February 17 2012 by Bryson Forbes
This coming Monday, February 20, I'll be celebrating my fourth Family Day. It's a holiday that is not necessarily widely celebrated but still a day I like to enjoy with my family. This year, I plan to make Family Day more of a priority just like we do for Good Friday, May 2-4 weekend (Victoria Day), Canada Day and Labour Day.
Family Day was first celebrated in Alberta in 1990 to highlight the values of family and home that were important to Alberta's founding pioneers and give workers the opportunity to spend more time with their families. Family Day was introduced in Saskatchewan in 2007 and Ontario in 2008.
With these values in mind, here are two ways you can enjoy the day as a family. We haven't yet decided how we will spend the day yet, but with both options we'll have fun no matter what we do. I have a Best Western Travel Card that's been burning a hole in my pocket and even though we aren't going to travel far, I'm excited to find a local Best Western with an indoor pool to help make this mini-trip feel like a vacation without having to spend a lot of money.
For us the zoo is about forty minutes by car in Pickering. The zoo will be open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and has a number of events and specials to help celebrate Family Day. In fact, they are calling it Family Day weekend and celebrating all weekend. The big highlight is its new baby polar bear, and, if you're feeling creative, they are running a contest to name him.
We have been to the zoo a number of times but never during the winter. I'm sure despite the temps it will be a great experience and the kids will be excited for hot chocolate and a "beaver tail" (a flattened pastry that looks just like its name).
BEST WESTERN PLUS Executive Inn near the zoo is an amazing accommodations option. Each room features cable satellite television with HBO, a microwave and refrigerator. As always, it has free high-speed wireless Internet, but also offers complimentary full breakfast, a fitness center, an indoor swimming pool, sauna, and hot tub.
Bronte Creek in Oakville
Our second option is to head around the corner to Bronte Creek Provincial Park in our hometown of Oakville. On Family Day the park will be cranking up the tunes and we can all skate on the park's Olympic size rink. The rink is open from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. Here you can rent skates, skating aids and helmets for $5 an hour. Additionally, the snow has finally arrived, and the park's tobogganing hills are in great shape.
The BEST WESTERN PLUS Burlington Inn & Suites also is an excellent option nearby for this trip. The hotel offers complimentary full buffet breakfast, an indoor salt water pool, a whirlpool and exercise room along with free parking and wireless Internet.
We absolutely can't go wrong with a great mini escape and I'm looking forward to some dedicated time with the family to help celebrate our newest long weekend.
What plans do you have for the weekend?