Family Day 2020 Fun!

February 14, 2020 | Danya Elsayed

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Welcome to the loooooong weekend of love!


Today is February 14, also known as Valentine's Day, a holiday celebrated by couples around the world to commemorate their love for one another. Not everyone looks forward to Valentine's Day, instead of focusing on a romantic holiday for the weekend, let's focus on a more encompassing holiday of love —  Family Day!


What is Family Day?

Family Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February in six provinces across Canada. This year it's celebrated on Monday, February 17.

Over 30 years ago, the first Family Day holiday was celebrated in Alberta. The premier at the time, Don Getty, created the holiday because he believed it was necessary to set aside a day to strengthen the bonds between Canadian families.

Like Valentine's Day, Family Day is a celebration of the people you love in your life — your parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends and even neighbours. You aren't limited to the people you share genes with, family is any kind of community of people who love, support and care for you. They are the people that make you feel most safe and comfortable. Like Vin Diesel says in the popular blockbuster franchise The Fast and the Furious"I don't have friends. I have family." 


Why is spending time with your loved ones so important? 

Immigrating to a new country can be tough, especially with language barriers that may hinder you from creating important relationships, so take the time to spend it with people who know and understand you the most. 

In Canada, the rates of loneliness are skyrocketing. One in five Canadians identify as lonely. Did you know that loneliness has a direct impact on our mental and physical health? Studies have linked loneliness to an increasing risk of dementia, stroke, obesity and other immune disorders. So grab a family member or a friend and spend the day with them — it isn't just fun, it's good for your health, too!


If you're having trouble figuring out what to do over the long weekend, here are some ideas based on how Toronto Public Library staff are planning to spend their Family Day!


How are TPL staff spending Family Day?

"I have a large extended family, and on some family days we all get together (all fifteen of us!) for a meal, and to hang out and play games and spend time with each other. I’ve also gotten together with family members to do an escape room on Family Day. That was a blast!"

— Suzanne, Services Specialist


"My family doesn't really celebrate, but its always the long weekend and around my birthday so I meet up with my friends — who are technically my extended family members!"

— Nishtha, Digital Design Technician


"I try to find special events that are happening in and around Toronto. I’ll find a bunch of ideas and ask my daughter what she wants to do and let her choose. Whatever we end up doing though we make sure to squeeze in some sushi at the end of the day!"

— Hector, Branch Head


"While it's not actually blood relatives, a group of my really close friends has started the tradition of going to a cottage for Family Day. We usually go cross-country skiing, eat huge meals and play games or music in the evening.  The highlight is building a track for the GT Racer and racing down the hill. "

— Andrew, Senior Library Assistant


"My mom makes Biryani and a dessert made of semolina flour, butter and milk. Our neighbours also drop by and we all just eat food, watch hockey or a movie together, and play with our pet budgie!"

— Aisha, Page

Family cooking
Cooking together as a family is a great activity. Toronto Star Photograph Archive, 1998.


More things to do

All of our branches will be closed on Monday, February 17 for Family Day. But you can always come to one of our Mini Makers program on Sunday, February 16 at 16 different branches across the city! This is a great opportunity for families with children ages 4-8 to explore STEM activities.

You could also sign out a Museum and Arts Pass from over 30 branches across the city. All you need is an adult library card to get free admission for you and your family to many of Toronto's museums and cultural attractions.

*Please note that the ROM and Ontario Science Centre MAP passes cannot be used over Family Day weekend.

For more fun ideas, visit the City of Toronto website.


Books you can read with your little ones for Family Day:

Peppa Pig and the family reunion  The Family Book  We are Family

 Nose to Toes You are Yummy  When Aidan became a brother  How Nivi got her names

In the Sky at Nighttime  Love You Head to Toe  Mama do you love me?


How are you planning to celebrate Family Day? Share in the comments below!