Do something different this Family Day in Halton and Hamilton

By Christine Davis

One day of the year is designated to families enjoying time together. This year, why not do Family Day a little differently and spend your time outside?

In Hamilton, Valens Lake Conservation Area offers skating on the frozen lake, with staff maintaining the surface to the best of their ability based on weather conditions.

The lake will also be open on Family Day for a license-free ice fishing derby. From 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 19 participants can try their hand at catching bluegill and crappie species. Check for registration and entry fee.

Outdoor skating is also an option in Burlington where Rotary Centennial Pond offers free recreational skating on an artificial ice surface. You’ll be able to enjoy Burlington’s beautiful waterfront while skating with your family. The great thing about this rink is that the surface will be suitable for skating, no matter the weather conditions. Skate lending is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. For complete rules and hours check, where you can also find the locations for all of Burlington’s outdoor Neighbourhood Rinks, including Nelson, Brant Hills and Central Parks.

Oakville also has a number of outdoor ice rinks in various neighbourhoods across the town. These rinks, maintained by the town, are open free for use depending on  weather conditions. For rink conditions, check

Conservation Halton’s Crawford Lake, Mountsberg and Hilton Falls Conservation Areas all offer snowshoeing trails of various lengths ranging from easy to difficult. Rental equipment is available at Crawford Lake and Mountsberg, which offers a great way to try the activity without committing to purchasing equipment. More information about the trails and guided hikes is available at

You can also hit the slopes at Kelso Conservation Area’s Glen Eden, which offers skiers and snowboarders seven lifts and 17 runs ranging from easy to difficult. Holiday pricing will be in effect for Family Day and access to the terrain park – which offers five to 35-foot jumps plus rails and boxes for everyone – is available for an additional fee. More information about the trails and rental equipment can be found at