The Family Day long weekend is just around the corner and there’s no shortage of fun, family-friendly events happening throughout the GTA to keep your whole crew busy and entertained. We’ve rounded up a selection of kid-pleasing attractions you won’t want to miss.
1. Family Fun Fest at Downsview Park
With rides, games, an arcade and a live stage show, there is a little something for everyone at the Family Fun Fest at Downsview Park. The 30,000-square foot “indoor fun zone” features several inflatable attractions, midway rides and bouncing castles, along with carnival-style games and live entertainment from The Trevor Show and Doo Doo the Clown. February 14–16. Downsview Park, Toronto. www.familydayfest.ca. Admission: $25–$100; ticket info.
2. Family Day at TIFF
Mini movie buffs will have a blast celebrating Family Day at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, where they can take part in free activities like learning about sound effects and stop-motion animation. There will also be a selection of kid-friendly flicks to see—don’t forget the popcorn! February 16. TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto. tiff.net/kids-family/family-programming. FREE* *does not apply to movie tickets
3. Family Sunday in the Beach
If you’re in the east end of the city on February 15, head to the Beach Village for a special “Winter Cottage in the City” Family Day celebration that includes lumberjack shows, ice carving, and even a life-size snow globe. You can also swing by one of the Muskoka Warming Stations for a break from the cold, or take a ride on a vintage trolley. February 15. Kew Gardens, Toronto. www.thebeachvillage.com. FREE.
4. Family Day at Young People’s Theatre
If your little one has a flair for the dramatic, you can’t go wrong with Family Day at Young People’s Theatre. In addition to an afternoon performance of Snow Angel, your kiddo can take part in a scavenger hunt or a family mask workshop, and even go on a special backstage tour. February 16. 165 Front St. E., Toronto. www.youngpeoplestheatre.ca. Admission: $20–$30 (includes performance and all activities); ticket info.
5. HarbourKIDS Festival
With a jam-packed program of fun and games, the Harbourfront Centre is the place to be on Family Day weekend. At the HarbourKIDS Skating Festival, apart from skating lessons and performances you can expect to find live music, storytelling, crafts, and lots of opportunities for imaginative play. Plus, your family could help set a new Guinness World Record for the world’s largest skating lesson! February 15–16. Harbourfront Centre. www.harbourfrontcentre.com/harbourkids. FREE.
6. Cabbagetown Family Day Festival
Gather up your gang and head to Cabbagetown for the first Cabbagetown Family Day Festival, featuring horse-and-carriage rides, buskers, ice sculptures and live music. Need another reason to visit? Two words: free pancakes. February 16. Parliament St. (Between Gerrard and Wellesley), Toronto. FREE.
7. Kids Fest Toronto
This is the perfect Family Day destination for little ones who are always bouncing off the walls! Kids Fest Toronto boasts more than 30 inflatable rides, as well as an exotic animals show, carnival games, mini-putt, fun science experiments, and even a magician. February 14–16. International Centre Mississauga. www.kidsfestto.com Tickets: $25–$80; ticket info.
8. Family Day Carnival at the Kortright Centre
If you’re looking to spend some time in the great outdoors for Family Day, bundle up and head to Family Day Carnival at the Kortright Centre. Kids can take part in snowshoeing, hiking, sledding and skating, as well as face painting and crafts. Top off the day with a well-earned mug of hot chocolate by the fire. February 14–16. Kortright Centre for Conservation, Woodbridge. kortright.org/whats-on. FREE for kids under 15.
9. Family Day at Montgomery’s Inn
Get ready for some fancy footwork and a bit of craic! Montgomery’s Inn will be hosting an Irish Ceilidh on Family Day, complete with an Irish dancing workshop, tasty homemade treats and stories by the fire. February 16. Montgomery’s Inn, Etobicoke. Admission: $2–$6.
10. Ontario License-Free Fishing Weekend
Fishing isn’t just for summertime! Try something new this Family Day and take the kids ice fishing—no licence required—to see if you can reel in the big one. Visit the Ontario Family Fishing website for a list of ice fishing events taking place across the province.
11. Hamilton Kids Fest
Get ready for a fun Family Day weekend in Hamilton! The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum will become an indoor playground full of cool inflatable rides, slides and bouncing stations, along with games and crafts to keep kids entertained. Check out the stage show to learn about animals from The Reptile Man and Hands On Exotics, and sing along with Suzie Sunshine. For an additional cost, kids can get their face painted, get a glitter tattoo, and even take part in a skateboard-making workshop. February 14–16. The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Hamilton. kids-fest.ca. Admission: $10–$20; ticket info.
12. Mr Peabody and Sherman Family Day in Oshawa
Movie fans east of the city can enjoy a free Family Day morning screening of the cute animated flick Mr. Peabody & Sherman (complete with popcorn!), hosted by the Oshawa Community Church. This event also includes a jumping castle and games for the whole family. February 16. Oshawa Community Church, Oshawa. facebook.com/events/1060723633957009. FREE.
13. Winterfest at Markham Museum
Have you ever wondered about the science behind snow? Inquisitive kiddos will have a blast learning about snow and trying winter-themed activities on Family Day at Markham Museum. In addition to snowshoeing and ice-block building, families can enjoy kid-friendly crafts along with plenty of great music and tasty food. February 16. Markham Museum, Markham. Admission: $3
14. Ajax Winterfest
This year’s Winterfest in Ajax has plenty of fun activities for kids of all ages—indoors and out—at the Audley Recreation Centre. Face painting, crafts and yummy hot chocolate are just a few of the things you can expect to find. And if your wee one is a Frozen fan, the chance to meet Elsa and Anna (after a live stage show) makes this a can’t-miss event. February 16. Audley Recreation Centre. www.ajax.ca/en/Calendar. FREE.
15. Family Day at the Rober McLaughlin Gallery
Calling all budding artists! The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa will be transforming their gallery spaces into learning labs on Family Day for a series of fun activities that blur the lines between science and art. Kids will have a chance to create cool pieces of art that they can proudly display on the fridge at home. February 16. The Robert McLaughlin Gallery. www.rmg.on.ca/events.php. Admission: Pay by donation.
Looking for more fun Family Day ideas? Don’t forget to check your community’s official website for free Family Day activities and programming in your area.
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