Started by the government of Alberta in the early 1990s, Family Day is a holiday that allows Canadians to pause life and take a moment to enjoy quality family time. Over time, three other provinces have joined in the celebrations of this day: Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
In honour of this day, many cities host special activities, some free, to give families a chance to make unforgettable memories. Below are just some of the activities you can find in each province.
1. Festivals- Toronto
Toronto offers several family-themed festivals on the Family Day long weekend. Enjoy Family Fun Fest at Downsview Park, where children can enjoy over 30 rides and activities in a carnival-like atmosphere. Or visit Kids Fest in Mississauga, here children can bounce on thirty themed inflatable along with mini put put and a magician. If you’re in the Markham area, take your family to enjoy the Kidapalooza Family Festival. This festival features over 35,000 square feet of activity stations, play zones, inflatables and more.
All festivals have an admission price of $8 for adults and $25 for children. The festivals run from Feb. 13-15.
2. Family Day at TIFF- Toronto
Family Day is a perfect time to take the whole family down to TIFF. The TIFF Bell Lightbox includes family-friendly classics and fun, free activities.
Or watch a screening of a classic movie such as Land Before Time or Ernest and Celeste.
On-site activities start at 10 and run until 4. Activities are free, admission is required for movies.
3. All Star Kids Show and Fun Day- Toronto
This year Toronto will host one of the largest events of the NBA calendar, the All-Star Game. Kids can also join in on the action on the All Star Kids Show & Fun Day on Saturday Feb.13.
If your child enjoys basketball, there is a perfect event for them with an indoor basketball court to play on stage, game stations, face painting, balloon blowups and an appearance by Silento, famous for the Whip and Nae Nae song.
Located at the National Event Venue. Doors open at 12:30 and tickets are $40.
4. Winterlude- Ottawa
Visit Ottawa’s winter festival if you haven’t had a chance yet this year. Enjoy a beaver tail as you skate along the Rideau Canal.
5. Family Day Skating Party- Ottawa
The mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, is inviting the families of Ottawa to come and skate with him at the Family Day Skating Party on the Sens Rink of Dreams at City Hall. There will be free family activities, and light refreshments served.
The event is on Family Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
1. Family Fun in City Hall & Churchill Square in Edmonton
The City of Edmonton has organized a free Family Fun Day at City Hall for the people of the city. Families are treated to performances by Hoffman & Brown, Nikolai the Juggler, a Concrete Theatre performance of the play The Early Bloomers, crafts and balloon sculptures. Or enjoy skating on the City Hall ice rink as you sample local food trucks.
Event is free from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
2. Family Day at the Legislature- Edmonton
The Alberta Legislature opens its doors on Family Day for children and adults to enjoy live music, magic performances and other activities that bring to life Alberta’s heritage. Join the History Hunt, take part in aboriginal games and dance or build a replica Legislature Building in the Lego Zone.
The event is free. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
3. Outdoor Ice Rinks & Toboggan Hills- Edmonton
Spend the day with your family outdoors enjoying winter activities. Go ice skating for free at several of Edmonton’s outdoor ice surfaces in Hawrelak, Jackie Parker, Victoria and Castle Downs parks. Or take your family to a toboggan hill.
4. Family Day at Telus Spark Science Centre- Calgary
Give your children an experience that’s both fun and educational this Family Day. Take a tour through Telus Spark Science Centre and visit the recently added exhibition: Dinosaurs in Motion.
Special programs are planned during Feb. 12 and Feb. 16.
5. Family Day at Heritage Park- Calgary
Heritage Park’s annual Family Quest event gets the entire family involved with winter sports. This year’s theme is curling and experience playing the game with an old-fashioned curling broom. Families can also enjoy an interactive scavenger hunt and crafts.
The event is at the Gasoline Alley Museum. Runs from Thursday, Feb. 11 to Monday, Feb. 15.
1. Arctic Adventures at RCMP Heritage Museum- Regina
The RCMP Heritage Museum is hosting a fun-filled Family Day with plenty of activities to get the entire family involved. Visitors can enjoy dog sled racing demos, mock ice fishing, crafting for children and also tour the museum.
Regular admission rate applies.
2. Saskatchewan Science Centre camp- Regina
Have a genius in the making at home? Enroll them in the Saskatchewan Science Centre cinema-themed camp. The camp runs from Feb.16 to 19 and allows children to learn to make sound effects and their own movies.
3. Cameco Family Day Skating Party- Saskatoon
Take your little ones out to this Family Day Skate Party. There are plenty of other activities on-site to add to your Family Day fun including face painting and balloon animals, sleigh rides and free scarves.
Admission is free. From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.