Budget friendly ideas for a fun and memorable Family Day

2022-02-10   minute read

Ryan Epp

Lifestyle Debt

Debt Solutions

Family Day is a nice break from other annual holidays that come pre-packaged with set traditions, expectations, and the ever-present commercialization that drives many of us to overspend. You have a blank slate to create your own schedule, activities, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Joyful family sledding

This year will be more difficult than most to find activities that are safe, affordable, and conscientious of the ongoing pandemic and rising costs due to inflation. But it’s also an opportunity to think outside the box and maybe even push the limits of your comfort zone.

Following are some affordable ideas for a unique and memorable Family Day. Some you might even find yourself wanting to continue long after COVID-19 has faded from our everyday reality.

Snowshoeing / winter hike

From coast to coast to coast, Canada offers some of the most scenic and breathtaking landscapes in the world. We also have one of the most extensive trail networks located mere minutes from the smallest towns and biggest metropolitan centres.

While these trails get more than their fair share of visitors in the summer, winter is when they really show off their raw and unspoiled beauty. It’s hard to put into words — a winter hike or snowshoe adventure really is a feast for all five senses you truly have to experience to understand.

Cost: $0 - $50 for a family of four*

*Depending on rental and provincial / national park pass requirements. Check local parks websites, retailers, and rental shops for Family Day discounts.

Ice skating or tobogganing

Can you think of anything more nostalgic than enjoying a local outdoor rink, frozen pond, or sledding hill? Surely, you have dozens of great childhood memories of your own adventures on the ice — and this is something you won’t regret passing along to the next generation.

We also fully endorse a good, rich cup of hot chocolate once the day is done (and don’t skimp on the marshmallows either).

Cost: $0 - $20 for a family of four*

*Depending on transportation, rentals, and cost of hot chocolate. Check local retailers and rental shops for Family Day discounts.

Board and card games

If the weather decides not to cooperate, or you decide to take things easier on your day off, brush off a pre-internet tradition and enjoy a wholesome family games day. This is a great opportunity for everyone to set the screens aside for a few hours and build lifelong collaboration, strategy, and problem-solving skills.

With an endless list of options at your disposal (suggestions below, many of which you likely already have in your closet), this is an activity that can stay fresh and exciting for hours. Maybe just avoid Monopoly — we hear that one tends to end badly.

  • Uno
  • Chess
  • Cribbage
  • Go Fish
  • Scrabble
  • Yahtzee
  • Risk / Settlers of Catan
  • Jenga
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • The Game of Life
  • Candyland

Cost: $0 - $20*

Free if you own the games. Most local game stores have basic versions available for an affordable price.


Local libraries offer thousands of free books, movies, games, and family-friendly activities year-round. Many local branches also frequently put on special family day events — though these may be temporarily on hold due to the pandemic.

Even just spending a few hours reading together as a family can be an extremely heartwarming and fulfilling experience. However you decide to spend your time, a quick dash to the library offers limitless opportunities to stock up on resources that are sure to make your day as fun as it is affordable.

Cost: $0*

*Not including transportation costs or any late fees if you forget to return items in time.

Local community events

Take a look in your local newspaper or on social media for interesting family day activities in your local community. Many organizations have risen to the challenge of providing safe, socially distanced, and COVID-friendly outdoor festivals and activities. Others have taken things a step further and created engaging online events that you can attend as well.

Cost: $0 - $20*

*Depending on transportation and nominal admission costs.

Zoos, rec facilities, and science centres

Many local community facilities such as zoos, pools, climbing gyms science centres, and planetariums slash admission prices for Family Day, making it the most affordable day of the year to take your family.

You may want to consider the COVID risks depending on your family situation and whether it’s an indoor or outdoor facility. However, with more than a handful of options to choose from, you’re sure to find something that fits both your comfort level and shared interests.

Cost: >$50 for a family of four*

*Look online for a list of facilities and Family Day discounts — your local municipal website may be a good place to start.

Don’t let debt get in the way of a memorable family day

If debt is preventing you from being fully present with your family or taking part in any of the events above, reach out to MNP and schedule a Free Confidential Consultation today. Together we’ll review your budget, discuss your financial challenges and goals, and identify opportunities for a permanent fresh start.

Sessions are completely free and you’re under no obligation to participate in any of the services MNP offers. You will, however, walk away feeling more confident about your financial future and with a clearer understanding of how to overcome your debt once and for all.

Remember, there’s always a solution to any financial challenges you’re facing. There isn’t a way to re-live these priceless moments with your loved ones. Let us help you get back to what matters most.

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