Family Day is here again! Aimed at celebrating the values of family and home, Alberta held the very first Family Day in 1990. It’s one weekend when we should all get the chance to spend a little more quality time with our loved ones. But what about those who don’t have close family? This year, why not embrace the true spirit of Family Day and invite a senior neighbour or friend to share in your celebrations.
Fun for all the family
There are so many ways in which Family Day can be enjoyed across all generations. Many families will be heading to the slopes for a short winter break, or travelling to a big family together. However, family fun doesn’t have to mean large-scale plans, travel, or indeed, much expense. Here are a few suggestions that are especially beneficial to seniors without the need for a big budget:
Whether it’s drawing, painting, making models, or creating tapestries, arts and crafts can bring a great sense of fulfilment to seniors. Get crafty this Family Day and join in with some of grandma or grandpa’s favourite hobbies.
Cards on the table
Card games are a terrific way for generations to play together without a PlayStation or Xbox in sight! The secret is to keep the games simple and short, so that everyone can join in, rather than longer, more complex games such as bridge. Almost all card games require manual dexterity, concentration, basic math, and memory skills, making them perfect for young minds to learn and older minds to keep active. Check here for a lovely list of kid’s card games that all ages will enjoy.
Bring out the board games
The same applies to classic board games – and new ones too! Every year, the top Christmas toys include new board games that the whole family can enjoy, from messy games like “Pie Face” to new twists on classic games, such as Monopoly Fortnite Edition. So, choose ones are fun, active, not too complicated and (if possible) involve adults making a fool of themselves! Once the laughter takes over, you’ll be on to a winner. As with card games, research shows that playing a board game can improve cognitive ability, motor skills and even delay the onset of dementia.
Regular exercise aids weight loss, general fitness and can prevent a host of chronic diseases. This weekend, why not wrap up warm and take your family for a bracing walk in the great Canadian outdoors. It’s the perfect group pursuit and can be tailored to all levels of fitness. Alternatively, go swimming or ice skating. There are a number of Calgary locations offering FREE admissions on Family Day afternoon.
A blast from the past
Family Day falls on the same date as National Heritage Day (except BC). Ask your senior relatives to help you research your own personal heritage, and root out some old photos to get the conversation started.
What’s on in Calgary
Alberta is one of five provinces currently observing Family Day. All of them will be hosting an array of special events to mark the occasion. Calgary has its own range of venues offering reduced or free entry. Here are just a few which might even tempt grandma and grandpa:
Sat 16 February:
Family FISHtival, Bow Habitat Station (10 – 4pm) – FREE outdoor activities and only $5 admission to the Discovery Centre. Roast a marshmallow, trek through the park on snowshoes, practice your fish identification skills, tie a fly, and more.
Sunday 17 February:
Homestyle Breakfast Buffet, Heritage Park’s Wainwright Hotel (9 – 2pm) – A Sunday breakfast which won’t break your budget!
Monday 18 February:
Studio Bell Family Day (10 – 5pm) – Featuring the beloved children’s singer-songwriter Fred Penner and performances from local musicians and musical groups. Sound Sandwich instrument-building workshops, NMC Collection show and tell, instrument demos, campfire sing-alongs, and more. More details at the Studio Bell website.
The Military Museums’ Family Day (10 – 5pm) – Join The Military Museums. See authentic armoured vehicles, fighter planes, weapons, and artefacts while taking in the family-friendly activities. Try on uniforms, check out the weapons display, or even try the mini obstacle course. For more info, see the Military Museums website.
Making every day a Family Day
At The Manor Village, there’s something on our monthly activity calendar for everyone. Whether it’s a game of cards, a birthday celebration or just a chat over coffee, we encourage friends and family members to share the fun whenever they can. So why not join us on February 18th and make this Family Day a day to remember.