We all dream of having an extra day to clean the house, run errands, organize our finances or get our nails done. But our kids won’t appreciate the organized closets. What they will love is a day spent together doing something a little out of the ordinary for Family Day.
We have some suggestions for where to celebrate together.
If you’re more west than east, head to Family Day on the Kingsway, where part of Bloor Street West will be shut down for ice sculpture competitions, maple taffy demonstrations, crafts, and music. It all starts at 11 am and wraps up at 3 pm.
Not to be outdone by their friends in the west, Family Day in the Beach represents the east side of the city with events including an outdoor petting zoo, an indoor family sing along with Juno award-winner Jack Grunsky, hoola hoop and juggling workshops, and puppet and variety shows.
Take Thomas the Tank Engine fans in your house to the Model Railroad Club of Toronto for their model railway show. With over 5000 feet of train tracks, amazing replica villages and multiple track switches, the entire family will be transported back to the 50’s’a hit for train fans.
The Science Centre may not sound like a new idea, but their Family Day weekend event, the Science of Flight is worth checking out for kids interested in birds of flight, or flight in general. Expect live, free-flight demonstrations with birds from the Canadian Raptor Conservancy (like Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, and falcons), then create parachutes and kites using unique materials. For kids five and under, go early to get a spot at the Eyes on the Skies program. Under the ‘nighttime’ sky, they’ll sing, play connect-the-stars and journey to the moon. Good to Know: Capacity is limited, so get there early.
For older kids who can stay up past 8 pm, DJ skate night at Harbourfront this Saturday night will be a hit, but the early-to-bed set can glide while the sun is (hopefully) still up at Harbourfront on Saturday and Sunday. Most activities run between 11 am to 5 pm, including free skating on the Natrel Kinder Rink and main rink, hockey mask and skateboard-making demos, and a simulated ice cave. For kids aged 5 to 10, there are performances of well-reviewed shadow play Everything Under the Moon, which uses hand movements and projected images to tell a spellbinding story about two small, winged creatures and their urgent flight.
The Hockey Hall of Fame opens its doors to kids for free on Family Day (with the purchase of an adult ticket), and while the kids can’t skate in the building itself, they can certainly revel in their favourite sport and the accomplishments of athletes who make it look way too easy.
The Solar Stage, a small, independent theatre in North York, has three performances of their new show, Memorable Munsch on Family Day. They have combined some of the popular Munsch stories into one play, including Put Me in a Book, Alligator Baby, Just One Goal and Andrew’s Loose Tooth.
The TIFF Bell Lightbox offers a ton of free programming over the Family Day long weekend, with children’s movies from around the world. Kids can experience ‘green screen’ special effects, have their voices dubbed, and catch an awe-inspiring documentary about young circus performers.
You may not make a dent in the dirty clothes’ pile, and you could end up buying groceries late at night, but those tired smiles on their faces as they fall asleep’you get the credit for that.
Have a Happy Family Day. Tested by Alison R., Toronto