Family Day: Free entry to Alberta museums, parks
Vintage vehicles, archeological digs, fossils, the great outdoors and more! Enjoy all Alberta has to offer this Family Day on Monday, Feb.19.
Albertans don’t need to break the bank this Family Day to experience fun, quality activities. Whether you are six years old or 60, try something new and embark on an adventure with free admission to provincially owned historic sites, museums and Alberta parks on Feb.19.
“Family Day is a great opportunity for families and friends to explore, experience and enjoy Alberta in a unique and affordable way. This is a perfect example of how our history and culture continue to play an important role in making life better for families and growing Alberta’s tourism sector.”
“Alberta Parks is thrilled to once again offer free, family-friendly activities for Albertans this Family Day. With a provincial park an hour away, or less, from most Alberta communities, Alberta Parks makes it easy for families to get outside, enjoy nature and make memories.”
Last year, more than 11,000 people celebrated Family Day at provincial heritage facilities where there truly is something for everyone. Join in the variety of free activities and events taking place across the province. A sampling of events is listed below. For a full list, or to find an event near you, click here.
Historic sites and museums
Eight provincially owned heritage facilities offer free admission for visitors on Monday, Feb.19. This includes:
Oil Sands Discovery Centre – Fort McMurray
Enjoy a full day of family activities, crafts and learning about the animals of Wood Buffalo. Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. make a fluffy snowshoe hare, try snowshoeing (conditions permitting), or take in a special wildlife presentation in the theatre.
Rutherford House – Edmonton
Visit the historic home of the first premier of Alberta, Alexander Cameron Rutherford. Between noon and 4 p.m., explore this elegant house, join in historical games with costumed interpreters, sample a treat and make an old-fashioned craft.
Reynolds-Alberta Museum – Wetaskiwin
Explore this transportation time capsule with your entire family between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Go beyond the barriers to check out the cockpit of a Hawker Hurricane Second World War fighter aircraft. Enjoy the newest exhibit, The McLaughlin Story, to learn about a family of Canadian transportation icons. Cozy up to watch movie shorts at the indoor drive-in theatre and visit the Aviation Display Hangar and Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame.
Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology – Drumheller
Special Family Day programming will be available at the Royal Tyrrell Museum all weekend long. Storytime is perfect for the little ones. Fossil casting allows visitors to make a piece of pre-history to take home. On the Family Day Monday, enjoy free admission and the kids can take part in the Dino Adventure Hour program that includes holding a real fossil, working in an indoor dig and making a cool craft. Free auditorium shows also run throughout the weekend. A small fee will apply to the fossil casting and Dino Adventure Hour programs.
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump – near Fort Macleod
Celebrate the “Full Moon of the Eagle” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day includes live Alberta birds of prey, a simulated archeological dig, guided building tours, “Living off the Land” artifact demonstrations, kids crafts and storytelling. You can even become a buffalo runner, by participating in a hunt re-enactment.
For a full list of special events taking place at provincial historic sites and museums this Family Day, click here.
Alberta provincial parks in winter are for more than just cross-country skiing. Try snowshoeing, fat biking, ice fishing, tobogganing, skating and downhill skiing along with festivals in Alberta’s most exciting season — winter. The fun in Alberta parks keeps going all year. Visit AlbertaParks.ca for a list of festivals and other upcoming events. Click here to find a park and winter activity in your region.
Here are a few events and activities for people looking to get outdoors this Family Day long weekend: (Please note all activities are weather permitting)
Moonshine Lake – in Saddle Hills County
The Moonshine Lake Family Fun Day runs on Sunday, Feb.18 between noon and 4 p.m. Activities include ice fishing (all weekend long), ice skating, cross-country skiing, snow golf, horse-drawn wagon rides and snow painting. Snowshoes and cross-country skis (limited supply) can be borrowed and there will be hot chocolate, doughnuts and hotdogs.
Castle Provincial Park – Pincher Creek region
Castle Provincial Park will take part in the free ice fishing weekend Feb.17-18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to ice fishing, visitors can relax at the campfire and enjoy a free hot beverage or join a guided snowshoe tour around Beaver Mines Lake. Snowshoes will be provided.
William A. Switzer Provincial Park – Yellowhead County
William A. Switzer Provincial Park is offering a weekend full of events and activities starting Feb.17 with Ice Fishing Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Try your hand at ice fishing — no experience required — or enjoy free hotdogs, hot chocolate and coffee. On Feb.18 between noon and 4 p.m., it’s Hinton’s annual French cultural festival, Bonhomme Carnaval. There will be free cross-country skiing, free kick sleds and traditional French music.
Family Fishing Weekend
The Family Day weekend also marks the first of two “Family Fishing Weekends” put on annually in Alberta. Throughout the weekend, you’re invited to head out and discover the lure of fishing without the need to purchase a sportfishing licence! Of course, all regulations still apply. For more information, visit Family Fishing.
Family FISHtival – Bow Habitat Station, 1440-17A Street SE, Calgary
On Saturday, Feb.17 from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., enjoy free outdoor activities. Try snowshoeing, roast some marshmallows and play games. There’s also reduced admission of $5 per person for the Discovery Centre, where visitors can enjoy wildlife games, trivia and crafts. There is no charge for children three and under.
Family Day at the legislature is a free, all-ages event that features magic performances, live music, games, outdoor adventure and a history hunt from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb.19. Visitors can also take part in a circus workshop, get creative in the LEGO® Zone and meet mascot Rocky the Ram and other roving entertainers. Visit assembly.ab.ca for more.
There are many other affordable events and activities taking place throughout the province to experience with your family. Click here to see just a few examples of other ways to celebrate the long weekend. Some events may include a small fee; please contact event organizers for more information.