Rob Muir sings songs, reads books, and tells the funniest jokes you’ve ever heard in videos shared online through the Haliburton County Public Library’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. /Screenshot from HCPL YouTube

Despite lockdown, some April Break activities available

By Sue Tiffin

Given changing restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact organizers before planning to participate in any in-person events to ensure they are running as planned.

Spring Activity Kits
The Municipality of Dysart et al and the Haliburton Highlands Museum are distributing Spring Activity Kits free of charge to children, with pick-up being available the week of April 6 to 10 and April 12 to 16.

“The kits are going to be super fun,” said Kate Butler, director at the Haliburton Highlands Museum. “They’re going to feature activities from the museum, from the recreation department and from the environment department. There will be some supplies to get kids out gardening, activity booklets, scavenger hunts, a fun spring craft and some other surprises.”

Kits might include a seed starter kit, a scavenger hunt with a chance to win prizes, an activity from the environment department, a museum scavenger hunt around town and a butterfly wind sock activity.

The museum will also be posting spring break activities on their social media throughout the week, providing opportunities to do activities together while apart.

“We usually offer a bunch of in-person programming for the Spring Break,” said Butler. “But, of course, all that sort of stuff has to be scaled back for this year, so this is a way for us to still provide some activities that families can enjoy, but from the comfort of their homes.”

Kits are geared toward children aged six through 10. Quantities are limited and kits must be reserved ahead of time – contact Kate Butler at 705-457-2760 for more information or to reserve your kit.

Spring Break Library Lineup
Mark your calendar for the multitude of spring break offerings from the Haliburton County Public Library.

For a fun and quirky Online Storytime with “Robster and Lobster in the Reading Lagoon,” tune in live on the Haliburton County Public Library’s Facebook page on Saturday, April 10 and April 17 at 10:10 a.m., or visit HCPL’s YouTube page for those shows and more.

Kids wanting to create and explore can sign out kits for one-week home loans. The library is already sharing Snap Circuits (engineering, electronics and circuitry kits) thanks to a donation from the Lions Club, and MakeyMakey invention kits, and now with a donation from the Friends of the Haliburton County Public Library are adding 3D Pens and Ozobot robots beginning April 12.

Also on April 12, at 10:10 a.m., kids and adults alike can tune in to a Zoom storytime with author Phyllis Bordo reading her book, Lilly Esther Conquers the Worries, and attendees that register in advance can create a “worry monster” from a grab ‘n’ go craft activity bag. Sign up for free by emailing

From April 12 to April 16 at 1 p.m., Rob Muir is leading a Video Game Asset Creation in Blender series geared for teens. Tune in live or visit the HCPL Facebook or YouTube page at any time after each session. Topics are creating and animating a basic Minecraft-style character, creating a virtual set for animation/green screen, creating and animating an advanced Pixar/Fortnite-style character, animating in 2D and a session on scripts, shortcuts, sharing your stuff and sites with resources.

On April 13, “Family” grab-and-go craft bags become available for pick-up while supplies last at the Minden and Dysart branches for the school break.
From April 13 to April 17, a self-guided story walk via ‘window browsing’ will be available all week at the Minden, Dysart and Wilberforce library branches.

Also from April 13 to April 15, at 2 p.m. daily, Family Maker Breaks for school-aged kids will be broadcast online to watch live or later on HCPL’s Facebook and YouTube pages. On April 13, Nicole will lead a “Cool Clothespeg Craft.” On April 14, make tasty spring “dirt” parfait cups with Jaime – no actual dirt is involved. On April 15, see the making of a stop-motion sewing video with Noelia.

Visit for more information.

Outdoors at Abbey Gardens
At Abbey Gardens, two on-site programs are happening over the April break to help get kids outdoors.

On Wednesday, April 14 from noon until 4 p.m., kids aged six to nine can “Take a Walk on the Spring Side,” exploring the trails of Abbey Gardens to experience “how nature looks, sounds and smells as it begins its new season.” Physical distancing is in place and the program is held entirely outdoors, so “fair weather” programming is in effect which means it will only run if there are no extreme weather conditions predicted. The cost for the program is $40 per child.

On April 13, 14 and 15 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., “The Mane Event,” welcomes kids aged nine to 15 to a three-day camp “that fosters confidence and leadership skills in a safe outdoor environment.”

“Each day will include an introduction to horsemanship and hands-on care, management, and training of our horses: learning to properly catch, groom and handle our rare breed ambassadors,” reads information about the program, which is based on ground training techniques and care rather than riding. “Fun horse focused activities, crafts and journaling will be interspersed with Equine Assisted Learning sessions. Using our powerful teachers Maple, Sammy, and Flapjack, participants will develop confidence, self-awareness about their behaviour, and alternative skills to help them overcome challenges and cope with the social pressures they face today.”

The program is limited to six youth, two per pony to maintain safe physical distancing, and costs $165 for the full three-day program.

Registration is available online at