Family Day 2023 is around the corner, and we have the activity ideas to make the day memorable, without breaking the bank. Read on for tips to keep your kids entertained with fun family day activities that are either inexpensive or free. All you need is a little imagination and a bit of planning (and snacks—you can never have too many snacks).

Make Family Day 2023 the day you embrace the great outdoors

It might be cold enough to make popsicles outside, but it doesn’t mean you need to hide inside. With the government of Canada recommending children and youth get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, it’s not just nice to play with Jack Frost, but it’s essential for their health and wellbeing. There are tons of free activities for the family you can only do in the winter, like building a snowman or sledding. Community centres and local parks often offer free skating and you don’t need much of a hill to watch them zip down in fits of giggles.

Or if you have a more adventurous spirit, explore one of Canada’s national or provincial parks near you. Lace up your skates and glide through the icy forest trail at Arrowhead Provincial Park, walk the Johnston Canyon in Alberta’s Banff National Park, or snowshoe in BC’s scenic Mount Seymour Park. Algonquin Park is hosting a family-friendly Winter in the Wild Festival, with free activities from guided bird watching to winter camping demonstrations, with the only cost being your vehicle permit. All national and provincial parks require day passes or permits to access, so book ahead to avoid screaming children in the back seat. Don’t live near a national or provincial park? Google “winter trails near me” and you’ll have your pick. Hot tip: Pack a large thermos with hot chocolate from home.

For a Family Day art activity, take a trip to a museum

Not up for braving the cold weather? No problem. Museums and art galleries are family-favourite destinations for a reason—it’s learning and fun combined into one nice package (and perfect for cold winter days). Admission to museums can be expensive, though, but with a little digging, you can find free or cheaper options. For example, for Family Day 2023, all museums and historic sites in Alberta will be free to visit, including the Royal Albert Museum, which is home to a 7,000 square-foot Children’s Gallery where your rambunctious bunnies don’t have to keep their hands to themselves. In Ottawa, the National Gallery of Canada regularly offers free admission for children under the age of 11. And in Toronto, all the History Museums, including Spadina Museum and Scarborough Museum, are now free to visit year-round.

Get cozy and creative with Family Day activities at home

Who’s to say you need to go anywhere to have fun on Family Day? Get creative and make your own games at home. One easy and fun game to create is trivia. Source age-appropriate questions and don’t forget to include prizes everyone will want to win. Another fun activity that doesn’t cost a penny is making your own family time capsule. Ask everyone in the family to collect something special, like a photo, greeting card, artwork, or simply write down a memory. After everyone’s contributed, put all the goodies into a sealed container and hide it somewhere in the house. Plan to open it up five, ten, or even 20 years down the road to bring back all those warm, fuzzy memories (just make note of where you hid it!).

What pairs well with Family Day activities at home? Pizza! So make mealtime fun by setting up make-your-own stations. Little ones love choice and this activity lets them pick whatever toppings they want—even if you know all they’ll want is cheese. End the evening with a family movie night, with a mini concession stand, paper tickets, and cozy seating. Can’t decide what flick to pick? Write out everyone’s selections and place them all in a bucket with the winning movie getting picked at random.

Sneak in financial literacy with play

Tell your kids you want to teach them about money and watch them disappear faster than a batch of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Instead trick them into learning with play. OK, hear us out: with young children, start with the basics, like asking them to identify all of the different coins and their names. Kids who are a bit older won’t even realize they’re learning about money if you play store or restaurant using fake money to make transactions. Teens are quick to catch on to parents’ ploys, so pull out a fun board game such as Monopoly or The Game of Life to subtly teach your teens about money management as they barter, save, and spend, while trying to beat you.

The earlier they learn about money the better

It’s tempting to put off money lessons with your kids, but the truth is it’s never too early. The earlier your kids become financially literate the better, and the earlier you start saving for their future the better. When you begin investing in an RESP when your child is little, you benefit from one of the miracles of investing: compounding. This is when once your investment starts to grow, you can earn income on your investment—and this income is reinvested for growth too. The goal? Even more earnings on your investment income, since your investment has more time to grow.

Just like it’s smart to wear a helmet when you’re ice skating, an RESP is a smart way to save for your child’s future. At CST Spark, our RESPs are flexible, so you can contribute on your own schedule and budget. We also take care of all the heavy lifting, providing you with the right portfolio mix tailored to your child, and making sure you get all the grants you qualify for. With on-demand support available by live chat or phone six days a week, our goal is to make saving for your kiddos easier than getting them into their snowsuits.

So as you’re warming up with a hot cup of tea this Family Day 2023 after spending time in mother nature, check out what the CST Spark RESP is all about. Have questions? Reach out now in our chat or give us a call at 1-800-461-7100.

CST Spark Education Portfolios are sold only by prospectus. Investors should read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.  Copies may be obtained from

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