Neha Jayaram, Communications and Marketing Specialist
Traditionally the basic unit of society, consisting of two parents raising children. As time has gone by, the family unit has evolved and means different things to different people. Family isn’t always blood. Sometimes it’s the people you met and who became an important part of your world.
Whether it’s the family you were born into or the family you made and chose, family gives comfort, support and unconditional love. Family knows the good, bad and the worst of you, but loves you anyway. You celebrate your wins with them and share your disappointments with them; they’re your port in a storm.
With our lives getting busier by the minute, it’s harder to spend quality time with family. In 1990, Alberta became the first Canadian province to establish the statutory holiday, Family Day, celebrated on the third Monday in February. The holiday was proclaimed by Lieutenant Governor Helen Hunley, on the advice of her premier, Don Getty. Premier Getty said it was important for Albertans to spend time with their families, and that this holiday would emphasize the importance of family values.
Over the next two decades Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and British Columbia adopted the holiday as well. The same day is a statutory holiday in three other provinces, but celebrated for different reasons: Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, Nova Scotia Heritage Day in Nova Scotia, and Islander Day in Prince Edward Island.
It’s a great idea to take advantage of the first long weekend of the year and do something fun and memorable with your family.
Here is a list of things happening across the Greater Toronto Area this long weekend:
- WinterRouge – Horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowshoeing, ice carving demonstration, maple syrup, fresh apple treats, s’mores and hot chocolate. Learn about the birds in the Rouge, build your own birdbox, kids can make bird feeders and other bird crafts. Enjoy Family Day at the Rouge National Urban Park.
- Terra Lumina at the Toronto Zoo – An immersive night walk along a 1.5km walking path that travels into the future and back.
- Family Day at the Scarborough Museum – Build a snowman, participate in an ice cube scavenger hunt and enjoy a bowl of hearty soup.
- The Dragon’s Song at Casa Loma – Casa Loma Escape Series game full of strange science and mystical wonders
- Winter Fridays at Evergreen Brickworks – Picturesque outdoor skating rink, music, hot chocolate and street food
- Family Day Weekend Area51 Laser Tag
- Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema- From our Saturday Morning Cartoons to the late night features, TAAFI 2020 will satisfy that cartoon craving!
- Family Day Weekend at the AGO – Gallery-wide activities planned to celebrate families through the theme Togetherness
- Family Food Game Show at the Ontario Science Centre - A fast-paced game show where the whole audience can participate
- Family Day Weekend at Looking Glass Adventures – Have an Escape Room Adventure!
For those of you who would rather stay indoors this weekend, here’s a list of fun activities to do with your family:
- Make a time capsule – Pick out your favourite memories, postcards, pictures or any other momentos. Put it somewhere you’ll forget about it for a while, and open it up in a few years!
- Bake together – Get the whole family involved, make a mess and yummy baked goods!
- Play dress-up – Raid your closets for old dresses, bags, costume jewellery and other accessories
- Game night – Order a pizza, put together fun drinks and play boardgames all evening
- Paint night – The whole family can create paintings and pick a spot on your walls to proudly display them
- Plan a treasure hunt – Hide little gifts around the house or in your backyard, draw up a map and involve the family in a fun treasure hunt
It doesn’t matter what you decide to do on Family Day Weekend, the motive is to enjoy your family’s company and create wonderful memories together.
What other fun things do you and your family have planned this weekend? Tell us in the comments below!