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Five ways to spend Family Day that are screen-free fun

Image of young girl playing cards
Do you have any threes? Get out a deck of cards for some screen-free family fun.

Consider going energy-efficient with your plans for this year's long weekend

Family Day may be a newer holiday here in B.C., but across the province, parents and their young ones are finding ways to enjoy themselves while spending time together. But just because this particular long weekend falls at a cooler and wetter time of year doesn't mean you need to spend it on a Netflix binge or a Fortnite marathon. We've rounded up a list of some of our favourite ways to bond as a family, with the added bonus of using less energy than watching T.V. or using gaming devices.

1. Have a board game tournament

Board games have come a long way in recent years – hours-long games of Monopoly with constantly debated rules are no longer your only option for tabletop entertainment. There are great new games on the market; here's a few of our favourites that your family is sure to enjoy, depending on the age range of your kids:

  • 3-6 year olds: Candy Land – a simple but fun game for young children that requires no reading and only minimal counting skills.
  • 7-11 year olds: Exploding Kittens – in spite of its name, this Kickstarter-funded game is great for children who can read. Sure to inspire lots of laughs in children, adults, and cat fans.
  • 12 & up: Settlers of Catan – a game better suited to older children, this game sets players out as settlers who must strategize to build and develop their settlements. The game has become so popular it has inspired many extensions and expansions.

2. Get crafty

Get out the art supplies and make something together. You can get messy with some finger painting, pick your favourite family-friendly Pinterest project, or even get a miniature room building kit.

3. Experiment with fun

Bring science class home with you for a fun and entertaining family day. Young children might enjoy mixing colours, while vinegar volcanoes are a classic. Bottle rockets are a fun option for older children, and you can even try some family-friendly experiments using static electricity. If you're in the Lower Mainland, check out Science World for even more experimental fun.

4. Explore the great outdoors

The cold weather doesn't always seem like a fun time to get outside, but consider the options. If there is snow near you, the options are endless – build a snowman, go skiing, try out snowshoeing, or take a spin down the hill on a toboggan. If snow is hard to come by for you, try puddle jumping, explore the wildlife in your local park, or kick around a soccer ball.

5. Go on a family adventure

Communities all over the province offer free Family Day events and activities to keep you and your family entertained. Here are a few highlights:

  • Many attractions are offering free admission for the day, including community centres and tourist attractions. Others offer discounted admission and special family day activities, so be sure to check your favourite spots for ideas or discounts.
  • Communities around the province are hosting special events to celebrate you and your family. Check out the Family Day activities in Campbell River, Terrace, Cowichan, Kamloops, Pitt Meadows, Salmon Arm, or West Kelowna. You can find a listing of other free events in communities around the province on the B.C. Recreation and Parks association website.

Whether you're staying at home or heading outside, there are lots of ways to keep your family entertained this Family Day. Don't forget a few simple tips for saving energy as you go:

  • If you're staying at home, only turn on the lights in rooms you are using,
  • If you're going out, turn down your thermostat so you aren't warming an empty home. Happy Family Day!