Family Day Weekend at Ontario Parks

Looking for fun Family Day Weekend activities in Ontario Parks? You’ve come to the right place.

If you’re in the Toronto area, head to Bronte Creek Provincial Park in Oakville where you can skate to music on the park’s Olympic size rink. The rink is open from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm daily. You can rent adult and children skates, skating aids and helmets for $5 an hour. The snow has finally arrived in the park and the park’s tobogganing hills are in great shape. Bronte’s Play Barn is fun for younger kids. It’s a giant jungle gym with slides, nets, and tunnels. Walking park trails and looking for deer and coyote tracks is a popular family activity. This is also the time of year when male deer (bucks) drop their antlers. They are hard to find but you may get lucky.

Families love Springwater Provincial Park near Barrie. A 1.5 km trail winds through the park’s wildlife compound where visitors can view some captive Ontario animals such as deer, wolves and a bobcat which would be unable to survive in the wild on their own. The large pens along the trail house bears, wolves, owls and swans. Make a day of it and take a picnic. Springwater has several picnic shelters that can be rented for the day, groomed cross-country ski trails and a designated snowshoe trail. Heated washrooms are also available.

Sparkle in the Park runs February 20 at MacGregor Point Provincial Park . The park’s cool skate path which winds 400 metres through the woods will be the focus of the evening event which begins at 8 pm. Candles will line the entire skating loop. Some of the winter RVers and campers plan to add sparkle to the campground by lighting up their campsites too. Sixteen yurts provide roofed accommodation in the Lake Huron park located north of Goderich. Reservations for these are a must. The yurts have electric heat and lights. A heated comfort station provides showers and flush toilets. Deer Run and Nipissing Bluff ski trails run eleven kilometres through hardwood forest and wetland areas.

A Moonlight Ski, hosted by Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, will take place under a full moon on Saturday February 19 from 5 pm to 9 pm at the Wasaga Nordic Centre on the Blueberry Trails. The trails are part of a 30 km cross country ski network. The Nordic Centre offers ski rentals and will serve light refreshments. Warm up by the fireplace in the Nordic Centre or enjoy a campfire at the outdoor warm up shelter and be entertained by Scott Thomas, the Singing Superintendent. Rental equipment is available on a first-come, first-served basis at a reduced cost of $5 per rental. There is no additional cost for parking or trail use for the event. Overnight accommodation is available in the Town of Wasaga Beach.

Stargazing kicks off Winter Activity Day at Killarney Provincial Park. Hosted by the Friends of Killarney, the event begins indoors, the evening of February 19, near the park at the Killarney Bay Inn where astronomer Bruce Waters will project a star map on the inn ceiling and give tips on how to read the night sky. Then it’s back to the park and Killarney’s new observatory which holds a ten-inch Meade telescope. On Sunday, the Friends will host a BBQ lunch, guided snowshoe hikes, skiing, and other educational activities. The day ends at Killarney Bay Inn with an après-ski social, dinner and entertainment by the Killarney Singers. The park has yurts for rent.

Quetico Provincial Park west of Thunder Bay, is offering up some fun for families on Monday February 21 from 12 to 3 pm. Head over to the Log Cabin Nature Centre to make an animal scarf, snowshoe or ski the groomed trails and warm up by the fire. It’s Family Fishing Weekend too (no license required) – so drop a line! For further information, contact susan.bourne@ontario.ca

For more Family Day weekend activities, check Ontario Parks’ calendar of events. It’s always a good idea to check with the park for weather and conditions prior to visiting.