Wednesday, June 12, 2024

21 things to do in and around Victoria this Family Day this weekend


It’s almost Family Day!

This long weekend, get out in the sunshine and spend some time with your loved ones. 

This year, the BC government made an annual investment to support free community activities for Family Day, which totalled $300,000.

Events in Victoria include a family skate at GR Pearkes Recreation Centre, a free day out at the Royal BC Museum, or even the new Chinese Canadian Museum will offer in-person activities to highlight the Lunar New Year, including opening their Victoria Chinatown Fan Tan Alley.

This year, the allotment of grants has been increased to $71,000 from funding provided in 2022.

The BC Recreation and Parks Association received $200,000 for grants up to $1,500 while the  BC Museum Association received $70,000 in grant money this year.

The awarded money will go towards eligible community-based organizations in the province up to $2,000 each.

In Victoria, the Royal BC Museum received $25,000 and the Chinese Canadian Museum was awarded  $5,000 to support Family Day activities.It’s shaping up to be a fun and event-filled weekend on Vancouver Island!

From wicked winter festivals to free admission at museums and historic sites, here are 21 exciting activities to do throughout the first long weekend of 2023.

Family Hangout at the Sidney Aquarium

Start the family day weekend off right and keep your sanity on Pro-D Day by bringing your littles to play pirates and mermaids at the Sidney Aquarium. 

Lots of fun for the entire family with treasure hunt (with difficulty levels from scallywag to sea dog), pizza, boxed meals from The Surly Mermaid (+ $), and story time. 

Take photos under our giant octopus in the magical under-the-sea storyland styled by I Dream in Décor. Take a tour of the aquarium after hours and see our 8-legged friend as it takes its nightly stroll. 

Come in costume or grab an eye-patch or mermaid crown at the door to get in character. 

Laughter and good times ahead at the Pirates & Mermaids family hangout at the aquarium. 

  • Where: Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, 9811 Seaport Place
  • When: Friday, February 17th, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Malahat SkyWalk 50% off 

Embark on an adventure with friends and family. Take in the sweeping views, fly down the famous spiral slide and enjoy local fare in our many picturesque spaces—all for a sweet deal!

  • Where: Malahat SkyWalk, 901 Trans-Canada Highway
  • When: Friday, February 17th to Monday, February 20th

Drawing Our Humanity: Teachings of Ubuntu

Join us in the gallery for a free Family Day activity inspired by our latest exhibition, Gule Wamkulu: Dancing Indigenous Governance. 

Visitors of all ages are invited to create crafts inspired by the Adinkra symbols that appear throughout the exhibition and reflect and celebrate the importance of diverse traditions in our families and communities. Light refreshments from Stir It Up Caribbean Restaurant will be provided.

  • Where: Legacy Art Galleries, 630 Yates Street
  • When: Friday, February 17th, 12 p.m.

Victoria Royals vs Saskatoon Blades

Support your home team this weekend as the Victoria Royals face off against the Saskatoon Blades at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m.

  • Where: Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard Street
  • When: Friday, February 17th, puck drops at 7:05 p.m.

Carnival Culture Connection

Everyone is invited to party and learn about the richness of Trinidad and Tobago on Carnival Saturday.

  • There will be a special event viewing, fun prizes and lots of dancing.
  • Bring food and non-alcoholic drinks to share.eer and rum will be on sale. Business owners are invited to come promote and share with the community. Please contact us if you are interested in a display table…”We are one family.”
  • Kids area with games.
  • Where: Braefoot Centre, 1359 Mckenzie Avenue 
  • When: Saturday, February 18th, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Geography field school trivia fundraiser

Our names are A-C Barrios-Stewart (they/them) Emily Eremenko (she/her) and Savannah Barratt (she/her). 

We will be travelling to six countries, from May-June 2023, where we will learn from urban activists, political leaders, planners, and citizens! We will be learning how to make our urban environments more sustainable, livable, and just! 

We are changemakers in training and need your support to continue expanding our education so we can take on the issues of our changing world.

Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

  • Where: The Dock, Centre of Social Impact, 722 Cormorant Street
  • When: Saturday, February 18th, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tally-Ho Carriage Tours

We’re offering 25% off our Family Day Special!!

Join us for an interactive, fun, and rare opportunity to experience the Tally-Ho family’s majestic draft horses.

This 45 minute experience will provide both hands-on time with your horse, as well as a private carriage tour through the James Bay neighborhood.

Gain insight into their care, comfort and training. It’s a perfect opportunity to bond with your loved ones and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Book your tour now and discover the beauty of horses up close or visit our website for more details!

  • Where: 465 Belleville Street, Inner Harbour
  • When:
    • Sunday, February 19th, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Monday, February 20th, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Long Weekend Sunday Sessions

Come down to CRAFT for the long weekend featuring Sunday Sessions on the Harbour! You can expect live music, DJS, all day happy hour and more:

– Live Music from Dilly Cooner and TK The Artist

– DJ’s until late

– All Day Happy Hour

– Drinks & Eats from $5

– Ocean Views

Advance tickets are $5 and will guarantee you entry. Tickets will be available for $10 on the door.

  • Where: Craft Beer Market, 450 Swift Street
  • When: Sunday, February 19th, 8 p.m.

February Babies Birthday Beach Bash

After a two year Covid hiatus, it is time to gather together with Keg alumni, friends and family to celebrate the annual Feb Babies Birthday Beach Bash!

Theme -This year’s theme is “Beach Bash” – so beat back the winter blues and dig out those gaudy, colourful Hawaiian shirts, floral dresses and grass skirts and join in the fun.

  • Where: Breakwater Bistro and Bar, 199 Dallas Road
  • When: Sunday, February 19th, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

Art Lab Sunday: Puppet Play

Come to the Gallery for a free BC Family Day activity and create your own fun-filled vaudeville puppet show!

  • Where: Nanaimo Art Gallery, 150 Commercial Street
  • When: Sunday, February 19th, 1 p.m. 

Family Day Skate

T’Sou-ke First Nation is hosting a free in-person skating event for community members to participate. Ice access and skate rentals are included.

  • Where: Seaparc Leisure Complex, 2168 Phillips Road
  • When: Monday, February 20th, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Esquimalt Family Map

The Esquimalt Family Map is a collaborative craft created in which families will work together to create construction-paper representations of their homes and pin them to a large map of Esquimalt. 

The map would grow and evolve throughout the event as more families add to it, resulting in a colourful, tangible representation of all the families that make up our community.

  • Where: Esquimalt Recreation Centre, 527 Fraser Street
  • When: Monday, February 20,,9 a.m.

Esquimalt’s BC Family Day Open House and Pancake Breakfast

The Esquimalt Recreation Centre will be open to families and individuals for a variety of activities and events including: 

  • Free swimming 
  • The gymnasium with be open for Kindergym with toys and a bouncy castle for kids 
  • The Esquimalt Community Arts Hub is hosting a community map making activity 
  • Esquimalt’s Emergency Preparedness Manager is providing an emergency preparedness information session 
  • One of the recreation centre’s fitness staff is leading a family-friendly fitness class 
  • The Lion’s Club is hosting a pancake breakfast
  • Where: Esquimalt Recreation Centre, 527 Fraser Street
  • When: Monday, February 20th, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Royal BC Museum and IMAX free for kids and seniors

There’s lots of fun to be had this Family Day with the Royal BC Museum and IMAX Victoria.

Children, youth, seniors and students will be admitted free of charge at both the museum and IMAX on Family Day. 

Gather your loved ones and enjoy a great day out together. 

  • Where: Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street 
  • When: Monday, February 20th, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saanich Family Day Arts Festival

On February 20th, you’re invited to the Cedar Hill Arts and Recreation Centre for the 2023 Family Day Arts Festival! Admission and all activities are FREE. Try your hand at working with clay, playing with Lego and robotics, and getting creative with different art-based activities. 

We’ll have live performances by local cultural groups and kids’ singers throughout the day, and options for lunch from food trucks outside the center. The event runs from 11 am to 3 pm. We can’t wait to see you there!

  • Where: Cedar Hill Arts and Recreation Centre, 3220 Cedar Hill Road
  • When: Monday, February 20th, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Free BC Family Day Skate, Swim & Weight Room

Panorama Recreation invites you to get active with your family & celebrate Family Day with us! Dive into Family Day fun.

  • Where: Panorama Recreation, 1885 Forest Park Drive
  • When: Monday, February 20th
    • 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. skate
    • 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. swim
    • 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. weight room

Family Day DAC Dance Party 

Join the Greater Victoria Police Diversity Advisory Committee for a free, family friendly, event celebrating art, culture, and diversity.

The featured groups taking part in this event will take you on a journey, demonstrating and teaching their dances, sharing a part of their heritage, and inviting you to participate. Dance and learn or just watch and enjoy


  • The Lekwungen Traditional Dancers
  • Sabur of Damba Dance Group
  • Banghra with the Apna Virsa Victoria Cultural Association
  • Country Scottish Dancers
  • Dabke Habibi Middle East Arab Dancers
  • Where: Garry Oak Room, Saanich Commonwealth Place
  • When: Monday, February 20th, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

BC Family Day Free Bowling

BC Family Day Free Bowling includes admission and shoe rentals. Maximum of five people is permitted per group/lane. Small concession available.

Youbou Lanes is a four-lane handset facility (no machines and people setting the pins), which opened in 1951, with much of the facility being unchanged. Take a trip down memory lane – Come bowl with us!

The Province of British Columbia has provided Cowichan Valley Regional District with a grant in support of this free, community Family Day activity.

  • Where: Youbou Community Bowling Alley, 8550 Hemlock Street
  • When: Monday, February 20th, 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

BC Family Day Free Skate

Join us for the Family Day Free Skate. Admissions and skate rentals are free. Helmets recommended but not supplied. 

In addition to skating, there will be free hot chocolate and an off-ice games area. 

The Province of British Columbia has provided Cowichan Valley Regional District a grant in support of this free, community Family Day activity.

  • Where: Cowichan Lake Sports Arena, 311 South Shore Road
  • When: Monday, February 20th, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

BC Family Day Skating and Learn to Curl

Free Family Day Learn to Curl Have you ever wanted to try curling?

Join us at the rink for a fun-filled session where you will learn about curling, be provided with equipment, and throw your first rock!

Coaches will be on hand to provide instruction. Free Family Day Public Skating Session Bring your family and join us for a free skating session, try our scavenger hunt and a variety of on ice games.

Admission and skate rentals are free. Please call 250-743-5922 to register in advance.

  • Where: Kerry Park Recreation Centre, 1035 Shawnigan Mill Bay Road
  • When: Monday, February 20th, 1:00 pm to 4:15 p.m.

Victoria Royals vs Seattle Thunderbirds – Skate with the players

On Monday, February 20th, support the Victoria Royals as a family when they face off against the Seattle Thunderbirds on home ice! The puck drops at 2:05 p.m.- the stick around after the game to skate with the players.

  • Where: Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, 1625 Blanshard Street
  • When: Monday, February 20th, puck drops at 2:05 p.m.

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