Weekends come and go but what makes them memorable is planning things with those you love most. That isn’t to say that you can’t spend the weekend cooped up in bed having a Harry Potter movie marathon for the umpteenth time this year or drawing yourself a bath — because sometimes you need that too — but with all that we’ve missed out on these last few years, we should make up for lost time when we can.
The Weekender gives you a local look into everything that’s happening in the city on the special weekends of the year. Think of it as your personal idea generator when it comes to making plans with friends, family or a significant other. Whether you want to stay home and have a relaxing night in or venture out for an eventful night, we’ve got you covered. Now, let’s discover some of the ways you can have fun this Family Day.
1. Take a Road Trip to Niagara
There’s a lot to love about the Niagara region. From the famous Butterfly Conservatory to the 19th-century village in Niagara-on-the-Lake and award-winning restaurants such as Casa Mia, there’s tons to get up to. Don’t forget to book a tasting at a winery or two — Wayne Gretzky Estates is one of our favourites and it has an outdoor skating rink that’s open most afternoons.
2. Skate in the Downtown Core
Speaking of skating, downtown Toronto has a variety of rinks to choose from. All you have to decide is which backdrop of the city you prefer. From the rinks at the Harbourfront Centre and Nathan Phillips Square to SkySkate at The Porch and the Bentway Skate Trail, there’s no shortage of places to partake in this winter activity. Sharpen your skates and get to gliding.
3. Pamper Yourself at the Spa
If you’re looking for the ultimate getaway, Go Place is indeed the place to be. This spa in Markham features over 68,000 square feet of specialty baths, saunas and wellness rooms. If you plan on this weekend being a mixture of work and play, there’s dedicated rooms for you to power your computer on or take a nap. Don’t worry about how you’re going to make time for the gym or what you’re going to do for food — there’s a place to dine and workout as well.
4. Brush Up on Your History at the ROM
What we love about the ROM is that it doesn’t matter how many times you visit, there’s always something new to explore. The museum places you in the centre of the city so once your adventures have concluded, you can explore everything that the surrounding area has to offer too. If you think this destination is more suited for kids, you’re entirely wrong. It also makes a great one-on-one date.
5. Immerse Yourself in Art
Interested in spending the long weekend outdoors and admiring some pretty cool art while you’re at it? Toronto has a few installations in its east and west end. The annual international design competition in The Beaches kicks off this Family Day, while another interactive art display — the Island of Warmth — is being showcased in Yonge-Dundas Square. Bundle up, bring your cameras out and be wowed by impressive artistry.
6. Attend a Niche Event
Toronto’s Hot Chocolate Festival is only on for a few more days, with the celebrations ending on Family Day. In the city’s Stackt Market on Bathurst Street, you can listen to live performers, sip on warm beverages spiked with the liquor that you prefer and purchase a smores kit to roast over the fire. The event is completely free if you’re attending, but food and drinks are offered at an additional cost.
Photos courtesy of: Look Local Magazine (Wayne Gretzky Estates); Twitter (SkySkate); Iron Design Solutions (Go Place); The ROM (Royal Ontario Museum); Creos Experts-Conseils Inc. (Island of Warmth); AllEvents.in (Hot Chocolate Festival).