MONTREAL -- "There's nothing to dooooo," is a phrase many parents hear during March break (how come shovelling out the family vehicle is never a thought?). And they may hear it even more this year -- the first spring break with COVID-19 rules.

While Montrealers are still being told not to travel, the city says there are many free activities close to home to occupy families during the break.

The city has dubbed their initiative "L'evasion dans votre salon," or "travel from your living room," showing that some expressions are best left in French. Montreal wants people to stay active and engaged during these tough pandemic times.

"Access to sports and cultural events is essential to our quality of life and the health of our youth," said Mayor Valerie Plante in a press release celebrating the launch.

To further engage young minds during March break, Montreal cultural institutions will be broadcasting their talents on-line at Theatre pieces, circus performances, dance performances and short movies all made for young audiences will be available from Feb. 28 to March 7.

Libraries are also the home base for the city's Parc Actif program. Free winter activity equipment is available for rent for those under 18 from four city libraries (Saul Bellow, Mordecai Richler, Rosemont and Marie Ugay). Snow shoes, crampons, sleds and walking sticks are available for those with a valid library card. Also available again are the books, free-of-charge, if you're into that.

The city also encourages staying active, getting outdoors and loosing the "quarantine 15" (It's a real thing. Google it.) Park Jean Drapeau has free trails available for winter walks and cross-country skiing. There are also skating rinks and fat-bike trails located throughout the park. The botanical gardens located on Viau near the Olympic stadium also has free trails available to the public for skiing or walking.