Warm weather brought moms, dads and children out in droves on Family Day.
From Fort William Historical Park to the ice pad at Marina Park to splashing around at the Canada Games Complex, there was no shortage of activities for families to have fun at on Monday, when temperatures soared over the freezing mark and made the outdoors that much more enjoyable in Thunder Bay.
Caitlyn Lawrence was one of about 3,000 people who helped Fort William Historical Park set a winter carnival attendance record over the weekend.
“I’m just here with my friends to enjoy some fun,” the nine-year-old said, happy for the extra day off from classes.
“It’s fun to be in school, but I just want to enjoy some time to myself and with my family.”
Michael Fayrick, 10, said he was at the Fort to have a “ton of fun” and take part in all the activities up for grabs at the provincial park.
“You get to hang out, laugh, have fun, joke around, watch a movie, play outside, tube, ski, snowboard, all these fun things you can do with your family on Family Day,” he said.
Chelsy McGowan brought her four young children to the Fort, something of a Family Day tradition, she said.
“It’s something we’ve always done,” she said. “We try to spend as much time with our kids as we can. It’s really nice. Because we’re all students we get to spend this extra time together. So it’s awesome, we love it.”
Daughter Keyrah loved having the day off.
“It’s fun because you don’t have to do work,” she said, hoping to go tubing on the big hill. “It’s lots of fun.”
Caroline Fanti took her kids skating at Marina Park and said she loved the extra day with her children, not having to worry about school or work.
“The extra day makes just a huge difference to being able to take advantage of all that you can do in Thunder Bay,” she said.
“Yesterday we took the kids skiing. Today we’re able to take them skating and you just can’t do that in a normal short weekend.
“We’ve had lots of friends tell us how great the new skating rink is at Marina Park. This is our first time here. The facility is amazing. The kids have already gone in several times for drinks and they don’t have to take their skates off, so that’s great.”
Her son, Evan Fanti, was equally happy enjoying the outdoor fun.
“I’m having fun on Family Day spending time with my family and my friends and having fun skating,” the nine-year-old said.
Family Day was first observed in Ontario in 2008. FWHP’s manager of marketing and visitor experience Doug Stanton says the February holiday really starting to catch on.
“Family Day is building in popularity. More people are planning it as a family outing and I think that’s happening elsewhere, too,” he said.