For residents of the province of Ontario (Canada), February doesn’t just mean brutal cold and snow. Statistically speaking, yes those two factors will likely be in play, but February also means Family Day, the holiday created by the provincial government in 2007. While staying indoors with the kids and playing board games around a roaring fire definitely has some appeal at this time of year, another approach is to embrace the climate and make the most of winter conditions. Enjoying outdoor activities together is the approach being promoted by Ontario Provincial Parks.
This year, Family Day falls on February 21, and a number of Ontario’s Provincial Parks are already planning activities to be held through the entire weekend. It’s not just for Ontario residents -if you happen to be near the border and feel like an outdoors-themed weekend, you’ll be more than welcome. Among the events currently announced are trail walking and skating to music (on an Olympic sized outdoor rink) at Bronte Creek Provincial Park; skating the 1300+ foot skating path through the woods (lit by candles and the campsites of winter campers) at MacGregor Point -which also boasts a heated comfort station; the Log Cabin Nature Centre, igloo building, snow sculptures, now shoeing, cross country skiing and Snow Snake (a traditional Iroquois game) at Quetico; or how about a Moonlight Ski along the 30km of trails at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park? GeekDads might be particularly interested in what’s going on at Killarney Provincial Park. Beginning indoors on Saturday evening, there will be star projections and astronomy tips followed by a visit to the park’s new public observatory (complete with a 10-inch Meade LX5 telescope). On Sunday, sponsored events include guided snowshoe hikes, skiing, and other educational activities.
No word on Tauntaun spotting (despite the expected Hoth-like conditions), although deer and other wildlife will likely be in evidence at many of the parks.