Family Day Fun from Coast to Coast

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    amily Day is an opportunity for Canadians to spend some extra quality time with their loved ones. While it isn’t quite a national holiday yet, the celebration has grown in popularity regionally as more provinces continue to adopt the idea. Family Day is considered a statutory holiday in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, British Columbia, and New Brunswick. Concurrently, Manitoba celebrates Louis Riel Day, Nova Scotia has Heritage Day, and Prince Edward Island observes Islander Day.

    The tradition began in Alberta in 1990, championed by the Premier at the time, Don Getty. His goal was to promote the importance of family values. The date was selected to offer a much needed statutory holiday in February, and more specifically it was tied to Presidents’ Day in the United States in an effort to minimize trade disruption. The other provinces joined far more recently between 2007 and 2018.

    There are numerous events and activities to choose around the country in 2023, and #TeamABM will highlight some of the best to help you plan the perfect day for you and yours. Regardless of if your province or territory officially recognizes the holiday, it’s always good to take the time to let the ones you love know how much they mean to you – whether that be the family you were born into, or the one you created for yourself. While they come in all shapes and sizes, family is family.


    Calgary wildlife festival for Family Day with a smiling Kangaroo
    Image by Wildlife Festival

    Calgarians can check out the annual Wildlife Festival held at the Stampede Grounds from February 17-20, 2023. It is an interactive and educational experience focusing on animals and their natural habitats. Stage shows and interactive experiences with the animals are sure to be a big hit with family members of all ages.

    West Edmonton Mall is always a popular choice for Edmontonians, and for good reason. There is a wide range of activities in one convenient location. The usual shopping and dining aside, there are always new and time honored attractions. A visit to the Sea Life Caverns will put you up close and personal with sharks, sea turtles, and penguins. Ed’s Bowling offers 10 pins of fun under the glow of black light. Galaxyland has a Hasbro themed facelift with lots of new attractions based on classic Hasbro licenses. For a tropical escape from winter, the World Waterpark might be the answer. Round off your excursion with a spirited round of mini golf with either Professors WEM’s Adventure Golf or Dragon’s Tale Mini Golf.


    They say getting outside is good for your inside – find out of they’re right at the 2023 Saskatchewan Winter Games in Regina. The week-long competition will run from February 19-25, 2023. Nearly 1,800 young athletes from across Saskatchewan will compete in 16 different sporting events. Join the crowd to cheer them on in a unique celebration of sport, culture, and community.

    Further north in Saskatoon, celebrate indigenous culture at the Kôa Wanuskewin Winter Festival. The immersive one day event will be held on February 18, 2023. Indoor and outdoor festivities include sledding, dancing, snowshoeing, indigenous teachings, and an artisan market.


    Family Day at the Zoo with lots of cartoon animal families
    Image by Toronto Zoo

    The Toronto Zoo is always a solid option for Family Day, and this year will be no exception. Events kick off with a Family Day Scavenger Hunt from February 18-20, 2023. Animal experts will be on hand to provide enrichment demonstrations. For botanical enthusiasts, the Orchid Oasis is sure to delight. After dark the Terra Lumina show will dazzle with luminescent wonders from the year 2099.

    The Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa is hosting Family Day at the Museum on February 20, 2023. Experience the rich history of Canadian flight with iconic innovations such as the Silver Dart and Canadarm.

    British Columbia

    Fan Expo with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy cosplay
    Image by Fan Expo HQ

    Vancouver will be playing host to arguably the coolest Family Day option this year – the Fan Expo pop culture convention. The event runs from February 18-20, 2023. A multiverse of comics, movies, television, anime, and video games all combine into a massive spectacle for the whole family to enjoy. Numerous fantasy and sci-fi celebrities will be on hand including Sean Astin, Stephen Amell, Anson Mount, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden, Sean Gunn, and Michael Rooker.

    New Brunswick

    A great outdoor option for Fredericton is the Winter Frolic event at the NB Exhibition Grounds from February 16-20, 2023. Enjoy fun activities for the whole family with sleigh rides, snow mazes, outdoor skating, dog sledding, and snow tubing. If things get too chilly, warming tents will be on site and you can refuel with a variety of food trucks and some comforting hot chocolate by the bonfire.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Hand drawn family portrait with frame father mother son daughter dog
    Image by Freepik

    When is Family Day in Canada?

    • Family Day falls on the third Monday of February every year. The date coincides with President’s Day (also known as Washington’s Birthday) in the United States.

    Is Family Day a national statutory holiday?

    • No. It is considered a regional holiday, so only the five provinces mentioned above officially recognize it as a holiday. Three other provinces celebrate their own holidays concurrently, but for the rest of the country it’s just another Monday. Since it isn’t a federal holiday, employees of the federal government (such as postal workers) also work as usual on this day.

    Final Thoughts

    Family is an important thing to cherish. Unfortunately, long work hours and multiple commitments often impede on the work/life balance. Available time always feels in short supply, so it’s important to treasure and make the most of the moments we do get.

    ABM College works hard to fit the best balance for its students, with flexible schedules and online programs that allow study from home.

    ‍Contact us now to learn how we can help you.

    You can also read more industry-relevant blogs here.

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