Pamela Chan, BCFamily.ca / Editorial
On February 13th your family has two options. Stay home and relax on one of those rare days when nothing is scheduled. Or get out and take advantage of the sunshine (hopefully) or community activities. Community centres across British Columbia will be putting on free activities and many sites and tourist locations will be offering reduced admission and special activities at their sites. If your family is on a tight budget, BC Family Day can be a good opportunity to squeeze in opportunities that don’t happen at other times in the year.
Enjoy your BC Family day, have fun and have a good rest – whatever you decide to do.
HERE ARE SOME TOP PICKS:
BRITISH COLUMBIA: Government funded free activites at local community centers around British Columbia. (It’s worth checking out what’s going on in a neighbourhood community centre.)
BRITISH COLUMBIA: Go for a nature walk in a local setting or farther afield. Choose from settings by a lake, river, ocean, waterfall, marsh/bog/wetland, or through a forest, large park or mountain setting. If you’re going to an area that’s on the edge of the wilderness, bring the appropriate emergency hiking supplies, including a compass. Cell phones won’t always work once you are farther away from a cell phone tower. In the Lower Mainland, there are a number of communities where you can find attractive walks along the Fraser River.
BURNABY: Burnaby Lake Regional Park (Arts and crafts activities can be combined with a walk around the lake)
BURNABY: Burnaby Village Museum Carousel (Crafts, heritage carnival games, a children’s entertainer and unlimited carousel rides at one low price. Pre Registration is recommended. The museum will be closed.)
BURNABY: Lower Burnaby Mountain hike (Free to join. There will be hot chocolate and light refreshments afterwards.)
CHILLIWACK: $5 Chilliwack Scouts Pancake breakfast, 9 – Noon, Chilliwack United Church Hall, 45835 Spadina Avenue.
DELTA: WinSkill Park (Obstacle race through the park. Registration required.)
FORT LANGLEY: Fort Langley (Complimentary Canada 150 admission for everyone, plus special activities are planned)
LANGLEY: Campbell Valley Regional Park (Arts an Crafts activities can be combined with a walk in the area)
LANGLEY: Greater Vancouver Zoo (There will be 3 special talks and admission is 30% off.)
LANGLEY: Fraser Valley Family Day (Admission by donation. Face painting, obstacle course, music and visits from Vancouver Stealth, BC Lions and Vancouver Giants players. Proceeds from admission tickets support local charities.)
MAPLE RIDGE: ACT Theatre (Free Lantern making workshop and craft)
NEW WESTMINSTER: Anvil Centre (Science World on the road and a large variety of arts focussed activities.) See page 2 of brochure.
NEW WESTMINSTER: Queen’s Park Greenhouse (10:30 – 12:30 PM) Tour the greenhouse and make a small lettuce garden to take home.
NEW WESTMINSTER: Fraser River Discovery Centre (Gold panning, science talk, puppet show, a walking tour and other events. Registration is required for the 1 1/2 hour walking tour along the Fraser River.)
NEW WESTMINSTER: River Market (Activities, games, crafts and programmes. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to make soap, there will be a 1 hour drop in class. Cost $12.50.)
NORTH VANCOUVER: Lonsdale Quay (Family Day market featuring local artisans, a farmers’ market, a pancake fundraiser, balloon animal twisting, musical performances and a variety of vendors. 10 – 3 PM.)
NORTH VANCOUVER: Cypress Mountain (50% off Skooter and Child Lift/Trail/Tubing tickets)
NORTH VANCOUVER: Capilano Suspension Bridge (BC Family Day rate of $85 for two adults and one or two children ages 6-16. A visit to the bridge includes the treetops and cliffwalk sites.)
NORTH VANCOUVER: Seymour Mountain (Children 12 and under and a maximum of 2 children per paying adult can access free children’s lift tickets after 2:30 PM.)
NORTH VANCOUVE: Grouse Mountain (50% off for admission for BC Residents, and many special activities on the day)
RICHMOND: Gulf of Georgia Cannery, Steveston (Free general admission. Age restrictions not listed on their website. Check out the Britannia Shipyards as well.)
RICHMOND: Richmond Children’s Festival, Richmond Cultural Centre ($5 admission which includes a number of special events. An additional $12 adds on admission to a special Circus West performance)
RICHMOND: Steveston Community Society (Pancake breakfast, free. Registration is required.)
RICHMOND: Richmond Nature Park (A scavenger hunt and treasure hunt in the bog has been scheduled. Admission by donation.)
SURREY: Surrey Nature Centre (Nature walk, story time and indoor/outdoor activities.)
SQUAMISH (BRITANNIA BEACH): Britannia Mine Museum (Includes 50% off admission.)
SQUAMISH: Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish and Ski Callaghan Nordic skiing (Both locations are offering 50% off admission and other activities)
VANCOUVER: Vancouver Art Gallery (Includes $5 off admission and free admission for children 12 and under.)
VANCOUVER: VanDusen Garden (open 10 – 4 PM) and Bloedel Conservatory (open 10 – 5 PM) ($5 combined admission or $3 admission to one site. Create a bird feeder, visit a world class Elizabethan hedge maze and enjoy indoor games and face painting.)
VANCOUVER: Commercial Drive (Free admission to special BC Family Day activities at the Britannia Ice Rink and local merchants are offering special deals for the day.)
VANCOUVER: Vancouver Giants (There will be a post game family skate)
VANCOUVER: Vancouver Museum (Free admission for youth 18 years and under)
VANCOUVER: Science World (Includes 25% off admission.)
VANCOUVER: Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Gardens (It’s a perfect time of year to visit the gardens, following Chinese New Year. Children 5 and under and Seniors 65 and older will get free admission)
VANCOUVER: Pacific Spirit Regional Park (Visit a campfire and learn about plants and animals using stories and songs.)
VICTORIA: Royal BC Museum (Special Family Day events are planned to take place at the museum)
WHISTLER: Audain Art Museum (Special afternoon art felt event, free with admission ticket)
WHISTLER: Whistler Blackcomb (50% off lift tickets for BC residents)
OTHER: Most communities have HIGH STREETS where you can find one-off shops featuring local and British Columbia’s artisans. For adults and parents with older children, a stroll through a high street and a stop at an interesting cafe can be a fun way to spend the day. Some popular areas are Kitsilano; portions of Broadway (near McDonald), 10th and Sasamat near UBC and 4th avenue; South Granville Rise (although these shops are a bit more name brand); Commercial Drive; Ambleside and Dundarave (because you can also walk on the boardwalk); and, Chemainus and Comox on Vancouver Island.
***Please check an organization’s website before heading out to ensure that details of the event are accurate and haven’t changed. Many of these events are at a specific time and some require registration.
What is your favourite activity to do on BC Family Day? You can comment about this posting on the BCFamily.ca Facebook page. Your contribution matters so don’t be shy!