Holiday Weekend Events in Toronto

There are so many Toronto-based activities that take place during the long weekend that it can be hard to choose which ones to attend.

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  • Family Sundays at the AGO: Spend Sunday, April 16 at the AGO with you whole family exploring the galleries and engaging in hands-on activities inspired by AGO’s ever-changing exhibitions and collections.
  • TIFF Kids Festival: Take your children to the 20th TIFF Kids International Film Festival for on and off-screen fun and special events planned to encourage children to express their creativity.
  • Easter Eggstravaganza on Centre Island-  Don’t miss Toronto’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt! Happening April 14th-16th from 11am-4pm, hang out with Beasley Bear and the Easter Bunny and enjoy face painting, rides, and farm animals. Little ones will be able to take part in a Centreville-wide Easter egg hunt and an additional search sponsored by the Lindt Gold Bunny. Tickets are $15/person, but if you pre-purchase your tickets online using the promo code ‘EASTER,’ your ferry ride to the island will be FREE!
  • Egg Painting Family Workshop at Todmorden Mills- Catch this Ukrainian egg-decorating workshop taking place on April 8th, 9th, and 15th. You and your family will learn to make your own personalized pysanky using traditional wax resist techniques. Tickets are $12/adult, $8/child. Pre-registration required, accessible by public transportation.
  • Easter Egg Hunt in High Park- The annual Easter egg hunt on the grounds of Colborne Lodge Museum is happening on Sunday, April 9th from 11am-3pm. Hunts take place every 30 minutes beginning at 11am, and egg dyeing, bunny-themed crafts, Bunny visits, and more are available to participants. Tickets are available day-of at $3/hunt. Ticket tent opens at 10:45am!
  • Toronto Beaches Lions’ Easter Parade– On April 16th at 2pm catch this fun-filled family parade! The parade will begin on Queen St at Munro Park and proceed west along Queen St ending at Woodbine Ave. The Parade Grand Marshals include Olympic swimming medalist Penny Oleksiak, Paralympics rowing medalist Victoria Nolan, and Special Olympics Ontario backstroke medalist Claudia Brown.

Hop to it!

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Stress Management Tips to Support your Work-Life Balance

Caring for others can be stressful at times. Combined with being a student, life can occasionally feel overwhelming. This doesn’t have to be the case though. UofT Adjunct Professor and Learning Strategy Specialist Janelle Joseph shared some fantastic tips with us at our Stress Management Webinar in March. We’ve also included a list of some great UofT supports. Here are some of the key takeaways of Janelle’s talk:

Stress Can Be Good

Crazy idea, right? Well it’s true! Stress shouldn’t totally be eliminated from your life. This is because some arousal helps you to perform at your best. When we find ourselves unable to keep up with life it’s because we’ve gone past our ideal stress threshold. While this level is unique to each person, we all need to find our personal balance between being overloaded and underloaded.

Self-Care Is Key and NOT Over Indulgent

Ever find yourself missing meals when you’re stressed? This means that your self-care practice is slipping. Keep an eye on your physical health, mental health, social life, and nutrition intake when your nerves are fraught. Keeping ourselves healthy allows us to continue to support our loved ones. Personally, I berate myself when things aren’t working out smoothly. Janelle reminded us that self-compassion is essential to remaining healthy. This means reducing self-judgment and admonishment. Don’t forget, negative attitudes lessen your ability to perform well.

Some folks elect to see a therapist when times are tough. Therapy looks many different ways. For some, it’s speaking with a specialist. For others, it’s calling friends or watching Netflix alone. Always ensure that you have an outlet; we’re never alone in our struggles. Play is important too. Find things that give you joy on a regular basis and find micro ways to routinely engage in your favourite hobby. For me, this means scheduling book time into my planner. The day isn’t done until it’s checked off my to-do list.

Making School and Life Goals Will Make it All Easier

Time management becomes much easier when you’ve got a clear idea of your priorities. Write out your schedule and clarify your routine. This way, you can see what windows of time you have and say ‘no’ when you’re stretched beyond your means. Break larger projects into pieces, set deadlines for yourself with rewards, arrange the best time and space for your work, and be realistic! Emergencies happen, so ensure that you leave time for them. As well, reach out to your support network and remind them that they can always do the same with you.

‘Good Enough’ is the New ‘Perfection’

Reframe the perfectionism story for a realistic goals story. Note your achievements and hold them up high. Demanding perfection is emotionally abusive, whether it’s coming from someone else or yourself! Instead, use kind words with yourself and give yourself permission to leave some things un-done.

Build Support Networks

Speak with your supervisor/professors about your familial situation, meet with your peers, see your friends and family, and/or find a mentor! Have open conversations with your partner about your needs and tap into folks whose caretaking services you trust. Have little ones but in need of a sitter? Check out the FCO’s Babysitter E-Bulletin Board!

Communication is Key

Determine your communication style and those of others in your life, particularly if you’re having conflict. When you open up your communication lines, together you can determine how best to work with one another. Explain your values and priorities to those around you so that the likelihood of stress and conflict arising is reduced. In case problems do arise, make sure that you address them early.

Janelle Joseph can be reached via appointment at the Academic Success Centre or at janelle.joseph@utoronto.ca

Some Can’t-Miss UofT-Specific Supports

  • Catch the Arts and Sciences’ Exam Jam happening in Sid Smith this Thursday, April 6th from 11am-3pm. You’ll be able to hear tips from the Academic Success Centre, get information on Mental Health, Nutrition, Safety, and Harm Reduction, snack on some free food, and hang out with puppies!
  • Hang out with Bella the Therapy Dog at Gerstein Science Information Centre on Tuesday and Thursdays from 11:30am-1pm April 4th-20th.
  • Watch or read the transcripts of our How She/He Does It! video series. Listen to your UofT peers’ stories and strategies on succeeding as student parents.
  • Connect with the support services on campus. Find counselling services available to students, staff, and faculty here.
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Caring for Elders- A List of Resources

Every person who has flown has heard this safety instruction, “Please secure your mask first before assisting those around you.”  Although the instruction may at first seem slightly selfish, the contrary is true. Caregivers tend to direct all their energy into helping others and not themselves. This practice brings unintended consequences such as tiredness, illness and depression for the caregiver. In the long run, such effects are not positive for either the person in need or the caregiver.

Here are some resources that caregivers can access to help with their caregiving responsibilities.  These agencies/services will often provide day programs, health and wellness management, meals on wheels or congregate dining, transportation, home care and volunteer visiting.  Please check each website for the list of services. Note, the agencies and services often have catchment areas.

Care First Seniors

-A non-profit charitable community services agency; provides a full range of community support services covering the entire Greater Toronto Area and the York Region.

ESS Support Services

-A not-for-profit community support agency that serves seniors, older adults with disabilities, families and caregivers in the Etobicoke community.

 Humber Community Seniors’ Services

-A non-profit organization located in Toronto’s Mount Dennis community; its goal is to help seniors and adults with disabilities live independently, safely, with dignity and with the highest quality of life possible.

 Seniors and Caregivers Support Service (SCSS) Unit at Family Service Toronto

-A unit at Family Service Toronto; provides social work services to older people and caregivers including counselling, group work, advocacy, training and educational sessions.

 SPRINT Senior Care

-A not-for-profit community support service agency in Toronto that offers a wide range of practical and low-cost services to seniors and their caregivers.

 St. Clair West Services for Seniors

-A non-profit, charitable organization which provides valuable, innovative and caring support services to older adults and/or adults with disabilities who wish to maintain their quality of life while living in their homes.

St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux Centre

-A not-for-profit organization in Scarborough that cares deeply about the well-being of seniors and provides programs and services that meet the diverse needs of older adults and their caregivers from diverse backgrounds.

 Sunshine Centres for Seniors in Toronto

-A non-profit organization that provides social, recreational and health promotion day programs for seniors in the Greater Toronto Area; committed to providing inclusive, interactive and accessible programs.

West Neighbourhood House

-A non-sectarian social services agency located in west central Toronto.

Woodgreen Community Services

-A social service agency in Toronto; Woodgreen’s services for seniors have one main goal: to allow people to remain in their own homes and in their own communities for as long as possible so that they may age with dignity.

Health Lines Websites

Older adults can connect with local programs and services that provide support, health care, and recreational and social opportunities designed for seniors.  Select ‘Seniors’ from the main page that each hyperlink directs you to.

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Finding Age-Appropriate Movies

Hollywood seems to be less and less kid-friendly these days, which makes finding films that are appropriate for the entire family difficult. We know how impressionable our little ones are, which is why we as parents/guardians/childcare providers do our best to screen movies before playing them on our TVs. This can be an imperfect system though, so thankful there are services, such as the highly regarded Common Sense Media, that can help!

The Solution

CSM is a nonprofit organization specifically geared towards children’s tech and media literacy. This means that the group provides guardians, educators, and policymakers with “unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools that help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.” Organizations like this are particularly important considering how much screen time kids have access to per week. The number is over fifty hours every seven days!

Why Is CSM So Good?

Based on the ratings and reviews the organization offers, we can make educated choices about what films we’re happy with our children watching. The organization’s rating system assesses movies based on age appropriateness and their learning potential. They consider positive messages, positive role models, violence, sex, language, consumerism, and the usage of alcohol, drugs, and cigarette products when reviewing films. Based on these themes, a star rating is provided. Site users can not only access CSM reviews of movies but also ones by parents and kids! After reading what CSM and other people think, we feel confident picking media for our little ones.

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This isn’t all that Common Sense Media does; the group also reviews and rates books, games, and more!

This is an unbiased, non-sponsored review of Common Sense Media. 

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Travelling to India with an Infant

If you were paying attention to my last post you must know that I went on a trip to India during the winter vacation. Traveling to India was something I have wanted to do for a very long time, but most people did not really understand how I could take my daughter 12,000 km away before she was even two-years-old.

SO- Let me tell you- India was incredible, and my daughter enjoyed it the most!

We started the trip in Pushkar, a small town set on a lake that is sacred to the Hindu 20161224_083228religion. Pushkar was really hospitable and the food we ate there was AMAZING! For just 20 rupees (which is less than 50 cents) you can get an unbelievable rice dish at the market square that will make your head spin – Lentil dal and yellow rice, with tomato, cilantro ,and freshly squeezed lemon juice- Yum! Even though at home we are strictly vegan, we did not want to limit ourselves in India. I believe that food and culture go hand in hand, and if I travelled all this way with an infant in my lap, I was going to have the full experience.

From Pushkar we took an 8 hour train, a 3 hour flight and an even longer car ride to get south to Kerala. We came all this way to get a hug from an incredible woman named Amma. This women, which I first met right here in Toronto, has hugged over 36 million people worldwide and runs one of the largest charities in the world – Embracing the World. Being embraced by Amma is life changing every time you meet her and to see her in India, at the centre of her creation, was special. Amma through her charity  feeds more than 10 million poor people every year throughout India and has built over 45,000 homes for families without shelter.

We then circled back to the North and arrived to Rishikesh, a small town on the Ganges River. This was the time to relax. Every day started with no plans, meals would take forever, and most of the time we just sat back and drank Chai – black tea with cow’s or buffalo’s milk.

20161224_162219Overall, India was not as difficult as I imagined it to be. I thought that because I came from a western background, cultural differences would make the trip challenging, but I  was wrong- I have enjoyed India tremendously. My daughter loved the cows and pigs, and the monkeys weren’t too scary (Photo taken by my husband on the left). Seeing animals out of cages, co-habiting with humans, is something neither she nor I have ever seen before, and it was truly memorable.

Although the impact of tourism has altered India and its identity, I think it is one of the last places on earth that still hold genuine charm. It was evident that the people there are of a different origin- generally relaxed and satisfied with things as they are. If you are considering a trip, I would advise you to go sooner rather than later, as India is constantly changing and adapting to the west.


If you are planning to go India, or anywhere else, with an infant- these are my tips:

  • DIAPERS!!! – I literally packed one suitcase filled with diapers and wipes for the whole trip. You cannot always rely on their availability in a foreign country, and in India they cost more than double the price in Canada.
  • Bring your stroller and carrier– I have a city select stroller that I’m in-love with and that has got me through heavy snow numerous times, but in India the roads are very narrow and this kind of stroller would not be helpful. For this trip, we took a carrier and a very small “umbrella” stroller that we got at a garage sale for 10$. I would recommend taking a cheap, light-weight, stroller that you can always fold and that it wouldn’t break your hear if it got broken.
  • Toys –  Those came in handy during the long flights and train-rides, but make sure that you take stuff that are light weight, low volume and that will occupy your child for more than just a few minutes.
  • Breastfeeding – I still breastfeed my child, and I was really anxious about breastfeeding in a foreign country. To be respectful,  I borrowed a breastfeeding cover and brought it along. In India, no one seemed to have a problem with me breastfeeding , still I tried to be considerate and breastfeed discreetly.
  • Take a connection! – I think making a stop on a long flight could be helpful. Between connections my daughter run all around the airport burning energy, this made our lives easier on the flight, as she agreed to sit down for the most part.

 

Flying with an Infant in your lap isn’t so bad and you do save A-LOT in travel fare. I know that India was an interesting and positive experience for my daughter, even if she doesn’t remember- exploring other cultures makes an impact not matter what.

If you have any comments or questions please feel free to share, you can also email me at liron.cohen@mail.utoronto.ca 

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Tax Resources & RESP Information

It’s coming up to be tax season, which for many people is a HUGE source of stress. This doesn’t need to be the case! There are endless free resources both online and in-person that can help you get your finances in order this fiscal year.

While you’re balancing the books, why not consider opening a registered education savings plan (RESP) for your little ones? Read on for more details…

FREE TAX CLINICS

Organizations across the country (and even on campus) offer free income tax clinics. Here are a few that are close-by:

Many folks file on their own. The Centre for International Experience has a great breakdown on how to do this. UFile also offers an online tax filing system that is completely free for post-secondary students and links directly to the Canada Revenue Agency’s Netfile system for easy online filing. Before getting started,  you may also want to check out TurboTax. They have an income tax calculator that estimates your 2016 return based on annual income, taxes paid, RRSP contributions, and location.

Image of calculator atop a piece of graph paper beside a pen

OPENING AN RESP

School debt is no joke, which is why setting up a registered education savings plan (RESP) for your child is a great idea. RESPs include funds that are dedicated solely to your kids’ post-secondary schooling. With these plans, you can add up to $50,000 per child. As long as the money remains in the account it can grow without taxation. Also, the federal government’s Canadian Education Savings Grant will add up to $500/year/child to your RESP until your little one turns seventeen. While the grant caps at $7,200 per child, folks with lower income may qualify for additional provincially-regulated top-ups. For details on how to open an RESP for your child, check out this Today’s Parent article.

Image of child wearing large circular glasses reading a book infront of a large red bookshelf

 

 

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Black History Month Resources

February is Black History Month, so you’ll find fantastic Afro-specific programming in venues across the city. Take the time to learn about and celebrate the heritage, traditions, and cultures of Afro-Canadians with your family! Likely, your little ones will come home from school with plenty of information on the topic.

Event Hubs

The Toronto Public Library– Don’t overlook your local library branch for fun, free activities- there’s always engaging child, teen, and family programming going on! This Black History Month, take advantage of the Libraries’ African drumming, storytelling, and movie events and celebrate Black history and culture! The South African Gumboot dance workshop looks especially fun… Events run from January 30th- February 28th.

Harbourfront Centre– Harbourfront has so many events happening for BHM that it’s hosting TWO weekends of programming! This February 2nd-4th and February 10th-11th, catch family events like Kuumba family crafts, screenings of short films from the National Film Board on Afro-Canadian culture, Kuumba drumming circle workshops, and more!

City of Toronto– The City of Toronto has compiled a list of the many BHM events hosted at community centres in the GTA this year. Highlights include the Scarborough Village Black History Celebration Event which features traditional foods and a theatrical performance, Family Story Time at the Jones Avenue Library, and the Mackenzie House Black History Month weekend celebrations!

NOW Magazine– NOW’s site and weekly publication details tons of events going on in the city. They’ve got an awesome online list of Black History Month events. If I were you, I wouldn’t miss Djembe Playday, which is aiming to break the world record for the most Djembe drummers playing simultaneously! You’ll get to “learn the history, legacy, and playing technique for West Africa’s most famous drum!”

You can also always head to your local library branch to borrow some books on Black history and culture. We’ve got Something Beautiful available for loan at the FCO library.

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Black History Month shouldn’t only be celebrated in February: Catch UofT’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) Campaign happening this March 20th-21st. Its conference, on the theme “What’s Anti-Racism Good for Now?,” is being held on Monday, March 20th.

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Alzheimer and Care

When I heard that seven hundred and fifty-thousand Canadians are now living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia and that the number will surpass one million over the next generation, I began to understand the importance of understanding this condition. Alzheimer’s affects not only those diagnosed, but also their spouses, daughters, sons, and all others providing care to them.

On Thursday, January 26th, Karen Phair, the Public Education Coordinator of Peel Region’s Alzheimer Society, discussed the topic with members of the UTM community. The central aim of the presentation was, in my opinion, to explain how a person living with dementia perceives the world, and how this condition affects his or her brain function.

Karen explained that, for a person with dementia, the cognitive function of the brain, which normally informs (along with the emotional function) our behavior, is suppressed. This leaves emotions as the only conditional of behavior. Such an occurrence gives us an important clue as to how to interact with a family member or friend suffering Alzheimer: trying to use logic or engaging in an endless argument will most certainly end in frustration for both parties. A sensitive, understanding approach that privileges non-verbal messages may create a better connection and further healthy communication with your elderly loved one.

As with many mental disorders and other diseases, a crucial step to working through them is to recognize the existence of a problem. This is particularly difficult, since the immediate response of someone in the early stages of dementia is to deny that they are experiencing challenges. It is never easy- often, it is quite scary- to acknowledge that something is not right with oneself. This is the time to be understanding and sympathetic, to show our loved ones going through these difficulties how much we care. It is also important to recognize the warning signs of the disease: memory loss affecting day-to-day abilities, difficulty performing familiar tasks, problems with language, disorientation, impaired judgment, problems with abstract thinking, misplacing things, changes in mood, behavior, or personality, and loss of initiative.

If you believe that you have a family member who may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, it is wise to seek help for this person as well as yourself. The Alzheimer Society of Peel is devoted to alleviating the personal and social consequences of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and to help find the causes, prevention, and cures. The Society have many programs and services ranging from counselling and support, education and outreach, research, to home and respite care.

Should you need more information, you can find it at the Alzheimer Society’s webpage, or by phone: 905 278 3667.

Aged hands holding one another

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City of Toronto and Camp U ofT: Registration for Spring and Summer Programs 2017

It’s hard to believe that registration for City of Toronto’s spring and summer programs is just around the corner and that Camp U of T’s is already here! The best part is that children of all ages have access to awesome programs like swimming, arts and crafts, and summer camps – there’s something for everyone.

Jump to City of Toronto Summer Camps Information.

CAMP U OF T SUMMER

Registration dates vary depending on which campus the camps are that you’re signing up for:

  • Downtown Camp U of T- February 8th at 8 a.m. 
  • UTM Camp U of T- February 16th at 8 a.m.

You’ll need to know the course bar codes of the programs that you’re hoping to get a spot in. You can find these codes in the 2016-17 Junior Blues Guide, which is available at these locations: the Family Care Office, on the KPE’s website, as well as at all of the KPE facilities.

If you have previously registered for any of the University of Toronto’s recreational programs, you’ll have received a login and pin number to access online registration. With this information as well as your programs’ bar codes you can register online.

Don’t have a login and pin number? You can set up an account with your first online registration. You can also register for programs by fax, mail, or in-person at the Athletic Centre main office.

NOTE FOR E-REGISTRATION: If your preferred program has a waitlist that you would like to be on, you must complete all registrations and then place your child on the waitlist of your selected programs. If you waitlist and then register, you will be removed from the waitlist. Be sure to click the ‘check out’ once you are finished and make sure to save your confirmation email (just in case!).

Please note that discounts are available for children of U of T students and Athletic Centre/Varsity Arena members, though some restrictions may apply. Make sure that you contact the main office for details.

JUNIOR BLUES SPRING PROGRAMMING

Registration for Spring Junior Blues programs begins on April 5th at 8 a.mEnsure that you save this date so that your little ones can get spaces in their preferred registered programs.

Registration for Junior Blues is the same as Camp U of T registration, so see above for info.

Two small children in pink wayfarer sunglasses swimming in pool floaties

CITY OF TORONTO SUMMER CAMPS.

To see what programs are being offered, check out the Toronto FUN Guide. It’s being released on the City of Toronto’s website on February 6th. We’ll be getting hard copies shortly after, but call ahead to ensure that we have some!

Don’t forget – registration dates vary depending on where you live.  

  • Etobicoke York District – March 4th at 7 a.m.
  • Scarborough District – March 5th at 7 a.m.
  • North York District – March 7th at 7 a.m.
  • Toronto and East York District – March 8th at 7 a.m.

If you’re not sure which district you live in, check out the map in each of the 4 Toronto FUN Guides to see the boundaries. You can register in programs held outside of your district, but not until the first day of registration in that district. For example, if you live in Etobicoke York District but want to register for a program held in Toronto and East York District, you must wait until Wednesday, March 8th to sign up.

Getting Your Family & Client Numbers

Start by getting a family account with the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation program. Simply call 416-338-4386 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday to get a client and family number that you will then use to register for the programs of your choice. It is best to do this as soon as possible.

Registering Online

The online registration system is available between 7:00 a.m. and midnight every day. Make sure you have your family and client numbers and the registration codes for the programs you are interested in (registration codes can be found in the print or digital  Fun Guides).

Registering in Person

If you prefer, you can also register in person at selected locations. The places and times are explained in the Fun Guides of each district. For more information on registering in-person click here.

Registering by Phone

The touch tone registration system is available from 7:00 a.m. to midnight every day. Call 416-338-0000 and press 1 to begin registering for courses. A detailed prompt system will guide you through the process. Do NOT hang up when the system tells you “You have registered successfully.” You still have to pay for the course!

Registration Tips

There is fierce competition to get into some high-demand City of Toronto programs. To maximise your chances of getting the program you want, be sure to:

  •  Be up and ready to log-in or call starting right at 7:00 a.m. on the day registration opens. I always start trying to log in and get through on the phone just before 7:00am
  • Alternate between calling and trying to get through online
  • Have your client & family numbers and course numbers written out next to you, along with your credit card to pay so you don’t have to scramble to find the necessary information
  • Create a list of options: make sure you have a second and even third choice written out in case your preferred program and times already full
  • Be sure to check out the offerings at several community centres, even those outside your immediate district
  • Talk to other families in your area, visit the community centres and chat with the staff about their programs to find out what will work best for you and your family
  • Consider signing up for a program for yourself while your child is in their session

Welcome Policy

While the cost of lessons and activities with the City of Toronto is less than what you would pay for private classes, it can still add up. The City of Toronto’s Welcome Policy provides a fee subsidy to help low income individuals and families access City-operated recreation programs. If you are approved for Welcome Policy, you will receive an annual financial subsidy that can be spent on any of the wide variety of high-quality recreation programs offered by the City throughout the year.

Children running through huge bubbles outside

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Family Day Events Round Up

There’s nothing better than a day that’s scheduled especially for family fun!

In consideration of this year’s Family Day- happening Monday, February 20th for those who don’t yet have it on their radar- we’ve made a list of 7 top picks across the GTA:

1. Board Game Making + Playing– At Steamlab, you can spend the day designing, building, and playing board games with the entire family! You’ll get to learn how to use a laser cutter, 3D printer, and will have access to tons of craft supplies to create a take-home game entirely of your making. Happening Monday, February 20th from 9-4pm. $35 for family drop-in or $95/child unaccompanied by a guardian.

2. Create, Explore, and Enjoy at the AGO– On February 20th, the Art Gallery of Ontario will be transformed into the KIDS’ Gallery of Ontario! There are tons of fantastic workshops that involve exploration, creativity, and family fun. Some of these include: kite and sailboat making, fort building, and yoga! Family Day Passes cost $39 and AGO Members are free.

3. Family Day at Evergreen Brick Works– Head over to Evergreen Brick Works on Monday the 20th and enjoy free skating, CBC mascots, and tons of family-specific outdoor activities. You’re welcome to bring your own winter gear- skates, hiking poles, and fat bikes,Owl in snow-covered tree but on-site rentals are available as well! There’ll be soup-making and storytelling, tours of the Winter Village Building, guided walks along the Don River Valley, as well as teachings on the Birch Bark Canoe by Anishinaabe artist Mike Ormsby. February the 20th from 11-5pm. FREE.

4. Family Day at Harbourfront Centre– There are so many great Family Day  events happening at Harbourfront this year. Too many to list! Some highlights include: Music with Bite: Giggle and Stomp!, Let’s Talk Science, the Cozy Chill Out Zone and Toronto Public Library Ready for Reading Program, and snow shoe-making with Shadowland Theatre! Monday, February 20th, 11-5pm. FREE.

5. Family Day at City of Toronto Historic Sites– If you stop by the City’s museums on February 20th you’ll find even more kid-friendly activities than usual! Visit the Fort York kitchen for some hearth baking and hot chocolate, enjoy storytelling at the Historic Zion Schoolhouse, learn Scottish Country dances at the Mackenzie House, and more! Admission prices vary.

6. Family Funday Weekend at the ROM– From February 18th-20th, the Royal Ontario Museum will be celebrating the country’s rich multicultural landscape with musical Two children leaning over notebook, drawingperformances, films, special workshops, and more. Hands-on themed activities inspired by the Museum’s exhibits will run from 11-4pm. Free with Museum admission (Students with ID $15.50, children ages 4-14 $14.00).

7. Family Day Monday at the Bata Shoe  Museum– The BSM is transforming into a magical wonderland on Monday, February 20th. Take part in hands-on demos and arts and crafts and catch a special viewing of The Snow Queen. Drop-in activities until 4pm. Free with museum admission (Students with ID $8, children ages 5-17 $5).

Looking for more activities? Check out sites like http://www.toronto4kids.com/ to find even more events near you.

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