Kate's 5 fun things to do this Family Day long weekend (Feb. 14-17)

Celebrate love and family this weekend with a number of events in and around Waterloo region.
Get your feet moving at the Bring on the Sunshine Festival at Kitchener's city hall on Sunday. (Bring on the Sunshine/Facebook)

This weekend we'll celebrate love with two fun holidays: Valentine's Day and Family Day.

The weather is set to warm up a bit and we could even see some sunshine.

Events also continue for Black History Month, including an art show in Guelph with painted portraits of some city residents.

Kitchener-raised musician Craig Cardiff is at Maxwell's in Waterloo Saturday night or if you're looking for something low-key, there's lots of local music you can check out in Waterloo region's breweries and bars. Long weekends can be a great time to check out these musical acts because it can be a slower time for the venues. Check your favourite hang out to see who is playing.

If you're into spending some time fishing, this is your weekend to do it. It's the first of four times where you can fish licence-free in the province. Just be sure to stay safe on the ice or near water.

Or take in some basketball at the Special Olympics Ontario High-Performance Basketball Tournament. Watch and cheer as the athletes compete and take in a noon-hour free throw contest that pits police Chief Bryan Larkin against Laurier president Deborah MacLatchy. The tournament runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Laurier's Athletic Complex.

Tinder Tales: A "Not-So-Valentine's" Show

8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, Feb. 14

The Registry Theatre, 122 Frederick St., Kitchener

Sometimes love, or the quest for love, stinks. But hopefully it's something you can laugh at upon reflection. Join comedians as they share their own real dating stories live on stage. 

Want to show love to your pet this weekend? There's a special Pet Lovers Market in Maryhill on Sunday so you can get something special for Fluffy or Fido.

You can also take your main human squeeze to the Idea Exchange's Old Post Office location in Cambridge Friday night for a Valentine's photo booth. Pucker up!

Bring on the Sunshine Festival

11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 16

Kitchener City Hall

Even if it's cloudy on Sunday, there is lots of warmth at this annual festival celebrating African culture, community and family. There's music, dancing, vendors, food and lots of activities. 

U.S. vs. Canada in sledge hockey match

7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15

Woolwich Memorial Centre, Elmira

The U.S. national sledge hockey team is in Elmira this weekend to take on Team Canada. The teams don't have a world championship to focus on this year, so "it's important for us to face high-calibre competition as much as we can," head coach Ken Babey said in a release. Tickets are at the door, $10 for adults, $5 for children.


Various times

Various locations in downtown Kitchener

Celebrate all things downtown Kitchener with this festival, which will span two weekends. This weekend, check out children's entertainers Splash and Boots at city hall, shows in different coffee shops including an open mic for kids, as well as movie and music trivia. Take note: Tall Boyz are coming Feb. 21.

Trying on a helmet and chain mail at Knightsfest in Guelph on Monday. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

So many family events

Various locations

There are so many events geared to the whole family that it's hard to pick just one. There are various free skates and swims taking place over the weekend — check your municipality's listings for details.

Here's a list of events you may want to check out (please note admission fees may apply):

Kitchener Wildlife Festival will feature all kinds of amazing animals from Little Ray's Reptile Zoo and Nature Centre. Get close to lemurs, gila monster, giant pythons, tarantulas and more. All weekend.

Next door to the wildlife festival is Bingemans Family Day Carnival includes inflatables, rides, food and activities. Sunday and Monday.

Kidapalooza includes rides, inflatables, stage shows, a petting zoo and more activities to tire out even the most spirited toddler. All weekend.

All branches of the Idea Exchange will be closed on Monday except for Clement's Mill, which has a magic show and other activities.

Enjoy family karaoke and games at the Family Fun event at the Galt legion. 

There's half-priced admission at TheMuseum on Monday with a Family Day hack jam.

Try your hand at creating a family portrait with finger paint, take part in some yoga and doodle the day away at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery event on Monday.

There's games, music, dancing and food at the Schwaben Club on Monday.

Free Family Fun is hosted by the City of Guelph. It includes STEM activities, skating, chair yoga, art projects, swimming and more. Events are on Monday at Victoria Road Recreation Centre and West End Community Centre.

The Guelph Civic Museum is open Monday and admission is by donation. Try family friendly crafts while also checking out the exhibits.

Knightsfest is back at the Guelph Youth Music Centre on Monday. Fight a knight, learn a dance, check out medieval weapons and meet the king and queen.


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