By Emily SadlerUpdated Jun 18, 2013
A day off with your kids is a perfect way to fight the winter doldrums.
If you’re looking for some activities, here is a list of events in five cities in BC, Alberta, Manitoba (where they celebrate Louis Riel Day) and Ontario.
(Note: In Manitoba, Family Day is known as Louis Riel Day)
Embrace the Nation’s French-Canadian culture with the Children’s Museum’s 4 annual Franco-Fun day. Take part in a dance workshop and musical performances, have fun making (and eating) maple syrup treats in the snow, and enjoy plenty of other traditional activities.
Admission: $10 per person
Click here for more information on Franco-Fun Day at the Children's Museum
Rather than calling it Family Day, Manitoba’s holiday is known as Louis Riel Day. So why not learn more about the man behind the holiday? Enjoy lots of bilingual family activities, learn about Riel through artifacts and take in some live music.
Admission: kids over 6 & students $4; adults $6; seniors $5; kids under 5 are free; family pass $15.
Click here for more information on Louis Riel Day at Saint-Boniface Museum
Celebrate Family Day a few days early at Niverville Arena on February 16. Highlights of the day include a $2 pancake breakfast, sliding down the hill in your homemade sled (made with just cardboard, string, garbage bags, and other basic materials) at the Wacky Sled Race, and sampling the chili cook off.
You can also go dog-sledding ($3), put your curling to the test ($2) and enjoy all kinds of free drop-in activities.
Admission: varies by activity
Click here for more information on Family Fun Day at Niverville Arena
Winnipeg’s famous Festival du Voyageur (held Feb 15-24) coincides with Family Day, which means there is all kinds of family fun to be had. Join the Family Rendezvous on the Trail, located on The River Trail at The Forks Historic Project, offering outdoor adventures and games everyone will love.
Click here for more information on Festival du Voyageur
There are plenty of family activities offered at The Forks Market. Try tobogganing or the snowboard fun park! The park also has 1.2 kilometres of trails to skate on! Bring your own skates or rent them onsite.
Admission: free, plus skate rental fee if needed.
Click here for more information on The Forks
It’s easy to spend Family Day at the Canadian War Museum (they’re offering free admission for children under 18 with the purchase of an adult or senior admission). Older kids will be fascinated by Canada’s war history through looking at the many artifacts, photographs and aircrafts, while younger kids can enjoy hands-on activities like dressing up in costume in the kid-friendly exhibits.
Admission: kids 3-12 $8; adults $12; students & seniors $10; kids under 3 are free; family pass (5 people) $30.
Click here for more information at Canadian War Museum
The final day of Ottawa’s famous Winterlude lands on Family Day. There’s no shortage of fun for kids and families across the city — think obstacle courses, skating, art projects, a kiddie Zone and much more. Put on your winter gear and enjoy!
Admission: varies by event
Click here for more information on Winterlude
The gallery is usually closed on Mondays, but it’s making an exception for Family Day. Art-loving families can see variety of amazing art collections, and take in interesting exhibitions such as Pierre Huyghe’s A Journey That Wasn’t, a fascinating mix of real-life Antarctic expedition mixed with elements of science fiction and cinema.
Admission: kids 12-19 $4; students and seniors $7; adults $9; kids under 12 are free; Family pass (2 adults and three kids) $18.
Click here for more information on the National Gallery of Canada
There’s a whole weekend of Family activities at Ottawa’s Funatoriam Explorium. With special appearances by Brad the Balloon Guy, a storytelling princess, magician Eric Leclerc and more, there’s tons of entertainment to keep your kids busy all day. Most of the weekend’s activities are aimed at ages 4 years and up, but there’s plenty of fun for younger siblings, too.
Admission: $22 per person; kids 3 and under are free.
Click here for more information on Funatorium Explorium
Kids five years and older are invited to join the NAC English Theatre (in collaboration with Winterlude) for a day of stories, interactive displays and creative workshops featuring all kinds of free hands-on activities.
Click here for more information on NAC English Theatre Family Day
For one day only, the AGO is transforming into the “KGO” — the Kids Gallery of Ontario. Bring your mini-Monets and Van Goghs-in-the-making for a day of artistic fun. The gallery is hosting an all-day dance party, kid-led tours, family yoga and more.
Take in the one-day-only kids’ art exhibition, “Kid Nouveau,” and roll up your sleeves and check out some art classes. To make the day even better, the AGO is offering discounted admission prices.
Admission: family pass $40 ($10 off the usual price); kids 5 and under are free.
Click here for more information on the Art Gallery of Ontario
Bundle up your brood and embrace the outdoors at Markham Museum’s Winterfest. Kids can skate, snowshoe and put their snowball-throwing skills to the test with targets.
When your brood is tired of playing in the snow, kids can visit the craft station and enjoy other indoor activities. There’s also plenty of great food onsite to sample!
Admission: $3 per person (kids under two are free).
Click here for more information on Markham Museum Winterfest
Kids of all ages are invited to Canada’s largest indoor show of inflatable bounce-structures, slides, climbers and activity zones. Enjoy rides and stage shows, plus plenty of indoor vendors in the market place.
Kids will love getting their face painted, going for pony rides and bouncing — literally — from one structure to the next.
Admission: kids $25 (for an all-day ride band); adults $8.
Click here for more information on Toronto Kids Fest
Add some on-screen magic to your Family Day this year at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. They’re showing some international films as well as a variety of animal-themed short films — all perfect for kids four years and up.
Between screenings, kids can appear in famous movie scenes (via the magic of green screens) and enjoy pop-up magic shows.
Click here for more information on the Bell TIFF Lightbox
Head down to the waterfront for a day of free crafts, movie screenings and activities. Dog-lovers will enjoy “woofjocks,” a free show of dog performances at Pawsway, as well as canine-friendly events for you and your pet — after all, they’re part of the family, too!
Click here for more information on Family Day on Toronto's Waterfront
Take a trip down memory lane at the Gasoline Alley Museum. Gather your whole family and work together to complete five challenges like creating your own radio show or playing Auto Golf.
Don’t forget to bring your camera — you’ll want to remember this fun-filled day!
Admission: kids 3-17 $5; adults $10; seniors $8; kids under 3 are free; family pass (valid for 2 adults and up to 4 children) $30.
Click here for more information on the Heritage Park Family Quest
Dust off your skates and take advantage of all the free public skating offered around the city from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Click here to find a participating rink in your area
There are tons of kid-friendly activities at Fort Calgary’s Winter Carnival. Go on a treasure hunt, make crafts, take in theatre plays and more.
Plus, weather permitting, families can make maple syrup candy in the snow and play winter games.
Click here for more information on the Winter Carnival at Fort Calgary
Every day is Family Day at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park; for each youth or teen hill ticket purchased from 5-9 p.m., a parent can get in for free.
After you hit the slopes, enjoy a quick slice of pizza with pop for $5.
Admission: kids 6-12 $34; students, teens & seniors $39; adults $44; kids 5 and under $10.
Click here for more information for Canada Olympic Park Family Fun Mondays
Find out how they celebrated Family Day in the prehistoric dinosaur ages. This popular dino museum is offering an entire weekend of story time, fossil-casting, dinosaur crafts and free auditorium shows.
Admission: kids 7-17 $6; adults $11; seniors $8; kids 6 and under are free; family pass $30.
Click here for more information on Tyrrell Museum
Bundle up! It’s Arctic Ambassador Day at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Hang out with the polar bears and donate your change to Polar Bears International (a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of these amazing creatures and their habitat).
Come inside and have your face painted, visit the petting zoo and learn about many of the other animals living at the zoo.
Admission: kids 2-12 $6; youth & seniors $9; adults $10; family pass $30; kids under 2 are free.
Click here for more information on the Edmonton Valley Zoo
If you’re looking for free family fun, visit your local Edmonton Public Library branch. They’re open all afternoon and are offering storytelling, puppet shows, a clown cartel and more.
Head over to the Stanley A. Milner library for an interactive screening of the Roald Dahl classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Click here for more information on the Edmonton Public Library
Come watch some great home-grown hockey at this invitational tournament, open to minor hockey teams (from Novice to Bantam). It’s a great way for hockey players in Edmonton to showcase their talent in a fun, non-contact setting, all the while raising funds and awareness for the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
There will also be silent auctions and other fundraisers. The pucks drop on February 15 at the Terwillegar Rec Centre (the tournament runs until February 18).
Admission: by donation
Click here for more information on the Strollery Family Day Classic
Edmonton’s Legislature Building is offering all kinds of indoor and outdoor fun from noon until 4 p.m. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride and join the snowman making contest, then warm up with a cup of hot chocolate as the kids enjoy an indoor carnival complete with magic, puppetry, face painting and more.
Got a sports fan in your family? They can get their photo taken with some of Alberta’s local sports celebrities who will be there signing autographs.
Click here for more information Family Day at the Legislature
Travel back in time with a visit to the historic home of Alberta’s first premier and his family. You and your kids can take a tour through the house and help yourself to homemade cookies baked in the wood-burning stove while you participate in a craft-making workshops and other fun activities.
Admission: kids 7-17 and seniors $3; adults $4; kids 6 and under are free; family pass $12.
Click here for more information on Rutherford House
Bring your little artists to the Vancouver Art Gallery for an afternoon of creativity.
Explore the wonders of watercolour with a special presentation of The Making Place (the museum’s hands-on arts and crafts workshop for kids), take in the museum’s many exhibits and enjoy a variety of live music.
Admission: kids 5 and up $6; students & seniors $13; adults $18; kids under 5 are free. Family pass (two adults and up to four children) $50.
Click here for more information on the Vancouver Art Gallery
Join the fun at the Children’s Arts Festival at the Richmond Cultural Centre. Kids can enjoy a wide range of activities at the various Imagination Stations (think origami, face painting, making wish flags and more) as well as special performances throughout the day.
(Already have Family Day plans? The festival is on until February 15.)
Admission: $10 per person
Click here for more information on the Children's Arts Festival
The Vancouver Aquarium is extending its hours over Family Day weekend so families can make the most of all the exciting exhibits. Visit the aquarium’s many resident families of penguins, beluga whales and more, and be sure to check out their brand new feature, The Secret World of Sharks and Rays.
Admission: children 4-12 $13; youth, students & seniors $16; adults $21; kids 3 and under are free.
Click here for more information on the Vancouver Aquarium
(Note: Family Day is on February 11 in BC)
This Family Day bring your kids to the friendliest farm on the North Shore. Introduce them to Belgian Draft Horse brothers Tom and Prince, visit Fluffy in his “rabbitat,” feed the chickens (including a rooster named Jacques Pierre) and visit all the other animals at Maplewood Farm. As a special Family Day bonus, they’re offering $5 pony rides all day.
Admission: kids 19 months to 16 years (and seniors) $5; adults 17 to 54 $8; kids under 18 months are free.
Click here for more information on Maplewood Farm
Start your day with a pancake breakfast (by donation, with proceeds going towards Free the Children) followed by a full day of skiing and snowboarding with 50 percent off lift and general admission tickets.
Grouse Mountain is also offering sleigh rides, a hockey shootout game, and après-ski dinner (for an added cost), plus a complimentary family photo so you can remember the day forever.
Prices vary depending on packages chosen.
Click here for more information on Grouse Mountain