It’s Ontario’s newest holiday — and the only stat day in the long, wintry stretch between New Year’s Day and Good Friday.
Family Day, celebrated on the third Monday of February, was created in 2008 to give people time to spend with their loved ones. While it is not a federal statutory holiday, it is celebrated in Ontario as well as four other provinces.
Here’s a list of what’s open, what’s closed and where to take the kids for family fun in the city and beyond.
- HSR and DARTS are operating on a Sunday/Holiday schedule.
- GO Transit is operating on a Saturday schedule.
City and government
- All provincial and municipal government offices will be closed. Parking tickets can be paid online here.
- Because it’s not a federal holiday, Service Canada Centres are generally open. Check the government website to confirm hours for your nearest location.
- Mail will be delivered and collected by Canada Post as usual.
Recycling and garbage collection
- There will be no garbage pick-up on Monday, and if your pick-up will be one day later if it falls on or after the holiday.
- Community Recycling Centres and Transfer Stations will be closed.
- All Hamilton Public Library branches will be closed, with the exception of Central Library and Turner Park Branch, which will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Shopping and retail
- Most grocery stores, retail businesses and banks will be closed.
- The Hamilton Farmers’ Market is closed on Sunday and Monday.
- LCBO and Beer Store locations will be closed. Some LCBO agency stores, which are locally owned, may be open.
- Malls in the area: CF Limeridge Mall will be closed. The Eaton Centre (10-6), Bramalea City Centre (11-6), Vaughan Mills (10-7) and Square One (11-6) will be open on Family Day. Pacific Mall is open 365 days a year.
Entertainment and activities in Hamilton
- Feb. 20th is the final day of Hamilton Winterfest — check out the full schedule of events.
- Special programming for families, including swimming and sports, are being offered at community centres throughout the city.
- Select arenas will be open for Family Day skate programming. See the full list here.
- Dundurn National Historic Site, Whitehern Historic House & Garden, Battlefield House Museum & Park, Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology will all be open from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Full details on activities at Hamilton civic museums can be found here.
- Kids can make their own pinecone bird feeders at The Pine Cone Cafe at the Children’s Museum, which will be open from 11 a.m to 4 p.m.
- The Art Gallery of Hamilton is hosting art-making, a scavenger hunt and more.
- Movie theatres are generally open, including Landmark Cinemas and Cineplex. Click for movie showtimes at: Landmark Cinemas in Jackson Square, Cineplex Cinemas Ancaster (formerly SilverCity Ancaster), SilverCity Hamilton Mountain, SilverCity Burlington, Cineplex Cinemas Oakville
- Fifty Point Conservation Area is hosting Frosty Fest. There will be wagon rides, bonfires, fishing and other activities.
- If the weather is nice outside, and there’s snow, tobogganing is a fun activity for the kids! Click here for our list of the best tobogganing hills in Hamilton.
- Go fishing for free. From Feb. 18 to 20, families are allowed to catch fish in Ontario without buying a licence. See more details here.
Activities a short drive away
Looking to take a trip outside of the city? Check out these options.
The City of Toronto’s 52 outdoor skating rinks and many of its indoor rinks will be open, along with the High Park Zoo, Riverdale Farm and the Allan Gardens and Centennial Park Conservatories. Many city museums will also be open. Check out the City of Toronto website for more details.
Ruthven Park National Historic Site in Cayuga is hosting Family Day with Snakes, featuring a live demonstration.
In Burlington, children can make crafts and meet the animals at during Family Day events at Bronte Creek Provincial Park. The park has a tobogganing hill and cross-country ski trails.
If the kids miss the carnivals of summer, there will be bouncy castles, concessions and more at two Family Day FunZones (Niagara Falls and St. Catharines) in support of the Education Foundation of Niagara.
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