If you want to keep the kids amused all day (or night)
With locations in Mississauga and Toronto, Kids Fest is “billed as Canada’s largest inflatable festival” (CityNews). This Family Day weekend features over 30 indoor rides and attractions, plus activities and entertainment. For Travelzoo members, it’s $5 (reg. $8) per child and $13 (reg. $25) per adult in either locale.
Run by the Canadian Department of Heritage since 1979, this long-standing Ottawa tradition wraps up on Family Day weekend. Centred around the world’s longest skating rink, the Rideau Canal, over 600,000 visit this festival annually. Play around in Snowflake Kingdom with mazes, snow sculptures, snow slides, a zip-line and dogsledding. Kids 8 and up can also take an ice carving workshop on Saturdays and Sundays.
Toronto Light Fest
This is the first year of the Toronto Light Fest, a free outdoor exhibition of more than 21 light installations. Brought to you by the creators of the Toronto Christmas Market, this new festival brings light art from around the world to be displayed in the Distillery District until March 12.
If you want to catch a live event
Disney’s Mary Poppins
This Tony Award-winning spectacle at Toronto’s Lower Ossington Theatre promises a supercalifragilistic time. The hit musical features colourful costumes and classic tunes like “Chim Chim Cher-ee” that will captivate audiences of any age. Tickets start at $30 (reg. $50) for Travelzoo members.
With three games over Family Day weekend, this is a great way to catch a home game and cheer on a beloved Toronto team. Toronto Maple Leaf prospects Kasperi Kapanen, Brendan Leipsic and goaltender Antoine Bibeau will all take the ice. There are three games over the long weekend, including one at the Air Canada Centre. Tickets start at $15 (reg. $19).
Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival
A free event in conjunction with Winterlude, the first ever ice dragon boat race in North America is coming to Canada’s capital. Help make history and cheer on the athletes as they paddle along the icy Rideau Canal Skateway. If you’re unsure of what an ice dragon boat is, here’s a cool YouTube video.
If you want to get outside
Hockley Valley Ski Resort
Travelzoo members praise the “family atmosphere” and “kid-friendly slopes” at this resort just an hour outside the GTA. There are five lifts and 15 scenic ski runs, which you can enjoy for $31 (reg. $49).
This ski area features four lifts and 22 runs. With six black diamond slopes, it’s a great option for families with older children or advanced skiers. Passes are $25 (reg. $73) for Travelzoo members.
Free Family Skate
RBC is sponsoring free skating events across the province, from Brantford’s Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre to Kitchener Auditorium and about a dozen other locales. These events occur on Family Day itself.
There are fishing events across the province, as the Ontario Government designates the Family Day weekend to be license-free.
If you’re craving some culture
Art Gallery of Ontario
The AGO becomes the “Kids Gallery of Ontario,” or KGO, on Monday, February 20. A jump rope extravaganza, kite and paper sailboat workshops, short films written by children, and numerous other activities await you and your family. Pro tip: buying tickets online saves $10 on the cost of a family pass and avoids line-ups.
Beauty and the Beast at Casa Loma
In anticipation of the March 17th release of a live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast,” Toronto’s Casa Loma is hosting an interactive experience for Disney fans of all ages. Check out nine of the “exquisite” costumes from the film, participate in themed activities, and catch special performances over the course of the weekend. The best part? The event is included with general admission to Casa Loma, where the hours are extended from 9:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. from February 17-20.
Royal Ontario Museum
The ROM’s “One World” event celebrates Canada’s rich multicultural landscape with a wide scope of activities for all ages. Saturday brings a Lunar New Year theme, while Opera Atelier takes the stage on Monday to perform a program of historical dances by the Atelier Ballet. Family-friendly workshops, community art projects, contests, and meet-and-greets take place all weekend. While museum entry will set you back $14-$20 per person, the activities themselves are free.
Ottawa Museum Passport
Families can visit three national museums over the course of three consecutive days with the Ottawa Museum Passport. Participating museums include the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Canadian Museum of History, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian War Museum, and the National Gallery of Canada. A passport for a family of five is $99, with additional children also discounted.
If you’re planning a trip to Niagara Falls
Greg Frewin’s Las Vegas Magic Show
Take the kids and take in the magic of “one of the most decorated magicians in the world” according to Lonely Planet. The wildly popular show features live animals, showgirls and spectacular illusions. Tickets are $25 (reg. $60) for Travelzoo members.
Laser Tag or Mini Golf Package
Enjoy two rounds of mini putt or laser tag, a bundle of tokens and a $20 dining voucher to Outback Steakhouse. Travelzoo members save over 80% on packages for two, four, or six people, with pricing starting at just $15.