With the kids off school on Monday, Feb 20 and many adults with the day off work, communities across Windsor-Essex are holding family-friendly events to celebrate Family Day in Ontario.
Family Day has been observed in Ontario since 2008, and is on the third Monday in February, coinciding with the American statutory holiday of President's Day. The purpose of the holiday is to celebrate the Canadian family and encourage families to spend quality time together.
Family Day is a provincial holiday, so all provincial and municipal offices (such as ServiceOntario and city/town halls) will be closed or on reduced hours. However, the holiday does not affect federal institutions such as Canada Post. Federal offices will be open Monday and there will be mail delivery as usual.
Businesses may be closed or on abbreviated hours Monday. Be sure to call ahead or visit their websites to confirm before making plans.
Here are some of the major events being planned for Family Day 2017. All events are on Monday, Feb 20 unless otherwise indicated:
Windsor-Essex's largest mall is once again rolling out the welcome mat for families. Families will be able to participate in various activities and promotions. The Shutterbug photo booth will be available for families to take free, wacky photos. There is a scheduled appearance from Clarol the Clown and Friends, along with store promotions and other activities. The mall is open 11am-6pm Family Day. For more information visit www.devonshiremall.com.
Windsor's east side mall is also holding activities and promotions on Feb 20. The centrepiece will be the Paw Patrol-themed event Paw Friends! Kids can meet Chase, Marshall, Skye and the rest of the Paw Patrol crew from 12:30 to 3:30pm. Enter a grand prize draw for an overnight trip to Toronto and four tickets to see the Paw Patrol at the Sony Centre (travel not included). The Windsor-Essex Humane Society will also be on hand to discuss adoption opportunities and bring a few furry friends. For more information, visit www.tecumsehmall.com.
Kingsville's sprawling retail and family fun emporium has activities planned for all of Family Day weekend. Fun Passes are available for purchase covering food and ride offers. A brunch is set for 10am-2pm Sunday, Feb 19, and a special Family Day lunch buffet on Monday. Zoo shows are scheduled for the entire three-day weekend. Rides will be operating till 5pm Saturday and Sunday and till 6pm Monday. Colasanti's is open 8am to 6pm all three days and is located at 1550 Rd 3 East in Kingsville. Call (519) 326-3287 or visit www.colasanti.com for more information and Fun Pass rates.
Adventure Bay Water Park
The downtown Windsor water park is holding Fill Your Family Day with Art and Adventure, sponsored by the Windsor Sculpture Park. The water park is open 10am-8pm on Family Day with a special admission price of $10 per person, or $5 per person after 4pm. Sculpture appreciation activities will also take place inside the water park until 6pm. For further information, call (519) 974-AQUA (2782) or visit www.adventurebay.ca.
The Y is having a free Family Day event at its new Central Park Athletics home. Everyone is welcome between 8am and 4pm for a day of family activities, including all-day open swimming, innertube water polo at 10am (ages nine and up), dodgeball at 11am, family bootcamp at noon. Free YMCA hear will be given to the first 250 kids and there will be a draw for a free March Break Camper Week. The YMCA Windsor is located at the Central Park Athletics complex at 3400 Grand Marais Rd East. For complete information on Family Day activities, call (519) 419-1267.
Windsor's community and history museum will celebrate its first birthday with a free admission day on Saturday, Feb 18 from 10am-5pm. Three new exhibits will make their debut, Road to Freedom and the Civil War, The Windsor Spitfires in Jerseys, and the Royal Ontario Museum's traveling attraction Fakes and Forgeries-Yesterday and Today. There will also be guided tours, children's activities and free birthday cookies while supplies last. The Chimczuk Museum is located at 401 Riverside Dr West. For general information, call 311 or visit www.museumwindsor.ca.
Windsor Spitfires Mickey Renaud Night
The Spitfires welcome the Guelph Storm to the WFCU Centre on Saturday, Feb 18. This annual game is in memory of Spitfires captain Mickey Renaud. Renaud, a draft pick with the NHL Calgary Flames, died suddenly in February 2008 of a rare heart disorder. His number #18 was immediately retired. The puck drops at 7:05pm. For tickets or other information, visit www.windsorspitfires.com.
Town of Tecumseh
The town's parks and recreation department is teaming up with Windsor-Essex Communities in Motion to present Family in Motion Day at Tecumseh Arena. Free ice skating is taking place from 11am-1pm. Mad Science of Windsor will also be on hand, along with arts, crafts and other activities. The arena is located at 12021 McNorton St. Call (519) 735-4756, visit www.tecumseh.ca or download the town's official app for more information.
Town of LaSalle
LaSalle is holding its Family Day celebration on Monday at the Vollmer Complex. Free recreational swimming is available from noon to 6pm with six one hour sessions. Free skating is available from 2pm to 6pm, also in one hour increments. Reservations for these events are encouraged and recommended. To reserve a place for swimming or skating, call (519) 967-9771 and press "0" when prompted. Online registration is also available at www.lasalle.ca.
Town of Lakeshore
The town is having its version of Family in Motion Day on Monday with free skating and swimming at the Atlas Tube Centre. Free family swimming is set for 1 to 3:30pm and skating from 1 to 3pm. Regular swim classes during those times are cancelled for Feb 20 only. The Atlas Tube Centre is located at 447 Renaud Line Rd and can be reached by phone at (519) 727-0470. Additional information is available at www.lakeshore.ca.
Town of Essex
Essex's recreational facilities are holding various activities on Monday to encourage families to move and spend time together. The Essex Recreational Complex is having family swimming from 11am to noon and 7 to 8pm, along with a free recreational swim from 2:30 to 4pm. The Essex Centre Sports Complex and the Harrow and Colchester South Community Centre are each having public skating from 2 to 3:30pm. For more information, visit www.essex.ca.
City of Leamington
Multiple community agencies are teaming up with the city of Leamington and Lakepointe Church for a Family Day celebration at the Kinsmen Recreation Complex on Monday from 1 to 4pm. Open swimming, skating, gym activities, a bouncy castle, refreshments and other activities are being scheduled. The Kinsmen Complex is located at 249 Sherk St. For more information on this free event, call (519) 322-2337, ext 2001 or visit www.leamington.ca.
Point Pelee National Park
The park's visitor centre is hosting a Family Day event featuring games, crafts and other activities. Visitors are invited to bring their own mug for hot chocolate and enjoy a bonfire. Kids are also encouraged to bring a favourite story or song to share. The event runs from noon to 5pm. Admission is free for 2017 thanks to the Discovery Pass program celebrating Canada's 150th birthday. For more information, call (519) 322-2365 or visit www.pc.gc.ca/pelee.