Update: Victoria’s Crystal Pool will open Monday for free activities on Family Day, courtesy of the city’s unionized workers.
CUPE Local 50 has offered to pick up all costs associated with opening the pool on Monday after the Times Colonist reported the pool would be bucking the tide in closing on B.C.’s new statutory holiday while all other recreation centres in the capital region are open.
Crystal facilities will be open Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
During the day, the pool, weight room, cardio areas, waterslide, diving boards and three 25-metre lanes will be available.
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Update: From half-price tickets to free events downtown, B.C.’s first Family Day promises to be a fun day to spend quality time with children on the Island — unless you’re a federal employee.
Monday’s main festivities in Victoria take place at Ship Point in the Inner Harbour, with entertainment and activities for children from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. HMCS Saskatoon will be on hand, with tours from noon until 4 p.m.
City Centre Park in Langford is also hosting a wide range of activities — see the listing below.
The Royal B.C. Museum will be open with special events for inquisitive minds. Along with the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit, the museum has unveiled a new attraction celebrating 155 years of Victoria’s Chinatown.
Parents on the Saanich Peninsula won’t have to venture far, with activities planned at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney.
Recreation centres throughout the region will be open, offering activities for the whole family.
Further afield, Mount Washington is offering half-price lift tickets as well as a special snow pass for children.
Spare a thought for federal employees Monday — Family Day is a provincial statutory holiday, making it a normal working day for them.
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Ship Point in the Inner Harbour is the site for a day-long series of concerts by local bands and performers, including popular indie rockers Current Swell and Trooper, one of Canada’s legendary and ageless rock bands.
Children can get their faces painted, try out the scavenger hunt or learn something new.
The Royal Canadian Navy will be on hand for the celebrations. HMCS Saskatoon, a coastal defence vessel based at CFB Esquimalt, will be docked at Ship Point on Monday and open to the public for tours between noon and 4 p.m.
Apart from providing coastal defence, the 55.3-metre, 970-tonne ship assigned to Maritime Forces Pacific serves as a trainer as well as a platform for the navy’s Fleet Diving Unit.
On shore, the Naden Band will perform between noon and 1 p.m.
The festival is free. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at Ship Point.
Due to nearby parking-lot closures, organizers recommend families take public transit to the event. However, there will be free parking at all of the parkades run by the city.
Royal B.C. Museum
Family Photos and Forest Fun: Strike a pose with a mounted golden eagle for a free take-away family photo.
In the Forest Fun event, a variety of activities will be set up in the forest diorama area, where kids can make sketches and take photos.
There is a kids’ area in Wildlife Photographer of the Year for more activities.
Regular museum admission applies. Family Photos and Forest Fun runs 1 to 3 p.m. Monday at the museum at 675 Belleville St.
City Centre Park in Langford
The day begins with a pancake breakfast hosted by the Belmont grad committee, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., along with skating for children and parents at Westhills Arena (helmets required).
10:30 a.m. to noon - outdoor car show at Eagle Ridge parking lot
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. - BBQ lunch at Eagle Ridge Centre, with donation to non-profit group
noon to 2:30 p.m. - Family games and activities at Eagle Ridge Centre, including bouncy castle, inline skating, sportball, face painting, crafts
2:30 to 4 p.m. - Public skating at Westhills Arena, with mascots from sports teams including Grizzlies, Royals and Wolves
4 to 6 p.m. - SportAssist BBQ at PayZone - Balladium, sponsored by Thrifty Foods with SportAssist, by donation.
More information at citycentrepark.ca
Families are invited to a Lego event at the Sidney Point Hotel, 9805 Seaport Pl., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also see a Lego exhibit at the Sidney Museum and Archives, 2423 Beacon Ave.
The Mary Winspear Centre is also celebrating Sidneyland Family Day.
Kids can enjoy a playland, face painting, games, Lego and bouncy castles (for kids 3 and up). There will also be free goodie bags.
More than 30 costumed characters will be on hand, including Cinderella, Bob the Builder, Hello Kitty and Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Admission ranges from $10 to $32.50. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a live show from 1 to 2 p.m. For more information, go to tickets.marywinspear.ca.
There are four performances on Family Day: Dragon’s Handbook at 11:45 a.m., Puente Theatre’s Gruff at 1 p.m., Urban Arts’ Wilde at 2:15 p.m. and Suddenly Dance’s Kiki at 3:30 p.m.
Tickets are $12.50 each. For more information, go to rmts.bc.ca.
Momstown Victoria has organized a Family Fun Day that begins with a walk across the Selkirk trestle, followed by free activities for children up to six years old.
The two-hour event includes mural painting, a Valentine’s Day craft, sportball, kindergym and parachute play. There will also be snacks and door prizes.
The event runs 10 a.m. to noon Monday at Victoria West Community Association, 521 Craigflower Rd. The walk is approximately 1.2 kilometres long and takes 16 minutes.
Participants should meet at 2960 Jutland Rd. at 10 a.m. For more information, go to victoria.momstown.ca.
Hit the slopes
Twenty ski areas in B.C., including Mount Washington, will be offering 50 per cent off regular lift tickets for Family Day. Parents can also pick up a Grade 4 and 5 SnowPass for $29.95, which includes three lift tickets.
For more information, go to snowpass.ca. For information on the discounted lift tickets, go to cwsaa.org/marketing/bc-family-day.
More event listings at the provincial government's B.C. Family Day blog.
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