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Published on January 19th, 2017 | by Crissandra Ayroso

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What To Do During the Family Day Long Weekend

Ice skating, ice sculpting, ice wine. Winter is a season that brings out some of our favourite pastimes and with the February long weekend coming up, we have an extra day off to enjoy all of these things. (All at once, if we’re lucky.) Whether you’re celebrating Family Day, Islander Day, Heritage Day, or Louis Riel Day, many of us have been afforded an extra day to spend with family and loved ones. Here are a few family-friendly vacation ideas, local and just across the US border, for this February long weekend:

Local Canadian Getaways

Toronto

Welcoming, entertaining, and always exciting, Toronto is the ultimate Family Day getaway any time of year. Lace up your blades of glory and show off your backwards skating abilities on the ice at Nathan Phillips Square.

toronto ontario canada top destinations 2017

The Art Gallery of Ontario have a full day of activities to inspire young minds, including short films, kite designing and flying, and fort building. Explore Casa Loma, a castle built in the early 1900s and imagine what it was like almost hundred years ago. Navigate your way through secret passageways, admire the gardens, and wander the Great Hall in this living work of art and history.

 

Ottawa

Family Day, Feb. 20

Winterlude is back in our nation’s capital Feb. 3-20 for the 39th year in a row bringing us ice carvings, snow sculptures, and our beloved BeaverTails, Canada’s number one deep fried pastry. Skate down the Rideau Canal, the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink and Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, or sit back, people watch, and cozy up with some hot chocolate.

 

Niagara Falls

Family Day, Feb. 20

Clifton Hill, the main street in Niagara Falls, is a year-round family-friendly attraction. Start at the top of the hill and make your way down. Just be sure to stop by the Fudge Factory, the midway, and maybe a haunted house or two along the way before finally stopping at the Falls.

niagara falls light display

For a dramatic change in scenery, drive 30 minutes north toward Niagara’s wine country, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and find yourself surrounded with endless vineyards and orchards, wineries to sample said products, bed and breakfasts, and spas.

 

Collingwood

Family Day, Feb. 20

North of Ontario along the gorgeous Georgian Bay, head to Collingwood’s Blue Mountain Village. Pack in some quality time with the family on the hills and spend the day skiing, snowboarding, tubing. At the end of the day, keep warm and cozy indoors by a fire and unwind. During Family Day weekend, Feb. 18-20, Blue Mountain Village will have some exciting family-friendly activities planned, like scavenger hunts, dance parties, and more.

 

Vancouver

Family Day, Feb. 13

burrard bridge, vancouver, bc. spend family day in vancouver.

In a city like Vancouver where the winters are mild, families have the option of spending their days indoors and in the Great Outdoors. Vancouver is family-friendly year-round which means there are plenty of outdoor spaces to enjoy like Stanley Park and the Seawall, the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path that wraps around Stanley Park. The Seawall is popular for bicycle rides – even in February. For indoors enthusiasts, the Vancouver Aquarium ought to delight the whole family, if not for its colourful creature inhabitants then for the satisfaction of contributing to a non-profit group dedicated to conserving the ocean and protecting marine life. Head to Granville Island for coffee and pie, watch the boats sail by, and breathe in the crisp ocean breeze.

 

Whistler

Family Day, Feb. 13

Step foot into a winter wonderland this Family Day, Feb. 13,  and head up to Whistler, just two hours north of Vancouver. Head to the mountains and stop in Whistler Village. Watch Fire & Ice, a free outdoor show of ski and snowboard air displays, fireworks, live DJs, and more.

More family-friendly entertainment and activities will be held in Whistler Olympic Plaza. Whistler will have a special lift ticket deal for Family Day, for everyone to ski and snowboard Whistler Blackcomb, one of the greatest mountain ranges in the world.

 

Vancouver Island

Family Day, Feb. 13

One or two ferry rides out to this island and any of the thousands that surround it will have you wondering if you’re still in the same country you thought you were in. 

Vancouver Island is a walk through the wild that will inspire the whole family, from the towering lush evergreens and roadside waterfalls and streams, to the nature trails and coldwater surf.

 

Getaways to the USA

Anaheim

The ultimate family road trip. With so much to see and do in and outside of Anaheim, jump in and out of the car for spontaneous last minute turns and side trips in California.

palm trees in california

Visit the happiest place on earth, Disneyland, the original theme park that started it all back in 1955 and California Adventure. Hop back in the car and drive to Southern California’s iconic promenades in Santa Monica and Venice Beach, Legoland in San Diego, and of course, the beaches.

Travel Tips

  • Book a car rental. Anaheim is approximately an hour and a half drive from Los Angeles which means it’s a (relatively) quick ride away to Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, and San Diego.
  • If you’re visiting Disneyland, staying at a Disneyland resort comes with exclusive Disney perks, like longer access to parks, a convenient special entrance through Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and more.
  • For more indoor adventures, try out the Discovery Cube science centre, the military flight simulator at the Flight Deck, or spend a leisurely afternoon at the The Outlets at Orange.

 

Orlando

Journey to one of Orlando’s world famous theme parks for arguably one of the most important family vacations of anyone’s childhood: Disney World. Several trips back to the House of Mouse prove that no matter how old you are, or how sophisticated your travel preferences have becomes as you’ve gotten older, or if you’re even visiting with kids or not, that Disney World can put a smile on even the least suspecting candidate. Disney caters to the young and young at heart.

disney world boardwalk

From Cinderella’s enchanting castle in the Magic Kingdom, to the beloved ketchup chips representing the food of our people at the Canadian pavilion in Epcot Center, to the Tree of Life that stands so high and proud in Animal Kingdom the strong willing suspension of disbelief will hoist you away into the magical world of Disney.

Travel Tips

  • Stay at one of the Disney resorts, like the Disney’s All-Star Music Resort (value), Disney’s Coronado Springs (moderate), or Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (deluxe) for exclusive Disney perks, like longer access to parks, complimentary transportation and parking, and complimentary MagicBands, bracelets that allow you to conveniently access your hotel room, validate your admission to theme parks, and keep track of your FastPass selections and check-ins.
  • Three-day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper option start at $485 for adults and $459 for kids ages 3-9 years old. Click here for more park ticket options.

 

 

February Long Weekend Dates Across Canada 2017

Feb. 13, Family Day in British Columbia

Feb. 20, Family Day in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia

Feb. 20 Islander Day in Prince Edward Island

Feb. 20 Louis Riel Day in Manitoba

Feb. 26 Heritage Day in the Yukon

 

 

For more ideas in your ‘hood or further, contact a Flight Centre Travel Expert by connecting with us online, calling 1-877-967-5302, or visiting your closest Flight Centre store.

 

 

 

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About the Author

Crissandra Ayroso

is a copywriter for Flight Centre. She loves road trips, beach weather, sampling local wine. She, like Helen Hunt in the 1996 disaster-rama (that’s short for drama) Twister, is a tornado chaser, in the travel sense. She chases moments, all revealing. Ephemeral. Whether it’s ordering room service and eating in bed, finding the highest rooftop for the best views of the surroundings, feeling like a small dot in the middle of the ocean on a boat, or getting lost and stumbling upon hidden gems, no moment is too big or small to chase. Just like the category F5 that brought Helen Hunt back together with her estranged husband, respected TV weatherman, Bill Paxton.



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