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BC Family Day Activities and Deals

How to Spend the Three-day Weekend in February

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First celebrated in 2013, Family Day is a new provincial holiday for British Columbia residents. The holiday makes the second Monday in February part of a long weekend for BC residents. Many businesses, schools, and government offices are closed for the holiday, while public transportation and attractions operate on holiday hours.

When is Family Day in BC?

British Columbia's Family Day is a provincial holiday that falls on the second Monday in February. The dates for Family Day holidays are:

  • Monday Feb. 9, 2015
  • Monday Feb. 8, 2016
  • Monday Feb. 13, 2017

Other February holidays include Alberta's Family Day and the U.S. Presidents Day -- both on the third Monday in February.

What to Do on Family Day -- Winter Sports

© Chloë Ernst

Family Day sits in the middle of ski season, so you can expect ski resorts to be busy and offer special events for the holiday long weekend. Some BC resorts may offer discounts for Family Day.

But other winter activities are a fun choice for the holiday weekend too, from skating to snowshoeing:

  • Hit the snowshoe trails in Whistler and Vancouver for the Family Day weekend. There are maintained snowshoe trails at various ski resorts and parks throughout the province, including at Cypress Mountain, Whistler Olympic Park, and Mt. Seymour.
  • Outdoor ice-skating is a fun alternative to indoor rinks. Vancouver's Robson Square Ice Rink is a great option for families as it's handy to public transportation -- and it's free if you bring your own skates.
  • Year-round hiking is a great perk of Vancouver's mild winters. And even if it's rainy, the trees will keep you mostly dry. In the winter, I love hiking to waterfalls, like Cypress Falls, Nairn Falls, and Brandywine Falls.

Want to Stay Indoors on Family Day?

© Chloë Ernst

As Vancouver weather is typically rainy in February, you may want to plan something indoors for the Family Day weekend. There are many things to do on a rainy day in Vancouver, including:

  • Touring indoor gardens like Bloedel Conservatory and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.
  • Meeting the animals at the Vancouver Aquarium, or seeing the sights from the Vancouver Lookout -- just two of Vancouver's many all-weather attractions.
  • Taking a hop-on, hop-off bus tour of the city.
  • Visiting a Vancouver museum and learning about the city's history, natural world, or interesting artworks.
  • Watching sports -- tickets to Vancouver Giants games are fairly inexpensive and a stress-free outing.
  • Going shopping on Granville Island -- both the Kids Market and Granville Island Public Market offer indoor stalls to explore and goodies to taste. Other shopping experiences that are more fun than the mall include flea markets and farmers' markets.

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