Ontario Parks is 125 years old in 2018. Celebrate Family Day weekend with Ontario Parks, February 17 to 19, 2018.
Six winter parks plan special events. Families can fish license-free too. (The Parks Blog suggests these five parks for ice fishing.)
Here’s a look at what’s going on:
(Check the latest snow conditions before you head out via the Ontario Parks Ski Report.)
If you’re in the Toronto area with young children, try Bronte Creek Provincial Park in Oakville.
On Family Day Monday, February 19, the Children's Farm and Nature Centre will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Meet Bronte Creek’s farm animals. Climb, jump and explore the Children’s Playbarn or make crafts in the nature centre. Most activities are free with a valid park vehicle permit.
Further north, head for Wasaga Beach, Algonquin and Killarney provincial parks:
Ski Wasaga Beach’s groomed Blueberry Trails then enjoy a hot chocolate in the park's Nordic Ski Centre. Ski rentals are available. On Family Day Weekend, a special scavenger hunt-on-skis is planned.
Experience winter in Algonquin. Winter in the Wild, a one-day open house takes place Saturday, February 17. Learn about winter birds and their habitats on a guided bird walk or try a snowshoe excursion. Bring your skates for Mew Lake Campground's rink. Take in a winter camping demo then roast marshmallows around a giant bonfire before heading out on a guided evening wolf howl. Most activities are free with a park vehicle permit or camping permit. Chili lunch and barbecue supper will be available for purchase.
The Friends of Killarney have organized two jam-packed days at Killarney (February 17 and 18). Stargaze the dark skies from Killarney's very own observatory. Take a guided Owl Prowl or snowshoe hike and enjoy the Friends' free Saturday barbecue lunch.
In Southwestern Ontario, join the fun at MacGregor Point, Pinery and Rondeau provincial parks:
Book a kids’ sleepover in a cozy yurt. MacGregor Point has sixteen heated yurts equipped with tables and chairs, outdoor propane barbecues, picnic tables and firepits. Nearby comfort stations provide heated washrooms with showers. Don’t forget to pack your skates. The park's 400-metre ice oval will be open all weekend from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily, weather permitting.
Kids love the winter weekend programs led by park naturalists at Rondeau and Pinery Provincial Parks. During Rondeau’s Family Day celebrations (February 17 to 19), families can join a park naturalist on an owl prowl, make a suet feeder to take home, or try their luck with a park photo scavenger hunt. On Family Day Monday at the Pinery, learn winter survival techniques or join a park naturalist on guided owl prowl or to feed the chickadees then warm up in the Pinery's visitor centre while you enjoy a special screening of "The Messenger."