Family Day. What to do on a day off.

Today is Family Day in Ontario. Well, Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan to be more specific. British Columbia had Family Day last week. Price Edward Island has Islander Day today and Manitoba has Louis Riel Day. People in other provinces are simply at work scowling at their computers. It’s not the most organized of holidays across the country.

I’m sure there’s a reason that Canada can’t just have a federal Family Day holiday across the country on one specific day and I’m also sure that reason is stupid.

Regardless, for several provinces it is Family Day, which means a day off to spend with family however you see fit. If you’re part of my family who sees and talks to each other all the time, family day might just mean a day where you ignore your family. The one day a year when you remove yourself from all of them to eat Fritos and drink Diet Coke under a tent made out of blankets in your living room.

And binge watch television.

If you’re not into that sort of thing because the last time you binge watched television you woke up 3 weeks later in a rehab clinic with withdrawal shakes next to a guy wearing just the upper half of a Star Trek costume, then I have some other options for you.

Please enjoy.


Family Day Activities





Baking cookies together

Baking a pig’s head together

Board games

Make up a family theme song using only swear words and sing it with a Scottish accent to your neighbours.  While holding a pickle

Go see a movie

Give each other vague compliments and then make fun of whoever says thank you

Have a big family dinner with all your extended family that lives close enough

Make loving cards for each other

Tell each of your children when they turn 13 they’re going to have to start getting home perms

Order a pizza and have movie day at home

Make a big bowl of popcorn with a whole pound of melted butter and go through old family photo albums


Declare yourselves pirates

Make good old fashioned macaroni necklaces


Spend the day reading

Go to a restaurant and pretend it’s someone’s birthday.  Free cake.

Make a big pot of chili and bring it to someone who doesn’t have family.



Be Merry

(and mock)

Have a good day to all those who are off.  Same to the rest of you I guess.  Give it a shot anyway.



  1. Deirdre says:

    Oh we’ll eat, love, laugh, perm, popcorn, movies, make funny names for each other, knit, watch movies and we’ll call it Family Day or lucky enough to have another Sunday. Enjoy.

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  2. Agnes says:

    There will be no outdoor activities this Family Day in Hamilton, ON, unless you make “first one to get frostbite” into some kind of weird game.

    We’re definitely doing dinner for people who live close, looking forward to that prime rib! And a pound of popcorn for dessert 🙂

    • Bols says:

      Hi Agnes,

      I am in Kitchener so it’s a tad colder here than in Hammytown (although, what’s a few additional degrees once the temperature crept south of -25 C?). Yesterday, I woke up to -29 C or -41 C once the windchill was factored in. We had the most blustery day on Saturday when it snowed on/off most of the day and shoveling made no sense.
      So yesterday, I waited till about 1 pm to bundle up and venture into the cold with my snowblower. To my own surprise, I found out (once I returned indoors) that I actually stay out almost an hour and a half and I was not cold at all. I wore lots of layers, including longjohns and windbreaker pants and I also have a short faux fur coat which is incredibly warm. I tend to get a bit obsessive about my driveway and like to see it completely snow free. Fortunately, my house faces south and the driveway is asphalt so once the snow is shoveled / blown off the sun does the rest to me. But there was lots to take care of and I also do my neighbours’ sidewalks etc. And once I am done at the front, I shovel a racing oval (including what I call “poop pockets” for my greyhound.
      Anyway, I was surprised myself how long I was out and that I was not cold at all so I just wanted to mention it.

  3. turbocharger says:

    In Yukon, our long weekend is next weekend (Friday’s the holiday here) for heritage day. Really though, it’s Rendezvous weekend, which if you’ve never heard of it is a hilarious festival involving a hairiest leg/beard growing competition, chainsaw chucking, flour packing and dog howling cometition. It’s amazeballs!
    Oh and this year, Fred Penner is preforming too. Oh and it’s a balmy -2°C here. Doesn’t Yukon sound appealing all the sudden?

    • Karen says:

      It’s -2C in Yukon, lol????!! It’s almost noon here and it’s -17C. Boo. ~ karen!

      • Bonnie says:

        I just converted Celsius to Fahrenheit so I would know what you were taking about and Yegads! it is COLD there.

        And don’t ask me why we in the U.S. use Fahrenheit and the rest of the world uses Celsius. Or, why we use all of the other ridiculous old timey Imperial measures instead of the modern, reasonable metric measures like everyone else in the world! Well, almost everyone. Liberia and Myanmar, two other progressive countries, also use the Imperial system. I mean, not even G.B. still uses that imperial system.

        I think one reason every other country uses the metric system is because you get charged for gasoline by the liter. If you knew how much you were paying by gallon, you would be really upset. 🙂

  4. Louise says:

    Family Day – what a lovely idea!

    We don’t have that in California, but it is Presidents Day, so we have the day off, to go to all the Presidents Day sales! My son and I, however, will be actively staying away from the malls.

  5. Yes Presidents’ Day here… But the hubs has to work.. Schools are off but not many others get it off … Govt jobs do of course!!!

  6. Susan says:

    I’m on PEI; the wind is still howling and the snow is up to the top of both my outside doors. Guess what I’m going to be doing today! I think I’d rather have the pigs head.

  7. oh Karen I laughed out loud at the idea of going to a restaurant and pretending it’s someone’s birthday! I’d so love to do that!
    Happy Holiday!

    • Karen says:

      Try it! It works. 🙂 ~ karen

      • Gillian Taylor says:

        My parents did that to me once when I was a teenager…at a TGIFriday’s. The waiter came with a huge helium balloon that he tied to my bangs. There I sat the whole meal looking like Ed Grimley. Free cake was not enough of a tradeoff!

  8. It’s zero degrees down here on the coast of Rhode Island. Fortunately we shoveled out yesterday when it was slightly warmer and the new drifts are minimal. So with the day off (Presidents Day) we’ll probably be hunkered down inside playing “you’re annoying me.”

  9. Amanda says:

    In Nova Scotia, today is Heritage Day. Every year we will honour a different person. This year, we celebrate Viola Desmond. In my small town, we are snowed in, so the family closeness thing is very palpable. Luckily, the Parks and Rec Dept. has an outdoor event planned.And the weather is co operating. Yay

  10. Roxy says:

    Here in the banana belt of Southern Quebec it is -24C…-36C with the wind chill. Yukon is looking good.It is not a holiday, but if I ran across the border I could celebrate presidents day. Not Nixon of course. Do they get to choose which president they celebrate? Or is all or nothing? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • BethH says:

      As far as I can tell, and I live here, President’s Day is a weekday during which you can’t get into the post office, the courthouse, the bank, or send your kids to school. All the stores and malls have sales (which used to be February White Sales during which you would buy bed linens and towels), and the stores and malls are jam-packed with harried mothers who can’t send their kids to school, and the kids, most of which have the flu, a cold, or this year maybe the measles. Because of the extremely cold, snowy weather, most of those kids have already been home for a few days anyway. Doesn’t that sound like fun? There really isn’t any President celebrating at all. I think I’ll stay home and drink a toast to my personal favorite Presidents, and maybe make some toast, too.

  11. Rondina says:

    Holiday envy.

  12. Tigersmom says:

    I do love a good bonus holiday. Enjoy!

  13. Pam says:

    No Family Day for me! Federal Government workers are not eligible for a Provincial holiday!

    • Bols says:

      if it makes you feel better, I am working as well. Most of our customers are in the US so I work all holidays. The only holiday we have off is Labour Day because that is a holiday both here and in the US.

    • Karen says:

      Well that’s horrible. If I were you, I’d spend part of my 15 weeks of vacation formulating a very, very terse letter to someone about it. LOL! 😉 ~ karen!

  14. Kat says:

    Baking a pigs head??? EWWW!!! Your just weird Karen!

  15. Jody says:

    I started the tradition of cinnamon rolls last year. Made the dough last night to let it rise overnight. It didn’t rise! I think it was too cold. Giving it another chance near the radiator to rise. If that doesn’t work I guess we just have pigs head.

  16. ellenk says:

    Oooh, I was at our Germanfest a few years ago and a local teen princess of some type (wearing sash and crown!!!) and her family had a pigs head at the table we shared. It smelled yummy and they loved it–even the teen princess. I was impressed. This is Milwaukee, WI and Germanfest is a big deal though I don’t often sit with teen princesses. More likely would be beer barons in lederhosen.

  17. ellenk says:

    By the way, the pigs head was enormous and wrapped in foil. It really LOOKED like what was, too. 🙂

  18. Jody says:

    I works retail in a bordertown in the states. I get called into work early so you guys can shop! Have a great day all.

    • Karen says:

      That sucks. With our dollar the way it is I can’t imagine anyone traipsing over the border to buy. Hope you didn’t have to go to work early for nothin’! ~ karen

  19. Dawn says:

    In the deeeep South (Louisiana) we are celebrating Mardi Gras. Come on down! We’ve been wearing shorts for the past week so be sure to pack the sunscreen. Sequins are required but bras are optional. You know how to get the really BIG beads, don’t cha?

    • Bonnie says:

      Hey, I am a displaced New Orleanian, and I am so homesick. But, I must say that I have tons of beads and have never had to do anything to smile, dance, and yell,”Throw me something, mister!”

      • Dawn says:

        It was a joke Bonnie…we both know that it is only the tourist that do that! We either know the krewe members…or…we are related to them. May you be given many golden coconuts, best wishes, sister…it’s time to come home. Remember, Jazz Fest is coming up…great lineup this year.

  20. Yay for Family Day. If I lived in one of the provinces without the holiday, I would definitely move! I pick #7- Make up a family theme song using only swear words and sing it with a Scottish accent to your neighbours. While holding a pickle. That rocks! Cheers.

  21. Ev Wilcox says:

    Let’s see. In Ohio, it is #$%^& cold and snowy. Grandkids I was going to get to watch have school this year because of so many snow days used up already. Banks and Post Offices are closed. And yes, all presidents are included and Nixon was NOT the worst one! That’s another whole subject, and I don’t particularly want to have feds at my door, so…. Hamburgs cooked on the stove will have to do as it’s too cold to do them on the grill. I am concerned about all the people and animals that are outside in this cold, and grateful that I am in a warm (sorta) house. I may be brave enough to go see 50 Shades today-that outta perk things up!

  22. Miriam says:

    I recently began to work as a teacher at a college and today they handed in their first assignment. I’ve read one. I have a bad feeling I will be a bald alcoholic by the end of the marking process.

  23. Carolyn Boyd says:

    Hah!! It’s our very first family day here in Nova Scotia and we’re spending it digging out of 50cm of snow! No other activities need to be planned, as everything is closed and we can’t get anywhere anyhow 🙁

  24. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Cool holiday, nothing like that here in the States. It’s President’s Day here. No mail delivery and the banks are closed. Enjoy your day 🙂

  25. Wendy W says:

    Family Day Trivia! It started in Alberta in 1990 and it was the only province to have the holiday until Saskatchewan joined in, in 2007. Ontario quickly followed later that year. BC only joined the bandwagon in 2012. Yep, we Albertans have been enjoying Family day for 25 years!

  26. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Never baked a pig’s head..I do bake a really good stuffed pig’s stomach though..yes for real..”Make up a family theme song using only swear words and sing it with a Scottish accent to your neighbours. While holding a pickle”..What is the something in your head that comes up with these a happy day with your awesome family!

  27. Jennie Lee says:

    No family day here in the U.S., unless, of course, your family includes any presidents…?

  28. Bonnie says:

    And, even though Presidents Day is a federal holiday, we state employees in GA don’t get the day off.

  29. Edith says:

    The weather and things in Germany: today is the day after Rosenmontag, the day full of parades in most of our cities. But Hangoverday is only tomorrow, so there is still some celebrating going on today. Officially, both days are regular working days, but inofficially many shops, banks and post offices are closed, and people go to the parades and parties. The hole Fasching weekend starts on thursday before Rosenmontag. A long weekend of dressing up, drinking and dancing. Tomorrow we’ll all start fasting till Easter.
    Temperature is at 1° C, very foggy and no snow at all.
    There is a flu epidemic, scarlet fever, ear infections and in Berlin even the measles knocking everyone out.

  30. magali says:

    as someone else mentioned, it was a holiday in NS as well yesterday. But I can’t say I’m happy about it, the trade-off is one less day at Easter (at least it is where my husband and I work). I much prefer a 4 day easter than a random 3 day holiday. But I guess I shouldn’t whine about holidays!

  31. Rose says:

    It was cold, but sunny. I checked out the new velodrome in Milton,ON. Came home, biked indoors on my bike trainer, then baked banana muffins.

    • Karen says:

      How was the Velodrome?! ~ karen

      • Rose says:

        The steep angle of the track is amazing. Those fixed gear bikes are going > 60 Km/hr around the 200 metre track. There’s a running track around the top, basketball,volleyball, badminton courts in the middle, a workout room and yoga studio. The spectator seats are so close to the riders.

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