Family Day on a budget
Written By: Friday, February 17th 2017

One of the good things that occurred when Ontario residents re-elected the Dalton McGuinty Liberals in 2007 (some would argue the only good thing) was the creation of the Family Day holiday, on the third Monday in February.

There are a ton of things for families to get out of the house and enjoy, some can be very expensive. So here are a few ideas for families who are living on a tighter budget.

Ice Fishing

This year Family Fishing Weekend February 18-20, 2017 is designated as OFFW license-free fishing days. That weekend you don’t need a valid OUTDOORS card or a fishing license.

In Barrie, you can catch fish right off the docks:

Another successful morning! 🐠🙋🏽 #ilovefishing #lakesimcoe #kempenfeltbay #offthedocks #catchandrelease #perch

A photo posted by Hayley Greco (@hayleyrain.g) on


Every community across KICX Country has “the hill” – in Midland it’s known as Campbell’s hill and all the kids know it is the best place to test out a snowboard, toboggan or sno-racer.

#snowboarding #campbellshill

A photo posted by Sarah Swanson (@sarahhswanson) on

Cross Country Skiing

At Awenda Provincial Park you can snowshoe, hike or Cross Country ski. Starting at the Trail Centre, which features a cozy wood heated log cabin, you can ski 17km of back country trails – sometimes set with a single track. Snowshoeing is popular through the open bush; however there are no designated snowshoe trails. All you have to do is pay for parking, no matter the number in your party.


Indoors at your local arena, or on the ice trail at Discovery Harbour in Penetanguishene, or Fern Resort in Orillia – prices vary, but it can be an economical outing (providing you have skates).

#winterfun2016❄️ #familytime #arrowheadlake #iceskatingtrail

A photo posted by Candice (@candicelewis5) on

Two Muskoka facilities – Arrowhead Provincial Park (above), and Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh and Winery – made this list of top 10 skating experiences in Canada:


The Wye Marsh is a great place to spend Family Day – they are open from 10am to 4pm. Explore the trails by ski or snowshoe (rentals are available and reasonable). You can stop to hand feed chickadees, warm up by an open fire while roasting bannock and sipping cedar or wintergreen tea. You can take on the Wye Marsh Winter Olympic Challenge, and check out native reptiles and amphibians in the learning center.
A Family Day pass is just $30 and includes the chance to win a Family Membership to Wye Marsh.

#snowshoeing at #midland #wyemarsh

A photo posted by Mike Henry (@mike_henry1989) on

🐥😍 #wyemarsh #afternoonstrolls #winterdays #chikadee #childhoodmemories

A photo posted by Meg 💋 (@atty19) on

Game Day

If you aren’t the outdoorsy type – consider turning off the TV and disconnecting the game systems in favour of board games. In my house the winner of the game gets to pick the next game. We like games everyone can play like Trouble and UNO.

Watch out, we take #FamilyGameNight very seriously. Especially when it comes to @UNO! #Wild4UNO #Sponsored

A photo posted by Devon Still (@man_of_still91) on

Movie Night

After a day of family fun – why not take in a movie. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your living room. You can pop some popcorn, cozy up on the couch and watch a family movie together – a rental or perhaps Netflix.

Spending time on choosing a movie, and less time choosing your tax software. #ThatsSmart #FamilyMovieNight

A photo posted by TurboTax Canada (@turbotaxcanada) on

However you spend the day – I hope you get to share it making memories with the people you love most. Happy Family Day.