Free skating, swims and more across B.C. on Family Day weekend

Family Day, which provides a midwinter break long weekend, falls on Monday, Feb. 8 this year in British Columbia.

Rain is in the forecast for much of the weekend, but there are plenty of indoor events for families

People skate on the downtown outdoor skating rink at Robson Square at dusk in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday December 10, 2009. (The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck)

Family Day, which provides a much-needed midwinter break, falls on Monday, Feb. 8.

Here is a list of some of the activities for those wanting to celebrate the long weekend.


Rain is in the forecast for much of the weekend, but there are plenty of indoor events for families. Many community centres and libraries are offering family-friendly activities, including free swimming and skating. Among them:

  • The Marpole-Oakridge Community Centre is hosting Chinese New Year celebrations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event features live performances, games, a play area and a food concession.
  • Britannia Ice Rink is offering free skating on Family Day as well as a dance performance and hot chocolate.
  • At Hillcrest Community Centre, every room will be filled with games and crafts.
  • At the West Vancouver Library, kids can learn calligraphy writing, from 12.45 p.m. until 2.30 p.m.

A film or a free skate

Sunday is the Super Bowl, but if football isn't your cup of tea, the classic civil war film, Gone With the Wind, starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, is playing at the Vancity Theatre on at 3 p.m.

There is free ice skating at Robson Square, at 800 Robson Street, across from the Vancouver Art Gallery. On Monday, Feb. 8, skate rentals are free.

If you're feeling brave enough to weather the rain, VanDusen Gardens is waiving admission fees on Monday, Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


  • The Royal BC Museum is offering free admission on Monday, Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre is offering free swimming from 1 p.m. to  4 p.m.


  • The Parkinson Recreation Centre is offering free access to the aquatic and fitness area on Feb. 8 and there are extra games and activities in the aquatic area.
  • The Kelowna YMCA will have half- price admission on Feb. 8. There will also be extra crafts, games, a barbeque and bouncy castle.

Prince George

  • The Prince George YMCA is holding a Family Day pancake breakfast from 9 a.m. until noon by donation. Monday's pancake breakfast will be followed by face painting and a bouncy train.