We’ve hit that dreaded point: February. It’s the dead of winter and we are all cold – but maybe that’s not what this month is all about. We think that the holidays that fall in February – Family Day and Valentine’s Day – take residence in this month to remind us of the warmth this time of year; the warmth that can come from inside of us all; from spending time with family and loved ones.
Whether those loved ones are family members, partners, friends who may as well be family, or children, we suggest spending a little extra time this month reconnecting and banishing winter’s cold together. Take advantage of the long weekend, or heck, make your own long weekend, pile into the car, and plan a road trip to maximize your time together in this short month with one of our five suggestions below.
1. Celebrate the Season
Living in Canada, we can’t fully escape the cold of winter, so instead, lets choose to celebrate it! With events across Ontario’s Highlands taking place and kicking off on the 2019 Family Day weekend, families will be bundling up and celebrating the season together. Check out the following events to reconnect with loved ones away from the every day hustle and bustle:
- Frost Festival – Snuggle into a horse drawn wagon, watch your kids saddle up for a pony ride, show off your snowman building skills, try your hand at ice climbing, and more on February 16 at Head Lake Park in Haliburton.
- Central Frontenac Heritage Days – On February 15-17 in Central Frontenac, learn a bit about the history of the area during logging demonstrations; try your luck at a new sport, Crokicurl – a combination of crokinole and curling; and fill up with warm chilli and home cooking.
- Dorset Snowball – Spend February 15-16 in Dorset, watching your children’s faces fill with delight as you gather together for the Snowball Parade, working together to pull off a karaoke classic as a family, and covering yourself in unique outfits and fun props in the photo booth to document the day.
- Fulton’s Winter Magic & Maple Harvest – Starting February 16 until April 22, embrace Canada’s sweetest tradition as you slice into fluffy pancakes, bite into maple taffy, or pull off a chunk of maple cotton candy. Embrace your inner child with a trip down the tobogganing hill, visit the Sugar Shack to learn about the tradition of making maple syrup together, and tour of the sugar bush from the comfort of a horse drawn sleigh or wagon.
2. Hit the Slopes
Spend some time carving your way down the slopes together and celebrate with an après ski family dinner to relive some of the best runs, funniest falls, and greatest moments of the day. Hop aboard the covered magic carpet ski lift at Sir Sam’s Ski & Ride; stand atop the tallest vertical peak in Ontario at Calabogie Peaks Ski Resort; or embrace your inner child with a tubing trip down the hill after a day of skiing at Mount Pakenham. The best part? For those younger family members, or later-in-life learners, lessons are available at all three so you can avoid any potential family frustrations that seem to have a way of popping up when teaching loved ones.
3. Drop a Line
Drop a line and feel the excitement take over the group as your tip up flutters with the first nibble of a fish. Luckily, you don’t have to be a seasoned and geared up ice fisher to experience this Canadian sport, with huts available for rent at Ogopogo Resort, and guided experiences available at Springwood Cottages or through a trip with Yours Outdoors.
4. Gear Up
Experience the beauty of a woodsy winter wonderland together as you wander along trails, weave through towering trees, and past sparkling lakes. Lace up your skates to glide along the Laurentian Valley Skating Trail; strap on your snowshoes to explore the trails at Shaw Woods, or make your way along the Rideau Trail to intersperse your woodsy walk with historic towns, rocky outcrops, and fields.
5. Make New Friends
We’re all for spending time with your loved ones, but we also know that there’s room in your heart for more. Make a new furry friend and listen to your children (and maybe even yourself) squeal at just how fluffy and soft they are. Become one with the pack during a dogsledding trip with Winterdance Dogsled Tours or Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Reserve; get up close and personal with some fuzzy faces at Serendipity Farm Alpacas and Llamas or Wheelers Maple; or saddle up and let majestic horses carry you across a winter landscape during a trail ride with The Wild Life.