Best Family Day activities across Canada

Alyssa Tria
Shopping Editor
Getty Images

If you haven’t planned an activity for Family Day (Feb .17) yet — there’s still time. Planning a day-trip, let alone a road trip, with the family is easier said than done, but there’s still plenty of options no matter your travel budget and timeline. With plenty of outdoor fun to be had during the month of February across all provinces, the options are practically endless.

So to narrow down your Family Day plans, here, we’ve rounded up the best, must-have activities and trips to experience across the country.

Got more suggestions? Share your Family Day ideas with us in the comments, as we will be adding more to our list throughout the next few weeks.

Visit Village Vacances Valcartier

Where: Quebec City, Que.

What: For the ultimate snow tubing experience, you’ve got to visit Québec City. Best known for its hill on the Plains of Abraham, tubing and sliding continues to be one of the region’s most popular winter activities. Offering a variety of serviced and way to get the most out of this family outing is Village Vacances Valcartier, the largest winter playground in North America. Enjoy more than 35 snow slides during the day and night and glide through the beautiful illuminating skateway. While you’re there, don’t forget to visit the Hôtel de Glace (Ice Hotel) and the indoor waterpark.

When: Seasonal

Skate down the Rideau Canal

Where: Ottawa, Ont.

What: Following its 50-year tradition, this the Rideau Canal transforms into a 7.8-km long skateway — a large natural skating rink which winds through the heart of downtown Ottawa.
When: Seasonal

Attend the Light Festival

Where: Toronto, Ont.

What: Enjoy picture-worthy, dazzling displays of Toronto’s outdoor light showcases. Take a trip to the Toronto Light Festival running now through Mar. 1 at the city’s historic distillery district. During the cold, dark days of winter, the light fest offers visitors a reason to bundle up, get outside and celebrate the season, creativity and life in the big city. While you’re there, grab some snacks and drinks from various vendors and shop and browse through the many fashion boutiques.

When: Jan.17 to Mar. 1

Spend the weekend lodging at the Blue Mountain Village

Where: Collingwood, Ont.

What: From skiing and ATV tours to the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster and snowshoe trails, this resort offers the best activities for the entire family to enjoy. The Blue Mountain resort is the biggest public ski area in the province with 365 skiable acres, a 720 foot vertical and 42 runs, 30 of which are lit for night skiing. 

When: Year-round (activities are seasonal)

Plan a trip to the Vancouver Aquarium

Where: Vancouver, B.C.

What: Taking a trip down to the aquarium is a great way to spend the day indoors. The Vancouver Aquarium has over 50 thousand animals, from fish to frogs and seals to otters, and over 30 unique engaging exhibits, plus, a line-up of educational shows for the entire family to enjoy. The Vancouver Aquarium continues to be Stanley Park’s no.1 attraction. While you’re in the city’s first and largest urban park, explore the grounds with a guided tour or discover it on your own.

When: Year-round

Go to the Banff Winter Carnival

Where: Banff, Alta.

What: The Banff Winter Carnival returns to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site this year with fun activities for all ages. Challenge the family and your friends to wild and wacky outdoor games like curling and box hockey, and check out vintage films from the Banff Winter Carnival’s glory days in the Roaring Twenties.

When: Feb. 5 to 23

Play at the Jack Frost Winterfest

Charlottetown, P.E.I.

What: Gather your family and friends and enjoy winter wonders at the Jack Frost Winterfest. From a snowskate park to obstacle courses to lumberjack games, from Feb. 14 to 17, downtown Charlottetown will offer activities, installations and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Looking to take a break from the cold? Purchase tickets to their Indoor Playland.

When: Feb. 14 to 17

Festival du Voyageu

Where: Winnipeg, MB

What: Since 1970, Saint-Boniface, Winnipeg’s French quarter, is transformed into a winter paradise and becomes host to the largest winter festival in Western Canada offering an array of historical, recreational and educational activities and eats for the whole family.

When: Feb.14 to 23

Dine Around Halifax

Where: Halifax, N.S.

What: According to Canada’s 100 Best, the east coast serves up some of the best eats in the country. In case you’re planning a trip to Halifax, take advantage of the city’s ultimate foodie event Dine Around which will run from Feb. 1 to 29 and explore more than 60 restaurants offering specially curated menus priced at $10, $20, $30, $40 and $50. Discover restaurants offering lunches and dinners at amazing prices with the family while also enjoying truly Canadian experience of Halifax.

When: Feb. 1 to 29

Spend an afternoon at the Fire and Ice Festival

Where: St. Albert, Alta.

What: Presented by the local St. Albert Firefighter Union the Fire and Ice Festival is a free event which offers lots of outdoor activities like skating, pond hockey, sleigh rides, and fire pits and more for the whole family to enjoy. Enjoy live performances from ice carvers and fire artists, while grubbing on food and refreshments. Best of all, admission is completely free!

When: Feb. 17

Ski through the Killarney Trails

Where: Fredericton, N.B.

What: The 2020 Wostawea Loppet will be held on Feb. 16. This fun, family-friendly event feature multiple courses available to ski from 3km to 30km as well as a hot lunch meal and door prizes.

When: Feb. 16

Elk Island National Park

Where: Edmonton, Alta.

What: Watch as Elk Island National Park is transformed into a whimsical winter wonderland filled with classic winter experiences for the whole family. Slide around Astotin Lake, rent snowshoes and stomp over snowdrifts.

When: Feb.17

Family Day Sunday at the Art Gallery of Alberta

Where: Edmonton, Alta.

What: The AGA is hosting its Family Day event on Feb. 16 with a special “pay what you may” admission (remember, kids under 18 get into the gallery free every day!) See the newest exhibitions, enjoy family art activities, and don’t miss the BMO World of Creativity kids’ gallery!

When: Feb. 16

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