So Much Family Fun this Weekend
As a nation, we’re still growing accustomed to that mid-February national holiday known as Family Day. It sort of sneaks up on us and suddenly here we are waist-deep in snow and freezing temperatures wondering what to do with an extra day off.
From the Toronto Zoo and the Ontario Science Centre to the AGO and the many great tobogganing hills in and around the city, you need not look far for exciting and interesting things to do in a city the size of Toronto. So without further delay, here are some suggestions of fun activities and events for you and your family to enjoy this weekend.
Had enough of the white stuff? If you have teen film buffs in your household suggest The Next Wave, a TIFF festival for young movie fans. The best in film from around the globe, this festival includes special guests, interactive workshops and a film challenge for young filmmakers.
If live theatre is more your thing, there is plenty to choose from. Try introducing your little ones to the delights of Snow Angel, a play for young audiences presented on the YPT Mainstage from February 10 to 19 with a special Family Day performance on February 16. Or perhaps The Heart of Robin Hood, an inventive retelling of this classic story, may be more to your liking.
If your family enjoys engines and sleek automobiles, you will want to head on down to the Canadian International AutoShow this weekend. Ooh and aah as you admire must-see vehicles on display at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Casa Loma is hosting a family-day-weekend event that honours the Pan Am Games. Team Canada athletes will be on hand to meet and greet in addition to spearheading fun activities such as gymnastics demonstrations and boxing workshops. Join in the cultural activities that include mask making, cultural dance workshops, face painting and appearances by the official Pan Am mascot Pachi.
Kids are free at the Hockey Hall of Fame this Family Day. Play simulation games, check out theatres, the greatest collection of hockey artifacts anywhere in the world, and as the crowning glory, hands-on access to the Stanley Cup. New this year is a game in which you can face-off against life-size, animated versions of today’s top players in this revitalized model rink.
For those who enjoy examining our past, there are a number of activities in and around the city. History buffs will thrill to participate in baking workshops in the historic kitchen at Black Creek Pioneer Village. Or sample some baking from Fort York’s historic kitchen. Children are also encouraged to try an 1812 drill class, Officers’ Sword Drill and old-fashioned games. Mackenzie House celebrates Black History Month. Learn about the Black Victorians and their publishers and newspaper journalists. Or you can experience the life of the Austin family at the Spadina Museum, where you learn what life was like in the 1920s and 1930s through music, toys and games.
Outdoorsy Family Events
Whether you’re there for a brisk free skate or nature play in the children’s garden, a clay-making workshop or to design your own bird feeder, the Evergreen Brick Works is an awesome spot that inspires sustainability and love of community for the whole family.
East enders will celebrate their eighth annual Family Day in the Beach on February 15 from noon to 4 pm. Snow and ice might rule this weekend but that makes this event all the more fun and helps to accommodate a life-size snow globe, exciting lumberjack shows, figure skating performers, live ice carving demonstrations, music and so much more. The event is free.
Another awesome free event is the HabourKIDS Skating Festival at Harbourfront. From free skating to building snow structures to cozying up with little ones during story time, this two-day festival is a must for all.
If a drive doesn’t bother you, you may want to check out the Vanishing Ice Festival at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, about 45 kilometres north of Toronto. The Vanishing Ice Festival offers a series of school and community events focused on the importance of winter and ice to the environment. Participate in snowshoe hikes led by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, see live animal presentations and view the Melting Ice Sculpture.
The Danforth turns up the volume with the Winterfolk XIII Blues and Roots Festival, a combination of paid and free concerts for all ages. More than 150 artists will be performing at four venues and five stages over three days of the long Family Day weekend.
For those hearty folks who love braving the cold don’t forget the abundance of places where you can tube sled, ice skate, snowshoe, ski and snowmobile to your heart’s content.
Happy Family Day!