Monday, 17 February 2014

Happy Family Day: February 17

Whatever "family" is to you or means for you, each one of us has some sort of family, even if it is your puppy! To all of you we are wishing the best day hopefully spent with your loved ones. Read about Family Day in Canada and what to do in Edmonton today.

FAMILY DAY IN CANADA (courtesy of Time and Date):

"Family Day is observed in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan on the third Monday of February. In British Columbia, Family Day falls on the second Monday of February. This holiday celebrates the importance of families and family life to people and their communities.

What do people do?

On Family Day, many people plan and take part in activities aimed at the whole family. These include visiting art exhibitions, watching movies, skating on outdoor ice rinks, playing board games and taking part in craft activities. Some communities plan special public events, and art galleries and museums may have reduced price or free entry.
As the weather is usually very cold in February, hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies are popular snacks. Other people use the long weekend as an opportunity for a short winter break or to travel to visit family members or friends. As Family Day falls on the same date as National Heritage Day (except in British Columbia), some people use the day to explore their personal heritage and family history.

Public life

In the provinces of Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia many people have a day off work and schools are generally closed on Family Day. Many businesses and organizations are closed, but post offices may be open. Public transport services may run to their usual or reduced timetables.
In the province of Manitoba, the third Monday of February is a general holiday, known as Louis Riel Day. Many people have a day off work and school and many businesses, organizations and stores are closed. In some communities, stores are open after noon. Public transport services may run to Sunday or holiday timetables. In rural areas, there may be no services.
In the other provinces and territories of Canada, Family Day is not observed, and neither the third nor the second Monday in February are holidays there. Businesses, organizations, schools and post offices are open as usual and public transport services run to their normal timetables.


Family Day was first held in Canada in the province of Alberta in 1990. It is supposed to reflect the values of family and home that were important to the pioneers who founded Alberta, and give workers the opportunity to spend more time with their families. Family Day was introduced in Saskatchewan in 2007 and in Ontario in 2008. British Columbia observes Family Day as a statutory holiday for the first time in 2013. One of the reasons for introducing Family Day was that there was a long period when there were no holidays from New Year's Day until Good Friday.
Holidays to celebrate families are also held in other places around the globe. In the Australian Capital Territory, the first Tuesday of November is known as Family and Community Day. In South Africa, the day after Easter Sunday is Family Day" (1).  

WHAT TO DO IN EDMONTON? (courtesy of Frugal Edmonton Mama; you can click on each name of activity for more info): 

"Skating at City Hall (free)
Go skating on the City Hall ice rink. Free skate and helmet rentals will be available. Play a game of street hockey, giant checkers or chess. Warm up by an open fire. From 1-4pm, show off you best dance moves at Swing & Skate. Enjoy live swing, jazz and big band music featuring the Rhythm Gunners Big Band of the Royal Canadian Artillery Band inside City Hall.
Hay Rides, Bannock Making and Games on the Square (free)
Take a twirl on the City Hall ice rink, go for a hay ride, try out a kick sled, roast bannock over an open fire and check out the Family Day games and activities on the Square. Free skate and helmet rentals will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Food trucks will be on site. The excitement continues inside City Hall with a performance of Apples & Oranges, presented by Concrete Theatre.
Winterfete at the Leg Grounds (free)
Indoor and outdoor activities can be found at the Leg Grounds on Family Day, between noon and four. Scavenger Hunts, outdoor activities, crafts for the kids and more are going to be offered at this fun event. You’ll also find magic shows, photo booths, and face painting inside with traditional outdoor activities if you’re want to brave the crisp weather.
Hot Dogs and Hot Chocolate at Jackie Parker (free)
Join us for a day of winter fun! Drop-in and participate in a variety of outdoor winter activities: Skating, Snow Shoeing Snow Painting, Bannock Making, and sledding! Activities start at noon and go until four pm, children under six must be supervised by their parents. Even takes place at ackie Parker Recreation Area 4540 50 Street NW.
Family Day at Snow Valley (admission)
Is heading to the Hills more your family’s style? Check out the festivities at Snow Valley: Monday is Family Day with our featured activity: Family Challenge Races beginning at Noon.  We will have a course laid out, a starter FREE hot chocolate and prizes at the end.  Snow Rider will have draw prizes in store and so much more.
Family Day Fun at the Library (free)
All branches are open from 1-5pm, excluding eplGO. We’ve got a unique array of special programs and events for you and your family to enjoy including puppet shows, Xbox Family Dance off, photo booths and more!
Tobogganing with the Family (free)
Take advantage of the day off and head to the hills while the sun is shining. Dress for the weather and get out there for one of the most fun cardio workouts that you’re going to get all winter. Not sure where to start? Here is a full list of the city maintained tobogganing hills – find the one closest to you, here. 
Recover Treasures at the Reuse Center (free)
The Reuse Centre downtown is hosting a Family Day open house event. Participate in a reuse crafting workshop, shop through the treasure trove of items or take a tour and learn more about reuse. Activities are free, and start at noon and go until four. Items for purchase in the store are going to be $5/bag.
Free Admission to the Royal Alberta Museum (free)
Check out the exhibits and view the puppet show being put on at the Museum on Family Day, and it’s all free. What a great time to check out the Museum and get out with the family.
Inflatables and Face Painting at Millennium Place (admission)
Head to Millennium place during the day for some indoor fun. Face painting is available between 11-3 and inflatables will be on site (usually on the indoor soccer field) from 10-4. It’s the perfect time to get out of the house, without getting knee deep in snow. Regular admission rates apply for the door ($21/family $4.50/child).
Family Day at the Valley Zoo (admission)
Bundle up your family; beat the winter blues and “Get Closer” for some Family Day Fun! Stay warm while you make your own hot chocolate, have your face painted or participate in the Animal Families scavenger hunt. Visit our free photo booth to take home a family memory. Learn why Edmonton Valley Zoo is an Arctic Ambassador Centre for Polar Bears International.
Family Fun Day at Terwillegar Rec Center (admission)
Starting at noon, there’s lots of indoor fun going on. Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon featuring fitness games, obstacle courses and more! From 2:30-4pm you can also try out Family Zumba at Commonwealth Community Recreation Centre. Move to the beat with a fun, family-friendly, Zumba dance party! From noon-2pm you can try out pick-up floor hockey at Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre in Flexi Hall #3.
Activities take place from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m and include Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, tasty treats and a campfire! $2 Toonie Cross Country Ski Lessons (one hour). Sign-up for the 1 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. lesson and $2 Toonie Snowshoe Ramble (one hour): 2 p.m." 

(1) Time and Date:
(2) Frugal Edmonton Mama:


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