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Family Day weekend: Top 5 things to do; what's open and closed

Last Updated Feb 16, 2018 at 5:16 am EDT

Children dancing at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo credit: AGO

Thank goodness for this long weekend in February — we really need it. If every weekend could be a long weekend, now that would be super, but one can only dream. Since we won’t have another one until Easter, let us enjoy every moment of the Family Day holiday.

There are several events taking place across the city, but we’ve narrowed them down to our Top 5 picks.

Family Day is a provincial and not a federal holiday, so not everything is closed. As you head out and about, consult the list below of what’s open and closed on Monday.


What’s open and closed on Family Day

Open

  • Most tourist attractions and museums: Art Gallery of Ontario (10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.), Royal Ontario Museum (10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.), CN Tower (9 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.), Casa Loma (9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.), the Toronto Zoo (9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.), and Hockey Hall of Fame (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • TTC runs on a holiday schedule
  • GO Transit operates on a Saturday schedule; from Saturday to Monday, children under 12 can ride GO and UP Express for free
  • Some malls: Bramalea City Centre (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.), Eaton Centre (10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.), Promenade (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.), Square One (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.), and Toronto Premium Outlets (9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.)
  • Some grocery stores, but call ahead for hours
  • Most city-run ice rinks and arenas
  • Federal government offices; mail will be delivered

 

Closed

  • LCBO and Beer Stores
  • Municipal buildings and banks
  • Schools and public libraries
  • Post offices located in closed retail outlets

Our Top 5 events

Canadian International AutoShow
From the best in luxury vehicles to celebrating 50 years of Hot Wheels, this weekend the auto show is revving its engine into the Metro Convention Centre for the 2018 edition of the event. It’s on for the next two weekends. And the show is not just for car enthousiasts, there’s something for everyone. You can find out about the future of electric cars, and even test drive some of the electric vehicles or check out the world’s fastest car, which will be on display. General admission is $24. The show starts on Friday and runs until Feb. 25.

Canadian International Autoshow media preview day at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto on Feb. 16, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dominic Chan

 

Family Day at the AGO
If the kids aren’t tuckered out by Monday, be sure to check out the AGO’s Family Day event. It’s being billed as a colourful interactive expereince. Officials at the AGO are also encouraging families to wear their favourite colours. There will be lots to do from dancing at an all-ages dance party to the unique experience of making paintings without paint. Families can also end their day by creating a memory in front of the selfie wall. The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Family Day activities are free with general admission, and visitors can save $10 off the cost of a family pass when they purchase tickets online.

Winter at Ontario Place
Ontario Place will host its first Family Day celebration this weekend, and there’s no shortage of activities. People young and old can skate under the thousands of fairy lights, eat some beavertails or get warmed up by Toronto’s only outdoor bonfire — dubbed the event’s most popular attraction. You can also catch one of three movies, including “Beauty and the Beast,” “Dunkirk” and “Wonder Woman,” which will be playing at the iconic cinesphere that reopened earlier this year. Event organizers add one of the highlight’s are the 12 illuminated art installations created by local artists. Be sure to dress warm for this one. Admission is free.

Legoland Discovery Centre Exhibit
Three, two, one … blast off! This is one the kids will surely enjoy. The Legoland Discovery Centre at Vaughan Mills has added a special space exhibit — starting this weekend — that will be on display for a limited time. The Family Day long weekend is the grand opening of the event that’s being billed an “intergalactic building experience.” Guests will be able to explore space and alien worlds build entirely out of lego. Kids will also get the chance to build their own spaceships. Tickets are limited, and are being offered at a discount price online.

The Legoland Discovery Centre in Vaughan Mills.

 

City of Toronto activities
You can take advantage of the holiday Monday by heading to one of the many city-run recreation facilities and historic attractions that will be open. Eight of the city’s 10 historic sites have things going on Family Day, including Fort York’s National Historic Site, where families can sample some hot chocolate or try an 1812 drill class. Weather permitting, 52 of the city’s outdoor rinks and skating trails will be open if you want to lace up and go skating. And of course if your kids are into the animals Riverdale Farm, and The Toronto and High Park zoos will be open for business.

Skaters at Nathan Phillips Square with the ‘Toronto’ sign in the background. CITYNEWS/Patricia D’Cunha