First instituted in Alberta in 1990 and later by Ontario in 2008, the purpose of Family Day is to give people a chance to reconnect with their loved ones, in between the major holidays of New Year's Day and Good Friday. Today, Family Day is observed in two-thirds of Canada — B.C., Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan. Whatever it is you decide to do, be sure to closely follow COVID public health guidelines outlined by the Ontario Government. As children will be returning to school in Toronto, York, and Peel public health regions this Tuesday, it is imperative to keep Family Day celebrations as safe as possible to minimize any possibility of in-school transmission. If you're struggling to come up with a plan, try out one of these activities to ensure a low-stress, fun, and safe Family Day.
The present stay-at-home order may rule out the possibility of going on an out-of-the-city getaway, however, that doesn't mean you can't participate in winter fun at one of Toronto's fifty-four outdoor skating rinks! With the twenty-five skater limit and mask requirement, leisure skating is a great way to safely get some winter exercise. Book your skating slot on the City of Toronto website for up to seven days in advance, and bring a screenshot or printed receipt of your reservation to the rink. If all reservations are booked, don't fret: a certain number of spaces are reserved each time period for walk-in skaters, but be sure to show up early.
Participate in an Online Event
Family Day has gone virtual this year, and event organizers have not disappointed. There are quite literally hundreds of workshops, performances, and classes to pick from. If you've gotten your whole family into chess after binge-watching The Queen's Gambit, perhaps the Child's Life Family Day Online Chess Tournament is appropriate. Arenas for competitive and casual elementary school chess players alike are both available, along with lessons and puzzles all day. If chess isn't your thing, give drawing a try with Toronto4Kids, who are offering a free workshop on Saturday February 13th teaching kids how to draw family caricature cartoons.
You may be feeling a little burnt out from the mess that indoor crafting can make, so why not move that creativity outdoors. Take advantage of weather projections for this weekend, and try creating these frozen bubbles from Kids Activities — you'll have the best luck if the temperature reaches -12 celsius. If you're in the mood to spend time foraging in your local park, check out the instructions for this Frozen Suncatcher craft from Run Wild My Child, which result in beautiful, unique pieces that can be hung outdoors. If fresh clean snow arrives as projected on Saturday, you can even participate in the long-lasting Canadian tradition of making maple taffy! For more craft and experiment ideas, check out the Ontario Science Centre's collection of DIY Science Fun.
Get In The Kitchen
Learning to cook is a critical life skill, an awesome creative outlet, and just plain fun! Get you and your family in the kitchen this Family Day and collaborate on a special meal — whether it be an extravagant breakfast feast, a special homemade dinner, or sweet treat. You can even skip the struggle of coming up with a recipe plan and register for an online cooking class, such as this kid-friendly workshop on how to Red Velvet Cake Pops. For some other age-appropriate recipes, check out one of the following collections of "cooking with kids" recipes, put together by top cooking outlets: Food Network, New York Times, Taste of Home, BBC, Bon Appetit.
Take It Easy
At the end of the day, this holiday is all about taking a break, and spending quality time with your loved ones. Don't stress too hard about trying to create the perfect itinerary — if the day comes and you find your energy zapped, throw on a movie marathon and lay low. Family Day weekend overlaps with Valentine's Day, creating the perfect opportunity to simply honour the joy of familial love by being around one another. Maybe spend some time sharing family stories, looking at old photo albums, or talking about your family tree. Be sure to take some cheesy family portraits to remember this exceptional year, and stick them in a scrapbook you can look back on for years to come.