The long weekend is real, but it’ll be celebrated virtually, a reality Ontarians have experienced for the better part of a year.
This time around, Family Day will feature activities people can enjoy in their homes. Rather than the likes of the traditional public skates and swims, the region’s townships are putting together an online experience for Monday.
The idea to host this virtual event together came from the Rural Recovery Coordinating Group, in the hopes of bringing families together during these times, said Wendy Huber, recreation/fire administrative assistant with the Township of Wellesley.
“Oftentimes family – and those we live with – are the most important people in our lives. We hope that our Virtual Family Day Event will give families something new and different to look forward to during these challenging times. Whether it’s participating in an activity together or enjoying one of the entertainment videos, the hope is this event will help create new memories for families to cherish,” she explained.
In a normal year, Huber says the township would offer a free family skate, however, because of pandemic rules related to COVID-19, it is not possible at this time.
A YouTube channel will have content available to residents February 15 starting at 8 a.m.
Events for the day are set to include fitness, music, STEM and mindfulness activities, entertainment and the like. Content will come from community partners, local entertainers, and program providers.
Huber says all activities will have a connection to the townships, as the community partners who are putting the content together for the big day’s virtual event serve more than one township within the Region of Waterloo.
In Woolwich Township, Rae Ann Bauman says one of the more local groups taking part and putting out family day content is the Township of Woolwich Environmental Enhancement Committee (TWEEC)
“TWEEC would be one of the most local ones (groups participating) that would be offering content and some information that is truly Woolwich-specific. Other than that, the goal of this was to involve the area’s four townships to offer a little bit from each township to every other township in the region. It was just kind of to make a big cohesive festival or family day for everybody. The basis was kind of to pull the four townships together to do this,” said Bauman.
Also participating in the festivities and creating content for families to enjoy will be the Region of Waterloo Library (RWL). Putting out “Maker Program” content, families will be encouraged to create and play together in fun activities which stimulate the mind.
“The four townships are working together on a virtual Family Day celebration. The library will be supporting this collaborative effort with a special ‘Make-It’ or Maker Program for families. Library staff will challenge families to create maker winter sports/games – to make bobsleds, snowboarders, ski jumpers, and a ramp out of common materials such as straws, toilet paper rolls, popsicle sticks, tape, pipe cleaners, etc., –and then to race/compete as a family in the games. Our goal is to provide inspiration for families to play and have fun together in a creative way. This can be done regardless of the weather, the COVID phase, or the age of family members. Adding in a book or story makes this a perfect way to celebrate Family Day,” said Kim Krueger-Kischak, supervisor of programs and outreach with RWL.
Running at the same time on family day is a competition hosted by the Floradale Friends of Dog Guides Lions Branch Club. Kids are invited to participate by drawing a picture of a service animal they would choose, naming it and giving the animal a power to help when needed. Those who post their photo to the group’s Facebook page will be entered for a chance to win one of five McDonald’s gift cards.
Follow your local township on social media and visit their webpage for more information. Click here for the YouTube link for the Family Day event.