Hit the pause button on life in the fast lane and take a moment to enjoy some quality family time this Family Day.
Started by the government of Alberta in the early 1990s, Family Day is a public holiday recognized in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and New Brunswick. This will be the first year that New Brunswick joins in on Family Day.
For a majority of the country, Family Day will fall on Feb. 19 this year. However, BC gets a head-start on its fellow provinces and will celebrate the holiday on Feb. 12.
In honour of this day, many cities across these provinces will be hosting special activities for families to take full advantage of this special day.
Below are just some of the activities you will find in each province.
Silver Skate Festival- Located in Edmonton, the Silver Skate Festival is the longest running winter festival in Edmonton. This ten-day festival is centred around families and combines a number of winter activities and sports. The Silver Skate Festival is taking place from Feb. 9-19. Admission is free.
Family Day Fun at the Edmonton Valley Zoo- This Family Day, take your loved ones to the Edmonton Valley Zoo for a day of family fun. Enjoy indoors or outdoors arctic activities and games throughout the zoo and visit the free Photo Booth. The event takes place on Feb. 19 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Regular admission.
Family Day Celebrations at the Legislature- The Edmonton Federal Building and the Legislature Building will host a number of activities on Feb. 19 to celebrate families including musical performances, puppetry, and magic shows. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
The Military Museums’ Family Day- The Military Museums located in Calgary is hosting a special Family Day celebration on Feb. 19. Throughout the day the museum will be offering a day of family-friendly interactive presentations, tours, scavenger hunts, weapons displays and more. This event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is half-price.
Winterfest at Fort Calgary- Visit Winterfest at Fort Calgary for a day of family fun including a Quebecois maple sugar shack, tipi stories and information sessions with members from the Blackfoot nation, games, crafts and more. This event takes place Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sea-to-Sky Gondola- Enjoy a phenomenal view and winter activities at Squamish, BC’s Sea-to-Sky Gondola. Special Family Day activities include old-fashioned snow tubing, S’mores around an outdoor bonfire, an old-fashioned Canadian Sugar Shack, face painting, live music and more. Family Day activities will take place from Feb. 10-12. Tickets will be 50 per cent off for the weekend.
Visit VanDusen Botanical Garden and Bloedel Conservatory- Immerse yourself in nature this Family Day by exploring more than 7,500 plant species and varietals at VanDusen and enjoying more than 120 free-flying exotic birds and 500 exotic plants and flowers at the Bloedel Conservatory. Both places are offering two-for-one admission over Family Day Weekend. (Vancouver)
Family Day Sleepover at the Vancouver Aquarium- The Vancouver Aquarium is hosting a special PJs, Paws, and Jaws: Family Day Sleepover in honour of Family Day on the night of Feb. 11. Children and parents alike will enjoy checking out artifacts like shark jaws and sleeping at the Underwater Steller’s Bay. Breakfast will be served at 7:30. Tickets range from $92-$115. (Vancouver)
Family Day at the Canadian Museum of Flight- Explore a real Canadian Snowbird of Starfighter jet, enjoy museum tours and participate in crafts at the Canadian Museum of Flight. This event will take place Feb. 12 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Langley)
Children’s Art Festival- Visitors will enjoy various activities appropriate for children of all ages including arts and crafts and Creativity Classes. This event will take place at the Richmond Cultural Centre on Feb. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5. (Richmond)
Family Fun Fest- Enjoy a large indoor amusement park that includes Kiddy Rides, Arcade Games, Carnival Games, Jumping Castles and much more only on Family Day weekend. Family Fun Fest takes place in Toronto from Feb. 17-19. Admission is $8 for adults and $25 for children. (Toronto)
Family Day at the Hockey Hall of Fame- The Hockey Hall of Fame has a special lineup of programs, especially for Family Day. Families can enjoy shooting, play-by-play calling, and hosting your own sports broadcast. Families can also get their portrait with the Stanley Cup. This event takes place Monday, Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular admission. (Toronto)
COLOUR- full Family Day Fun- Visit the Art Gallery of Ontario for a day full of COLOUR, music movement and interactive activities for the whole family. Enjoy abstract painting, sticker the walls or jump in on the famous bubble wrap room. This event takes place Feb. 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regular admission. (Toronto)
Winterlude- Visiting Winterlude is a must if you reside around the National Capital Region and there’s no better time to enjoy this winter festival than Family Day weekend. Enjoy a wide range of winter activities including skating on the Rideau Canal. Admission is free. (National Capital Region)
Cool Science Saturday- Visit the Canada Science and Technology Museum for a day of learning and fun with science. Families can enjoy demonstrations, experiments, workshops and much more. This event takes place Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $17 for adults and $11 for youth (3-17). (National Capital Region)
NB Sports Hall of Fame- Enjoy a day-packed with family fun at the NB Sports Hall of Fame located in Fredericton. Takes place Feb. 19 from 2-4 p.m. (Fredericton)
Hit the slopes- Take the whole family out for a day out at Crabbe Mountain. Check out the Snowlike Demo Day on Feb. 17 and enjoy hitting the slopes for half off on Family Day. (Central Hainesville)
Beaverbrook Art Gallery- The art gallery will be open to visitors of all ages for free. The gallery is offering free tours, demonstrations, free workshops and live music. Event takes place from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Fredericton)
Roger’s Hometown Hockey Tour- This iconic Canadian winter sensation will be making a stop in Regina on Family Day weekend. Families can come out to enjoy hockey activities, meet NHL Alumni and watch Ron MacLean’s live broadcast from the Sportsnet Mobile Studio. Events take place Feb. 17-18. Admission is free. (Regina)
Cirque de la Symphonie- Experience a night of circus feats and magical acts at Regina’s Conexus Arts Centre with the return of the Cirque de la Symphonie. The event takes place Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. (Regina)
Waskimo Winter Carnival- Enjoy outdoor winter activities at Wascana Park. Don’t miss the only day of the year when the public is allowed onto the ice of Wascana Lake. Admission is free. (Wascana Park)
Winter Carnival- The whole family can enjoy indoor and outdoor winter activities including bouncy castles, pony rides and more at Saskatoon’s Winter Carnival. Takes place from Feb. 18-19. Visit the website for ticket prices. (http://www.saskgerman.com) (Saskatoon)
Waskesui Snow Days- Take the family out to Prince Albert National Park for this annual mid-winter festival. You and your loved ones can enjoy a number of activities from live music to scavenger hunts to cross-country skiing. Takes place from Feb. 16-25. Admission is free. (Prince Albert)