Whatever you may call it — Family Day, Islander Day, Louis Riel Day or Heritage Day — the mid-February holiday is a great opportunity to enjoy spending time with your family in the middle of winter.
This year’s Family Day long weekend, however, will be like no other. COVID-19 has meant that many attractions and activities across the country are closed. Also, many restrictions don’t allow you to spend time with anyone outside their own home.
We’ve got some great ideas for making the most of the holiday, no matter where you live or the precautions you have to take. Just be sure to consult your local public health guidelines before making any plans.
Top 6 Family Day Celebration Ideas
1. Enjoying the great outdoors
If you live with your family members, getting outside with them is the perfect way to get some exercise and have some fun this Family Day weekend. While ski hills are closed in some areas, popular ski resorts in places such as BC and Alberta are still open. COVID-19 safety protocols mean that they are running at restricted capacity, so be sure to make reservations in advance.
Even in cities with more severe lockdowns, there are still plenty of outdoor Family Day activity ideas available, such as skating and hiking on trails. Further afield, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing can make for a great family day out.
2. Keeping the fun indoors
If you’d rather stay home to have fun this Family Day, there are plenty of things you can do to enjoy your time together. Rather than playing the same old board games, you could try out an escape room. You have to work together as a team to find clues, solve puzzles and escape before time runs out.
There are a number of escape room games that are available to buy online that will help you recreate the experience in your own home.
With Escape Room in a Box: Flashback, you’ll all need to work together to solve 19 puzzles, including four combination locks, before you escape. There are three different “paths” to play, so you get three times the fun. If you connect to Alexa, you’ll get hints to help you along.
With Escape Room: The Game, you get to choose your challenge, set the timer and escape the room within an hour to win. Four adventures include Prison Break and Murder Mystery, where you need to find clues to enter the correct keys into the “Chrono Decoder” to escape.
3. Take this Family Day celebration online
If you don’t live with your family members, there are great ways for you to hang out together that are far more fun than just another conference call.
Staying with the escape room theme, there are virtual escape rooms that you could play together remotely. As with the offline versions, you have to work together to solve math problems and puzzles to succeed. There are plenty of online escape rooms and many of them are free.
Jackbox is perfect for playing a wide range of virtual games together. Several families can play at the same time and each one will need a couple of devices to play (for example, a laptop plus a smart phone or tablet). You’ll want to sign up and work out how to play in advance.
There are a number of party packs available, each one containing five or more games, and they’re all reasonably priced. The games are so much fun that you and your family are bound to love them this Family Day weekend and beyond. Games include Fibbage, a hilarious bluffing game, Drawful, where you draw clues to help (or fool) the other players, and Lie Swatter, which will test your ability to spot the truth from a lie. Each game comes with a virtual host who takes you through every step of the game.
4. Heating up the kitchen
Cooking with kids is always fun, and it’s easy to do it virtually for this Family Day celebration. Just jump on a video call, help each other go through each of the steps and try out some new recipes together. You can even compare your creations once they’re ready.
You can always start with cookies, the classic kids’ favourite. If you’ve never baked them before, the best chocolate chip cookies are easy to make and highly rated.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous but need some inspiration, we have some great ideas for treats that kids will love. You may not be able to take them to Disney World right now, but you can bring the resort’s food to them. Disney has shared the secrets to some of its most popular kid-friendly treats, with easy-to-follow recipes.
You can try making Toy Story Land’s grilled three-cheese sandwich, Disney’s famous churros, or gingerbread cream cheese muffins. The kids can help you make them, and they’ll love eating them.
5. Get crafty this Family Day
It’s easy to host a virtual craft party and this can be so much fun for the whole family. Before you all get on the video call, make a few preparations. First of all, choose what kind of project you’d like to do together this Family Day — you can get ideas from craftsy.com or marthastewart.com.
Work out which supplies you’ll need. You can either choose simple crafts, with supplies you can find in any home, or you can send the necessary supplies to your family members in advance. Go through each step together and help out your family members along the way. You’ll all love creating something unique.
6. Bring the theatre home
Why don’t you “take” your family to a Broadway show for this Family Day celebration? Several companies have released shows online at very reasonable prices.
There are dozens of musicals available for rent at BroadwayHD.com. Some are suitable for younger children, such as Peter Pan and Cinderella, while there’s a wide choice for older kids too, such as Cats, Billy Elliott, Fame and Into the Woods.
You can sign up for a seven-day trial and watch as many shows as you like for free. Plus, it’s only $8.99 (US) per month after the trial.
The UK’s National Theatre has a large roster of filmed live plays and shows, including family favourite, Dick Whittington. The show costs $12.75 to rent, or for $17.30 you can subscribe for a whole month and enjoy plays starring the likes of Helen Mirren, Tom Hiddleston and Olivia Colman.
If you don’t live with your family members, you can still enjoy watching a show or movie together. Simply join them on a video call and press play at the same time. For a more synchronized experience, you could use Teleparty to watch shows and movies on Netflix, Disney and HBO together. There’s even a group chat option.
You don’t have to let the pandemic stop you from enjoying this Family Day long weekend. We’ve given you all the ideas you need to have a great time with your family – all you need do is bring your sense of fun.