Family Day Fun! Families that Play Together, Stay Together!
There is so much fun to be had this Family Day long weekend around Muskoka! With attractions and festivals lined up, there will be no shortage of memories being made across our winter wonderland! Get active and get outdoors this Family Day weekend with some real winter fun!
Horse Drawn Winter Sleigh Rides
Probably one of our most popular family activities is a horse drawn sleigh or wagon ride through the stunning Muskoka back country. Back of Beyond Equine Centre is a great option for families call ahead to ensure your numbers can be accommodated. Twin Maples Farm offers wagon rides and carriage rides for up to 16 people at their farm. Book early because these spots will be snatched up soon!
Muskoka’s winter carnivals truly epitomize the charm of our small towns. Gravenhurst Winter Carnival 2023 runs right through Family Day weekend and features family-fun events including kids events, demolition derby, live entertainment and so much more! This year the carnival takes place from Friday, February 17th to Sunday, February 19th.
The Dorset Snowball Winter Carnival is another longstanding tradition, taking place on Friday, February 17th and Saturday, February 18th over the long weekend. Don’t miss the annual Snowball Parade or the Friday night family skating party.
Winter in the Wild Festival at Algonquin Park on Saturday, February 18th. This family-friendly festival celebrates winter in Algonquin Park through indoor and outdoor events held at various locations throughout the Highway 60 Corridor of Algonquin Park, including many at the Algonquin Visitor Centre. Enjoy a guided winter bird walk, snowshoe excursion, Ice skating, campfire, barbecue and so much more!
Did you know that the Ontario government designates Family Day Weekend, February 18th to 20th, 2023, as a license-free fishing period to introduce Canadians to the sport? If you are looking for a guided fishing tour, Muskoka Stay n’ Play Tours can get you everything you need, while Muskoka Shores Cottages has ice huts for rent on Three Mile Lake.
Light the Night at the Cranberry Skating Trail
The ice skating trail is open for daytime skating as well, all Family Day weekend. After your skate, relax by a crackling fire while sipping on hot mulled cider or wine.
Zig Zag Escape Rooms
What better way to connect with the people you love, than to lock yourselves in a cabin together? Zig Zag’s escape cabins in Huntsville will give you an unforgettable family experience. Families work together, immersing themselves in the story, solving puzzles, codes, clues and problems to discover hidden secrets. Perfect for ages 10 and up.
If you are looking to burn some energy with the little tykes in the warm indoors, plan a visit to the Bracebridge Sportsplex in Bracebridge for swimming, Supervised Play, rock climbing and more. Or KIDZONE at Muskoka Discovery Centre in Gravenhurst where kids can learn and play in an interactive environment. Both of these child focused play centres offer hours upon hours of fun.
Memorial Park Winter Village
This wonderful park-like skating trail is located right in the heart of Downtown Bracebridge. The whole family can skate until their heart’s content before walking to one of the nearby shops for a round of hot chocolate. The Old Station Restaurant is just a short walk away, and is home to a great line-up of hot meals, beverages and a comfortable dining area for the whole family. If your kids are able to stay up late, go for a skate at night. The skating trail is open until 9pm and looks magical under the lights.
Snow Village at River Mill Park
Play in the snow like never before with this whimsical winter playground in Downtown Huntsville’s River Mill Park. Discover and enjoy interactive snow activities such as snow sculptures, snow forts and a snow labyrinth with the entire family. This wonderful display of snow architecture is a sight like no other. Plan a fun day around the weekly events taking place at the Snow Village in Huntsville and rediscover your love for frolicking in the snow (before it melts!).
The Weekend Schedule:
Fridays: Night Lights from 6pm – 8pm
The attraction is lit up with colour and light, with free hot chocolate and music on-site.
Saturdays & Sundays: Get Creative from 1pm – 4pm
Come carve, sculpt and build with snow. Tools and artists will be on-site for assistance.
This attraction and its events are free of charge for anyone looking to have a little bit of fun in the snow!
Some family gatherings no longer have kids in tow, so you might be looking for more grown-up things to do. Why not take a brewery tour at one of Muskoka’s craft breweries or winery? Find out info for tours at Muskoka Brewery, Lake of Bays Brewery, Sawdust City Brewery and Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery. Or, check out this craft brewery tour that will take you all over the region.
This is an experience the kids will always remember, and certainly an experience they’ll be excited to share when they return to school. North Ridge Ranch in Huntsville offers dog sledding excursions throughout the long weekend, and there is enough room on the trails for the whole family! Book early, they’ll fill up fast!
Outdoor Ice Skating
There are a few outdoor skating rinks across Muskoka for that quintessential Canadian winter experience. Don’t forget to load your thermos with hot chocolate! Before skating on any outdoor rink, ensure the conditions are safe.
- Dorset Community Park and Dwight Bay Road in Lake of Bays
- The Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst
- Memorial Park Winter Village in Bracebridge
- Lions Lookout Skating Rink in Huntsville
- Port Sydney Rink on Mary Lake
- Baxter Ward Community Centre in Port Severn
Snowshoeing is an inclusive activity for all ages and skill levels and one of the easiest ways to bring the entire family together!
If you have equipment and all you need are trails, a few of the popular treks in the area include Hardy Lake Provincial Park is one of the most best local tracks. If you are looking for more challenging trails, venture into world-famous Algonquin Park.
In need of snowshoe rentals?
Guided snowshoe tours are a fun experience as well. Let a local expert take you into Muskoka’s wondrous back-country, showing you the ropes and providing your group with interesting knowledge and facts only a local could know.
Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area
There is only one place to hit the slopes in Muskoka, and families love it here! Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area is a family-friendly hill, challenging enough for the avid skier but plenty of runs for the beginners as well. Bring your own gear or rent from Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area for a no-fuss day of skiing and snowboarding!
A family fat biking adventure might bring back fun memories of teaching your kids how to ride a bike. Now they might be teaching you how to ride a bike … in the snow!
If you require fat bikes for kids, youth fat bikes are available at Algonquin Outfitters for ages 10+, and small fat bikes are available at Liv Outside for ages 12+. Be sure to call ahead and reserve before you go.
If you are looking for a new family adventure that is a bit off the beaten path, this is it!