitowaning Minor Hockey and a Crazy Kid Skate from 2 to 3 pm, also donated by Manitowaning Minor Hockey; Friday, March 20, public skating from 6:30 to 7:30 pm and a Crazy Kid Skate from 7:30 to 8:30 pm, both ice times donated by Queen St. General Store and Café; and on Saturday, March 21, the last public skate of the year from 1 to 3 pm, with ice time donated by Harold and Faye Clarke.

In the Northeast Town, all March Break activities will be held at the recreation centre in Little Current.

Beginning Monday, March 16, a family hockey game will be held from 10 am to 12 noon. The municipality asks families to please register at 9:30 am. Full hockey equipment is required. Enjoy a fun, family hockey game with referees.

On Tuesday, March 17 there will be a St. Patrick’s Day Free Skate from 11 am to 1 pm.

Wednesday, March 18 will see an arm and finger-knitting workshop for youth from 10 to 11:30 am in the Lions Den. A badminton drop-in will also be held in the main hall from 2 pm.

On Thursday, March 19 there will be Kid Fit Activities in the rec centre hall from 1 to 2 pm. Please wear non-marking running shoes for this activity.

Friday, March 20 will again see a badminton drop-in session from 11 until 12 noon.

Head to the arena for pick-up hockey from 1 to 2:30 pm. Please wear full equipment. A signed waiver is required. On-ice supervision will be provided. Public skating will also be held on the Friday from 2:30 to 4 pm. The cost is $2.50 students, $3.50 adults.

A free family skate will be held from 1 to 3 pm on Saturday, March 21 with a parent and tot (under five years) free skate on Saturday from 9 to 10:30 am.

In Central Manitoulin, the municipality is hosting a number of free March Break activities, all at the JH Burt Arena in Mindemoya.

On Monday, March 16, for youth aged 12 and under, spongepuck hockey will be held from 11 am to noon and again from noon until 1 pm for kids 12 and up. On Tuesday, March 17 a free skate will be held from 11 am until 1 pm. On Wednesday, March 18 spongepuck hockey for youth 12 and under will be held from 11 until noon and again from noon to 1 pm for those 12 and up.

On Thursday, March 19 head to the arena again for a free skate from 11 am until 1 pm.

On Friday, March 20 it’s spongepuck action again, 11 am to noon, 12 and under, and 12 to 1 pm, 12 and up. Helmet with face protection and gloves are mandatory for spongepuck hockey and a helmet is strongly recommended for free skaters.

For those many First Nation youths heading for Mississauga for the annual Little NHL, this year co-hosted by the Aundeck Omni Kaning and Whitefish River First Nation, Island hockey players can look forward to a record number of teams to meet, with over 800 registered.