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Things to do on the Family Day Long Weekend

Family Day Snowmen

Looking for something to do on the BC Family Day Long Weekend in February in Vancouver? In a typical year, there are so many fun activities to choose from.

Because of COVID-19, however, 2021 was not a normal year!

To learn about top Family Day activities that normally take place in the Lower Mainland, including a few that still happened in 2021, see below. 

 


Family Day activities listed in this article include events in the following municipalities:

City of Vancouver | Burnaby | The North Shore | Fraser Valley | Richmond | Surrey | New Westminster | Sea to Sky Region | Maple Ridge

Click any of the above locations to jump to events in a particular region, or simply continue reading to see what’s going on throughout the Lower Mainland.


 

Family Day Activities in Vancouver

In 2021 the Family Day Long Weekend took place February 13th to 15th. Because of the pandemic, best things to do in 2021 involved activities with family members from within your immediate household.

Activities in 2022 will likely revolve around the state of the coronavirus pandemic. Details are to be confirmed, and likely will be for a number of months.

Interestingly, the Family Day weekend in 2021 was at the same time as Chinese New Year (with the Year of the Ox beginning on February 12th) and Valentine’s Day (on the 14th). If it wasn’t for the coronavirus, the weekend would have been unbelievably eventful!

Safer things to do on the holiday weekend in 2021 included exploring Vancouver Parks and Nature (assuming good weather and not too much snow) and socializing with extended family via Zoom. There are also outdoor games with Vancouver Mysteries which you can do with roommates and immediate household family.

Some folk will be eating out at local restaurants, especially as the Dine Out Vancouver Festival is happening (which isn’t the case most February long weekends). If you want to do that though, you’ll want to make reservations well in advance (and go just with people from within your bubble).

Lots of people will be heading to Local Ski Hills on the holiday weekend too, although the mountains will likely be crowded. If you can ski at a less busy time, that might be a good idea.

Whatever you do this February Long Weekend, do it in-person with people from your own household (or online via Zoom or Facetime or some other app if with other folk). Wear a mask when needed, keep your distance from other people, avoid non-essential travel, and stay home and by yourself if feeling unwell.

 

Stay Safe and Be Responsible

 

Typical Family Day Activities in the Lower Mainland

Depending on what you like to do, and who to do it with, you are sure to find something you’ll like from the list below of great Family Day weekend activities and places to visit.

In 2020 the following special Family Day activities took place in the Lower Mainland. Because of the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 details were different. Some events and activities still happened, but not as many as usual. Details are to be confirmed for 2022.

 

Vancouver Family Day Events

  • Vancouver Mysteries Adventure Games – the outdoor games company is operating currently and offering games for folk to play in downtown Vancouver (but only for groups of up to 6 people who live within the same household). They have Family Day Weekend Games as well as Valentine’s Day Games. You can choose between a secret mission game, crime-solving game and a superheroes game. (The activity DID happen in 2021.)
  • BC Sports Hall of Fame – admission to the museum was free on the holiday Monday last year from 11 am until 3 pm. (In 2021 the venue was only open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am until 4 pm. On February 12th and 13th of the year, however, admission was free both those days!)
  • Bill Reid Gallery – an exceptional collection of Indigenous and West Coast art at 639 Hornby Street in downtown Vancouver. Admission was free on Saturday, February 13th from 11 am to 5 pm. (The activity DID happen in 2021.)
  • Vancouver Police Museum – the museum at 240 East Cordova Street is offering a free “Eyes of a Spy” activity on Saturday, February 12th, 2021. Advanced registration is required.
  • Museum of Vancouver – there was free admission on the holiday Monday between 10 and 5 pm last year. (Admission wasn’t free in 2021. The museum was, however, open all weekend.)
  • Maritime Museum – admission to the museum at Vanier Park was free on Family Day in 2021. Due to COVID-19, advanced registration was required so it was recommended to reserve your spot as soon as possible.

 

Other Vancouver Activities in Years Without a Pandemic

Activities that would normally be happening on the Family Day Weekend but didn’t in 2021 because of COVID-19 are the following:

  • Soar Over Taiwan – the multi-sensory film at FlyOver Canada showed at Canada Place all weekend last year (plus for a few weeks before and after). It was more of a Lunar New Year-themed event than a specifically “Family Day” event, but still lots of fun for families. (Note: As of mid-February, 2021, FlyOver Canada is closed until further notice because of COVID-19.)
  • Fan Expo – a Cosplay/Comi-Con-type event at the Vancouver Convention Centre often runs this weekend. When it does happen it’s fun for both families and adult comic and superhero fans. (Note: It was cancelled in 2021. In 2022 the Fan Expo Vancouver happens at the Vancouver Convention Centre on February 19th, 20th and 30th.)

 

Valentine's Day Activities

 

Family Day in Burnaby

A variety of activities take place at municipal venues throughout Burnaby on the holiday Monday each year. Things to do with the family in 2021 included the following:

    • Family Swims – at Eileen Dailly, CG Brown Pool, Bonsor and Edmonds community centres.
    • Toonie Skates – at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Burnaby Village Museum was also hosting free online activities.

To learn more about the above things to do see the City of Burnaby‘s website.

 

Cypress Mountain at Night with Fireworks
Fireworks at Cypress

 

Family Day on The North Shore

Things to do on the Family Day weekend in North Vancouver and West Vancouver included the following in 2021:

  • Capilano Suspension Bridge – the venue has its Christmas lights still up in 2021 until February 15th, so the Family Day weekend was your last chance to enjoy that. An annual family pass costs $115 if purchased online. If you buy one you can return as much as you like until mid-February next year too.
  • Museum of North Vancouver – two online Zoom presentations about Streetcar 153 took place on the Family Day long weekend in 2021. Both presentations were free, but capacities were limited and advanced registration was required.

In addition to the above, North Vancouver community centres usually put on special programs on the holiday Monday. In 2021 free activities were offered on the long weekend at Delbrook, Ron Andrews, Karen Magnussen, John Braithwaite and Harry Jerome recreational centres.

In past years local ski hills offered special deals and activities. That didn’t happen in 2021. There was still skiing opportunities up at Grouse, Mount Seymour and Cypress. Folk had to pay full price though and the places were busy. Also, there was no charity pancake breakfast or complimentary snowshoe tours at Grouse (as there are most years). There also wasn’t any fireworks or extra family-friendly activities at Cypress (as is normally the case).

 

Family Photo at Fort Langley
Family Costumes at Fort Langley

 

Family Day Events in the Fraser Valley

In the Fraser Valley there were events taking place in both Chilliwack and Abbotsford on the holiday weekend in previous years.

For details about the 2021 Family Day offerings in Langley, including drop-in activities and things to do online, visit the City of Langley‘s website.

The following events would also ordinarily have happened this year on the February Long Weekend (but not in 2021 because of COVID-19).

  • Fort Langley Historic Half Marathon – running races between 1 and 21 km in length in Fort Langley on Sunday, February 16, 2020. (Postponed in 2021 until a date that’s still to be determined.)
  • Pet Lover Show – a domestic animal trade show at the Tradex Centre in Abbotsford in 2020. Expect to see lots of cats, dogs and other pets at the event. (Postponed in 2021 until a date that’s still to be determined.)

 

Chinese New Year in Vancouver

 

Family Day Events in Richmond

  • Richmond Children’s Art Festival – imagination stations and performances both indoors and outdoors at the Richmond Cultural Centre on the holiday Monday last year. General admission was $5. Creativity Classes cost $15 and required preregistration. (The event took place as a virtual event on February 15th in 2021.)
  • Family Day at the Cannery – the cannery is open on the holiday weekend most years and that was still the case in 2021. It’s free for children ages 17 and under. Tours didn’t happen in 2021 and there wasn’t the usual arts and crafts stations because of COVID-19, but visitors could still explore the museum.
  • A variety of activities usually take place in Richmond on the long weekend. In 2021 swimming, skating, gym sports, scavenger hunts and other activities happened at the following places:
    • Cambie Community Centre – at 12800 Cambie Road
    • City Centre Community Centre – at 5900 Minoru Boulevard – at
    • Hamilton Community Centre – at 5140 Smith Drive
    • South Arm Community Centre – at 8880 Williams Road
    • Steveston Community Centre – at 4111 Moncton Street
    • Thompson Community Centre – at 5151 Granville Avenue
    • West Richmond Community Centre – at 9180 No. 1 Road
    • Minoru Centre for Active Living – at 7191 Granville Avenue
    • Minoru Arenas – at 7551 Minoru Gate
    • Britannia Heritage Shipyards – at 5180 Westwater Drive
    • Richmond Nature Park – at 11851 Westminster Highway

To learn more see the City of Richmond‘s website.

 

Free Events in February

 

Family Day Events in Surrey

  • Family Day at Stewart Farm – free crafts, games and tours of the farmhouse took place last year on the Monday at the historic site in South Surrey. (In 2021 the venue offered a few activities online. See the City of Surrey‘s website for details.)
  • Family Day in Surrey – free family-friendly activities usually take place on the Monday at the Chuck Bailey, Cloverdale, Fleetwood, Newton, Guildford and South Surrey community and recreation centres.
  • In 2021 the Museum of Surrey offered a free virtual scavenger hunt.

 

Family Day Events in New Westminster

  • Family Day in New Westminster – free and almost free family-friendly activities take place at various New West locations most years. In 2021, however, most activities were online or things to do at home. Instead of in-person events at area rec centres there were craft kits, activity books, scavenger hunts, and online painting workshops, magic shows, storytelling and other activities.
  • Fraser River Discovery Centre – at 788 Quayside Drive on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the long weekend in 2021. Activities were free, educational and fun for families, as they include a scavenger hunt, origami and more. COVID-19 safety protocols were in place and timeslots were reserved in advance online.

 

Family Day in the Sea to Sky Region

  • Britannia Mine – the museum offered 50% off admission from February 12th to 15th in 2021.
  • Sea to Sky Gondola – the attraction offers half price admission for everyone every day of the Long Weekend most years. (Note: The attraction is completely closed currently due to vandalism in the previous year.)
  • Whistler-Blackcomb – in past years the resort has sometimes offered 50% off downhill ski rates for residents of BC, but not, apparently, in 2020. Instead, last year they offered other discounted deals on the Holiday Monday including on ski rentals, cross-country skiing, and ice skating, plus other activities for kids on the holiday Monday. (In 2021 the resort again offered discounts on a number of activities, but not lift tickets. See the Tourism Whistler website or WhatToDoInWhistler.ca for details.)

 

Family Day in Maple Ridge

Special Family Day Weekend activities also included the following in Maple Ridge last year:

  • Family Day in Maple Ridge – free family-friendly activities at the ACTS Art Centre on the holiday Monday between 11 am and 3 pm last year. (Cancelled for 2021.)

 

Other Great Places for Families

  • Check out Vancouver’s Top Indoor Activities which are great places to visit any time of year, especially if it’s a rainy weekend in February.
  • The skiing in 2021 was pretty good. A fabulous place to spend the holiday weekend most years is up at the Lower Mainland’s Ski Hills (although maybe not so much at some of them because of the crowds).
  • If the weather is good then the Family Day long weekend can be an excellent time to enjoy time outdoors. Check out Vancouver’s Parks and Nature for a list of the best places to go, or take a Frisbee – not your swimsuit – and spend the day hanging out at one of Vancouver’s Best Beaches.
  • Also, if the weather’s good and you’re looking for a bit of exercise, check out Vancouver’s Best Places to Walk, Jog or Cycle (although because of this year’s weather forecast you might need your snowshoes).

 

Other Information

Other articles that might be of interest include the following:

 

 

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