Family Day is not a national statutory holiday, it is only observed in New Brunswick, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
How Did Family Day Get It’s Start?
Family Day got its start in Alberta when Helen Hunley — the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta — passed the Family Day Act in 1990. This officially established the third Monday of every February as Alberta Family Day. Other Provinces adopted the holiday over the next two decades. Saskatchewan founded “Family Day” in 2007, and Ontario followed suit in 2008 and British Columbia in 2013. British Columbia is the only Province that celebrates the event on the second Monday of the month instead of the third.
New Brunswick and Manitoba have similar events — Islander Day on Prince Edward Island and Louis Riel Day in Manitoba — and Yukon and Nova Scotia both have a respective Heritage Day. All of these celebrations are held on the third Monday of February.
Why Do We Celebrate Family Day?
Family Day is a time set aside to focus on getting closer to your loved ones, learning and establishing family traditions and values. It was originally created to give people time to spend with their families but it also provides a day off between New Years Day and Good Friday as they are approximately three months apart. It’s a wonderful bonding time for families in participating areas.
How to celebrate Family Day this year?
The Family Day weekend this year is at the same time as Valentine’s Day (on the 14th) and Chinese New Year (with the Year of the Ox beginning on February 12th). In a typical year, there are so many fun activities to choose from celebrating Family Day across the country. Because of COVID-19, the best things to do in 2021 involve activities with family members from within your immediate household or online via Zoom or Facetime or some other app if with extended family and other folks.
- Have fun in the kitchen.
Cooking and baking can be lovely ways to pass the time inside. Holidays are a great opportunity to create family traditions, children will remember for the rest of their lives. Have your kids help make a memorable meal.
- Play a board game.
Family game night creates lasting memories because they foster a sense of belonging. You can sit around the kitchen table with a bowl of popcorn and a board game or puzzle. Laughing together strengthens the bonds.
- Get crafty.
Find some great craft ideas online, hands-on activities in a fun and friendly atmosphere with your kids, no matter what your skill level or experience. Just to get to playing, making, and being creative together, you may be amazed at how soothing such a simple activity can be.
- Host a Family party.
A family party with the theme of dance, music, poem or theatre performance is a great brain break and bond strengthen. It immediately changes the tone of the day and turns everyone’s mood around.
- Reading together.
Choose a few books to read together with your kids at daytime or bedtime. Check out your library’s website. Many have books, e-books, audiobooks, and so on that, you can get at no cost with your membership.
- Snuggle up for Family movie night.
Grab some popcorn, blankets, pillows, cozy up on the couch and watch a movie. Alternatively, you could have each person in the family select their favourite movie and you can take turns watching those.
- Say “I Love You”.
Go around the table and have everyone share 1 reason they love each member of the family. Build strong and positive family relationships with love.
- Create a tradition.
Chances are your family probably already has some great traditions. However, there is always room for another one. Think about something fun you can do each Family Day and try and commit to doing it every year. Write it down on a calendar so you’ll remember it next year.
It’s probably a bit chilly now, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. Think of Family Day as a guaranteed snow day. Keep warm and stay safe.
Here are some outdoor activities at Family Day Weekend in Regina.
- Family Fishing Weekend (February 13 to 15, 2021)
No license is required. Sit on the calm banks of the river, and make merry with your family, while waiting for the perfect catch. Keep in mind that fishing regulations still apply and not fishing in national parks.
- Echo Valley Skate the Park (Wednesdays – Sundays | Weather Dependent)
Lace-up your blades for a skate through Aspen campground along a 2 km winding trail then skate over to the fire to warm up. Vehicle permit required.
- Febrrrrary (February 1- 15, 2021)
Join the RCMP Heritage Centre for some winter activity FUN. Scavenger Hunt, Ice Sculptures, Snow Sculptures, Crafts and more! Free.
- Iceville (Until February 28, 2021)
Enjoy skating at Mosaic Stadium, Saskatchewan’s largest public outdoor skating surface! Free. Need register.
- Get Outside! Outdoor Explorer Events (Wednesdays & Fridays, until February 27, 2021 | 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM)
Join Nature Regina for a Get Outside! Outdoor Explorer Event at different parks in Regina every Friday. Free. RSVP.
- Enjoy a Family Walk
Dress warm, pack a thermos of hot coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy a walk in the parks and natural areas in and around Regina.
- Cross-Country Ski
Cross-Country Ski is a great way for families to get outdoors and enjoy the winter together! It’s less expensive and safer than alpine skiing, it helps keep kids fit, and it’s a skill they’ll have their entire life. Enjoy cross-country skiing on ski trails in and around Regina.
You also can join virtual events having fun from just about anywhere there’s WiFi. There are some you may be interested in.
Take advantage of this wonderful time of year to reinforce your family bonds. Happy Family Day!