The Patriots

Family-Friendly Activities to Celebrate Canada’s 150th

It’s a proud moment in history as our nation marks its sesquicentennial birthday, or as most of us know it, 150 years. Many Canadian families are feeling a little extra patriotic this Canada Day. While eating beavertails, dressing exclusively in red and white colours, and capping off the day with a fireworks display are all very Canadian, here’s a Canada Day Guide that should have you and your family bursting with Canadian pride.

Canada’s National Parks

Throughout 2017, Parks Canada has gifted national park visitors with free entry to its parks, national marine conservation areas, and national historic sites nationwide. This freebie is a wonderful way to celebrate Canada 150, but keep in mind the Discovery Pass allows for free entry only to places managed by Parks Canada and doesn’t include provincial or municipal parks.

Canada Parks pass

Attend a hockey or lacrosse game

What’s more Canadian than taking in a local hockey or lacrosse game? After all, they’re both considered national sports. Your family doesn’t have to organize a game of Shinny; just grab your stick and running shoes and enjoy a good old-fashioned game of street or ball hockey in your neighbourhood. A little friendly competition is a very ‘Canuck’ way to celebrate.

Nbake Nanaimo bars

They’re a British Columbian sweet treat and you won’t have to search BC bakeries to find them. There are dozens of recipes online, including this delicious no bake recipe. Bring your sweet tooth to the kitchen and encourage the kids to help you create these layered treats.

Arrange a visit to our country’s biggest playground

Imagine running across more than 4,600 square metres of playground. You can if you take your family to Ottawa’s TVOKids’ Giver. The giant attraction boasts a Canada shaped play space and the world’s longest set of continuous monkey bars.

Dance to Canadian tunes

Depending on your age, musical taste and style, it’s not hard to put together a playlist of Canadian artists to listen do as you celebrate Canada 150. From Gordon Lightfoot, to Bryan Adams, to Rush, to the Tragically Hip, there’s endless Canadian content to rock out to on Canada Day with your friends and family.

weekend trip to our nation’s capital

No city will be buzzing louder with Canadian pride than our nation’s capital. Hit the Byward market, tour the grounds of Parliament Hill, and watch as the RCMP walk the streets of downtown Ottawa with their horses in tow. If you’re able to catch the Musical Ride, it will continue its cross-country celebration tour for Canada’s 150th birthday.

DIY Canada Day ‘swag’

Get the whole family involved in a DIY craft project that’s sure to leave red and white fingerprints behind! Try making your own family t-shirts that can be worn to any Canada Day parade or gathering.

canada day t shirt

A great Canadian bagel!

If you’re a true Canadian, you probably already know people flock to Quebec for a mouth-watering taste of a Montreal bagel. If you haven’t had the pleasure of devouring the signature wood-fired, baked bagel, you may want to take a road trip across the province or country to eat one in lieu of a piece of cake.

Your family’s great Canadian getaway

Camping is a cost-effective, fun experience for the whole family. If roasting marshmallows, pitching a tent and heading to one of our country’s world-class beaches (Canada has more than 240,000 kilometres of coastline) wasn’t enough to convince you, just look around. Experiencing the great outdoors in Canada is breathtaking. Whether you’re camping in Ontario’s cottage country, Vancouver’s Sunshine Coast, or experiencing the breathtaking beauty of the Northern Lights in Yellowknife, you won’t be disappointed.

Great Lake swimming

Our Great Lakes form the largest group of freshwater lakes on the planet. Dip your toe into Lake Erie, Ontario, Huron, Michigan, or Superior and if the temperature isn’t too cold, jump right in! Frolicking in the Great Lakes is a fun, free activity the entire family can enjoy.

Use maple syrup in recipes

Canada is considered the world’s maple syrup giant, with nearly three quarters of the world’s production right in our own backyard. Pick up some real maple syrup and experiment with recipes. Here’s one delicious dish to try that’s sure to please everyone’s palate:

          Maple Syrup Brussel Sprouts

          – wash and trim ends of brussel sprouts

          – steam for 5-10 minutes before transferring to frying pan

          – add 2 tbsp olive oil, dash of salt and pepper

          – drizzle maple syrup over sprouts and toss before serving

Ink yourself

Many Canadians are especially proud this time of year and while some may have a permanent marker to show their love for their country, temporary tattoos are a huge hit for kids. Parades and community events offer free ones for little ones. Placing them on cheeks, arms and the tops of hands are great ways to get the kids involved and excited about Canada Day.

Do museums

Introduce your family to history, culture, art and even dinosaurs by heading to one of the many museums we have to offer. The Art Gallery of Toronto, Royal BC Museum and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts are just a few of the buildings you can tour.

Eat Canadian bacon

Many Canadians affectionately call it back or peameal bacon but it’s a great celebratory dish to serve up for our 150 bash. What makes our bacon different than our neighbours’ South of the border is the fact that it’s cured–not smoked–and comes from a different part of the pig than American bacon. Yum!

Families can also cap off festivities by taking in Canada Day fireworks, which will be lighting up the sky in communities across the country.

Happy 150th, Canada!