Family Day in Ontario is the perfect time to head outside and enjoy the winter weather with your family. Hundreds of events take place across the province over the long weekend, many of which are easily accessible and cost effective. For outdoor lovers, there’s free fishing, ski resorts, and dozens of outdoor festivals to visit. As for those who want to cozy up indoors, museums across Ontario are opening their doors for special events for the whole family to enjoy. Whatever your preference, Family Day in Ontario is an enjoyable and fun time for all ages.

Fish With Your Family – For Free!

For those looking to head outdoors to enjoy the winter weather at little cost, you can take part in one of the oldest recreational activities no matter where you are in Ontario for the low price of free. Family Day Weekend is one of four weekends throughout the year where everyone can fish for free without having to purchase a fishing license. You still have to provide your own gear and follow conservation laws, but without the need for a license the hurdles to fish are significantly reduced.

There are hundreds of Family Day fishing events throughout the province. If you’ve never fished before, the Winterama Family Fishing event in Penetanguishne provides learning poles for newcomers to learn the ropes. Another option is Habour Harvest in Nepean, where volunteers will drill holes in the ice to allow you and your family to compete in an ice fishing derby.

Explore Winter in the Wild at Algonquin Park

The oldest provincial park in Canada hosts a day long celebration of winter every Family Day weekend. Algonquin Park’s Winter in the Wild is a day long event held on the Saturday of the Family Day long weekend that features indoor and outdoor events throughout the park. 

If you’re looking to explore the outdoors, there are guided tours focusing on the park’s resident birds, snowshoe trails, and tips for overnight winter camping. The Algonquin Visitor Centre has hands on exhibits on the park’s artifacts, a showcase of nature photograph, and paintings from talented artists. To cap off the day, you can take part in a charity barbeque at the Mew Lake Campground before skating on the local rink or taking part in a winter night hike. 

Enjoy the Weekend at Blue Mountain

Looking to take part in a weekend long celebration at one of the best ski resorts in Ontario? Blue Mountain Ski Resort features a full four days of activities throughout the Family Day long weekend. Live music and DJ sets can be heard whether you’re on the hills or in the village all weekend long, with special dance and drumming sessions taking place every day. Stay up late to catch the fireworks over Mill Pond or wake up early to catch the sunrise over the Georgian Bay. From ice carving to carnival performers, there is never a dull moment at the resort over the weekend.

And if you’re looking to hit the slopes, Blue Mountain has a few special activities over the Family Day weekend. A photographer will be on site taking action shots as skiers and snowboarders rip down the trails. Combine that with Blue Mountain’s skating rink, winter roller coaster, and indoor aquatics centre, and you’ll create a Family Day weekend you won’t soon forget.

Visit A Museum for Special Programming

Museums across the province are holding special activities for all ages throughout the long weekend. Whether you’re in Niagara, Southwest Ontario, Toronto, the Capital Region, or anywhere in between, museums are the perfect place for kids to have some fun while learning on Family Day.

The St. Catherine’s Museum features a full day of activities and games focused on a different theme every year while opening its collection vault for behind-the-scenes tours. Birders can head over to the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum for its annual Great Backyard Bird Count, where you can record and track birds in real time. Meanwhile, the Royal Ontario Museum opens its doors for a full weekend of hands on activities as guests create and design their own crafts. Regardless of where you are, Ontario museums are a fun and engaging place to spend the day in on Family Day.

Discover One of The Many Winter Festivals Across Ontario

The long weekend means one thing for many communities across Ontario – it’s the perfect time to host a festival. The Family Day weekend is the capstone to the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights, where the largest outdoor lights festival in the province culminates in a spectacular fireworks display over the falls itself. The same is true of Ottawa’s Winterlude, where masterful ice sculptures, winter markets, and the Rideau Canal combine to create a wonderful experience. In Northern Ontario, Thunder Bay’s SnowDay on the Waterfront has gigantic snow sculptures alongside a winter petting zoo, skating rink, and food vendors.

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