5 Fun and (almost) Free Things to do this Family Day Weekend in Vancouver

vancouver art gallery family day
Image courtesy of the Vancouver Art Gallery

It’s hard to believe now, but when it was first introduced, Family Day was considered controversial. Many were against the idea of introducing a new holiday and called it a “frill” and “extravagant waste.” Nearly three decades later, Family Day is now celebrated across many provinces in Canada. This year, Family Day is celebrated in BC on Monday, February 18, 2019.

For most, Family Day is the perfect time for people to take a much-needed break and enjoy each other’s company over a long weekend. Luckily, there’s a lot to choose from when it comes to celebrating this special day in Vancouver.

Here’s a look at some of the free and (almost) free activities you can enjoy this Family Day long weekend in Vancouver:

Image courtesy of Vancouver Aquarium / Ocean Wise

Free Admission at the Vancouver Aquarium

For the first time ever, the Vancouver Aquarium is offering complimentary admission for children 12 and under on Monday, February 18th.

There will be special activities and programs happening throughout the weekend, including:

– Meet a Parrot program / Meet a Penguin program
– An imaginary underwater journey during Story Time
– Screening of the exhilarating Shark: A 4-D Experience
– Hands-on activities with marine invertebrates
– Face painting and family photos with Ollie the Otter

You can learn more about Family Day at the Vancouver Aquarium at their website: vanaqua.org/familyday

Family Day Vancouver Art Gallery
Image courtesy of the Vancouver Art Gallery

Free Admission at the Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Art Gallery’s Family Day programming offers an arts & culture extravaganza of activities on February 18 running from 12 PM to 4PM. 

Families of all ages are invited to discover the “The Secret Lives of Artworks” with the current exhibition A Curator’s View: Ian Thom Selects. Workshops include the Gallery’s Conservation Lab, a hands-on peek into art conservation; a weaving workshop with celebrated artist Roxanne Charles of the Semiahmoo First Nation; as well as fun-filled artmaking in The Making Place and a kid-friendly exploration of the Gallery’s exhibitions led by its team of amazing Art Agents.

All programming is free for Gallery Members, as well as children aged 12 & under when accompanied by an adult. For more info, visit: vanartgallery.bc.ca  

grouse mountain sliding zone
Image courtesy of Grouse Mountain

Enjoy a mountain of family fun at the Peak of Vancouver

This year Family Day coincides with CTV Day at Grouse Mountain. Guests will have the opportunity to meet CTV’s on-air hosts while enjoying a complimentary hot chocolate at the CTV booth in front of the Chalet. You can also submit an entry for a chance to win a ride on Chopper 9 throughout the day!

Guests will also be able to enjoy Grouse Mountain’s variety of activities suitable for all ages, including our Sliding Zone, skating on our mountaintop Skating Pond, sleigh rides and of course skiing and riding.

In partnership with CTV, Grouse Mountain is offering special Family Day ticket rates on Monday, February 18th with Family Mountain Admission for just $89.95 and Family Snow Tickets for $139.95.

rainy day hikes vancouver
Image courtesy of babasaurus | inside Vancouver Flickr Pool

Take a hike!

It’s always hard to accurately predict the weather in Vancouver, but rain or shine you can always have a good time on a Family Day hike!

There are plenty of excellent family-friendly hikes or walks around Vancouver that don’t require excessive athletic ability.

If you’re hoping to take a hike this Family Day long weekend, check out this great list of walks in Vancouver.

kids take over UBC Family Day
Image courtesy of utown UBC

Kids take over UBC

For too long, UBC has been run by adults – it’s time to change that! On Sunday, February 17th, kids are invited to rule the campus at this fun-filled arts festival for kids and families.

Kids and youth can take on adult-sized roles, working alongside staff and volunteers to participate and promote arts and culture at UBC.

Takeover Day, first launched in the UK, is a celebration of children and young people’s contributions to museums, galleries, arts organizations, archives and heritage sites.

For more information about the activities available throughout the day, check out the website.

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