header photo via Matt Champlin on Flickr
Family Day is a great way to connect with your kids and make wonderful memories. That said, finding affordable family-friendly activities can be tricky, but stay-cations solve that problem! We’ve rounded up Bay of Quinte’s best budget-friendly Family Day activities for you and your children, so load up the minivan, grab a few snacks and hit the road for family fun.
“This is like being on another planet! Cool!” declared my 8 year old son the first time we visited the ice volcanoes at Presqu’ile Provincial Park in Brighton. Indeed, the shoreline of this popular summer destination is completely transformed in the winter months making it both literally and figuratively cool to explore.
The Adventure Class brings back its popular Family Day event for the fifth year. Kids and parents visiting the Frink Centre on February 16 can test their skill on the low ropes, learn how to build a winter shelter and play survival games. Warm up with tea and bannock around the campfire or head indoor to make adorable nature crafts.
Sharpen those skates for an afternoon of family fun at the Ameliasburgh Winter Carnival on Sunday, February 15. Enjoy free hot dogs, hot chocolate and kids activities at this event which is generously by the Ameliasburgh Town Hall Working Group and Recreation Committee.
Sandbanks Provincial Park is just as magical in the winter as it is in the summer. On February 16, sled, ski or snowshoe through the park and then cozy up with the kids next to the bonfire. Then head inside the historic Maplerest Heritage House for kids activities, hot chocolate, chili and a lively kitchen party – musicians welcome!
Introduce your children to simple pleasure of ice fishing during the Ontario Family Fishing Weekend February 14 to 16. During the province-wide event, the otherwise mandatory fishing version outdoors card is not required (all other MNR regulations must be followed, catch and release strongly encouraged). In Madoc, the 6th Annual Moira Lake Ice Fishing Derby takes place on February 14, where kids under 12 can vie for the biggest fish in this event open to anglers of all ages. Tickets are only $10, with proceeds donated to O’Hara Mill Conservation Area. Don’t have fishing gear? Consider registering for the Kids Fishing Derby put on by Presqu’ile Bay Outfitters, where all equipment and bait is generously provided for free (adults will need to buy their own bait). Warming huts, bonfires, roasted marshmallows and hot chocolate will keep young anglers nice and toasty.
Make mini-pies, paper dolls cutouts of your family members or simply sit back and relax with a mug of hot chocolate at Brighton’s Big Apple. The tyke-friendly activities kick off at 11:00 am and pre-registration is required.
Lift tickets for two hours of swooshing down the slopes at Bawata Ski Hill are an affordable $25 for adults, $23 for students and only $5 for tykes. What a great chance for some active family fun one-on-one with the ski bunny in your family.
Sneak some learning into Family Day with a fun outing to the Air Force Museum in Trenton. You may want to pilot the iconic Halifax on their flight simulator or hunt for clues in the self-guided scavenger hunt, but the highlight of a trip on February 16 are the free portraits offered. Dress up in historic uniforms for professionally snapped family portraits for this fun and memorable keepsake.