Stories & Features

5 screen-free Family Day weekend ideas

Image of free skier Ryan Djkakovic
While there will be long lift lines and full hotels at B.C.'s most popular ski hills over the Family Day weekend, skiers and riders may find fun at lesser known resorts such as Vernon's Silver Star, Revelstoke Mountain Resort and the hidden gem Mount Baldy near Oliver.

From board game twists, to skiing secrets, to a Science World visit

From tablets to smartphones to TVs, our lives are full of screens that use energy as they draw us in. Whether you're staying local or heading out of town for the long weekend, we've got a list of fun activities to help you detox from technology and reconnect with your family.

1. Novel twists on your favourite board games

Feeling like staying in and hunkering down for the long weekend? Get together and have a board game tournament, and instead of dusting off your old monopoly board, try these fun new twists on some classics:

  • Candyland Connect Four – Perfect for groups of ages six and up, this mashup combines the strategy of Connect Four with the luck involved in Candy Land.
  • Monopoly Speed – A refreshing twist on the timeless classic that eliminates the hours of dragged out play and the inevitable frustrated board flip. You can finish Monopoly Speed in just 10 minutes without forfeiting any of the excitement.
  • Clue Game of Thrones Edition – Perfect if you and your friends are still obsessing over HBO's Game of Thrones. Dive back into the chaos of Westeros, Essos, and Sothoryos with this special edition Clue board game.
  • Telestrations against Humanity – This game doesn't officially exist, but for mature players who enjoy the nasty fun of Cards Against Humanity, using the Humanity cards instead of the usual Telestration cards is genius.

2. A day at the museum

A break from classes doesn't mean it's time to shut down the brain. Check out the B.C. Museum Association's list of Family Day activities by region, which includes:

3. Ski/ride interior powder

Big January snowfall has transformed B.C. into a winter wonderland, and the long weekend is one of our favourite times to hit the slopes. Several mountains are offering free admission to kids 12 and under on Monday, February 17, and you can explore other winter ski deals at hellobc.com.

Concerned about long lift lines and no places to stay at your favourite ski area? Consider lesser-known options in the B.C. Interior, including Silver Star, which will still be busy but boasts accommodation options just down the hill in Vernon, and the hidden gem of Mount Baldy, which is a 40-minute drive from Oliver and an hour from Osoyoos. For advanced skiers and riders, Revelstoke Mountain Resort is tough to beat.

4. Real events, real people.

Concerts. Sporting events. Live theatre. Dance. Of the four, sports events offer the biggest hurdles to going screen-free, as there's all that pregame/halftime downtime in which kids might return to their phones. Music, live theatre and dance offer a new experience without a natural draw to the phone. Get your tickets now, the best stuff will sell out quickly for Family Day weekend.

5. Cook up a storm

Cooking shows are all the rage on TV, and once your kids get a taste of the possibilities of cuisine, get them to experiment in your own kitchen. Pizza, sushi, tacos, Spanish tapas, and baking, are all great for teamwork and creativity. Make sure the kids are in on the shopping, too. Life skills never tasted so good.