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Family Day in Langley is all about history, sports, whales and vintage aircraft

Public has plenty of options what to do around the community on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023
The B.C. Farm Museum has several activities planned for Family Day 2023. People can try to do various tasks no longer required for modern living, such as cutting logs. (B.C. Farm Museum/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Langley families have a plethora of activities to choose from on Monday, Feb. 20 which is Family Day.

City fun

Langley City’s Family Day festivities are based at the Timms Community Centre and while many of the activities require people to register in advance, the fun is free. In fact, there’s so much to do, the events are spread over three days – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

The City is expecting more than 300 people to attend.

The schedule includes:

• Parent and Tot play: for ages up to five. 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

• Library Family Photo Booth: Stop by between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

• Basketball: all ages games run noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, while Sunday games are 10 a.m. to noon.

• Badminton: all ages can play between 2 and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, or 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

• Pickleball: all ages event is from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, or 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

• Yoga: ages six and older can try it out from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. (session 1) or from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (session 2) on Monday.

• Boot camp: those eight and older can sign up. It runs 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. Monday.

The Family Day Fun Event is in the gym Monday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. when people can enjoy bouncy castles, slides, an obstacle course, big games, parent and tot toys, and more. No advance registration is required for this event which is intended for ages birth to 10.

The basketball, badminton and pickleball require advance registration. Do so at the Timms Centre, 20399 Douglas Cres., by calling 604-514-2940 or through the City website

NOTE: Langley Township has no Family Day activities planned.


Farm fun

The B.C. Farm Museum offers people a chance to step back in time holiday Monday.

“Visitors are free to roam around the buildings as they please. Many of the exhibits are self explanatory with informational signage,” explained Grace Muller, museum vice-president.

There will be stations were demonstrations will be happening showing the public how some pioneer items were actually used. There will be a scavenger hunt available for any child – or family team – to complete. The scavenger hunt means finding an item pictured on the sheet – answering the question concerning that item (all information is on signage by the item) – and receiving a goodie bag and sticker when completed. The items are found throughout the museum.

“Adults have been seen to enjoy that activity also,” Muller added.

There is a children’s hands-on area where they may try their woodworking skills, including sawing a log, drilling a hole, hammering a nail, and pumping water or what Muller said is “messy fun! There is also opportunity to make some rope – or help grade some tomatoes.”

The museum, typically open from spring through October, opens specially for Family Day. The volunteers have only opened the museum’s doors on Family Day for a few years now. Admission is free so there’s no financially barriers to families, but donations are accepted. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 20.

“The museum is normally closed to the public except by reservation for groups during the winter season as there was no heat in the buildings. Two years ago we received grant funding to have radiant heat installed in the King Street building. That has allowed us to now hold special events when it may be cold. Receiving some funding support from the provincial government has helped support this free event, although we are always open to donations for our museum expansion project,” Muller noted.

The museum has several buildings to explore and is run by volunteers.

“Attendance is never predictable – but last year even with covid safety protocols in place over 200 people visited when there was little promotion of the event. This year we have more promotion happening,” Muller said. “And it will also depend on the weather. Dry weather brings out more people than rainy weather.”

Anyone attending will be sure to have their cameras (or camera phones) with them. Most artifacts are no touch but some photo opportunities have been set up.

“As many items are delicate we have some designated items to climb on and get a photograph,” she explained. “We have a 1919 Ford pickup which if they promise to be careful they can sit in and pretend to drive – there is a carriage families may climb onto – there are some tractors you may sit on if careful – and there are two face cut-out board for taking great pictures. Pictures are allowed to be taken anywhere around the museum.”

The B.C. Farm Museum, 9131 King St., is owned and operated by volunteers who are members of the association. It currently contains more than 6,000 items of farm machinery and pioneer life. The museum purpose is to “ acquire, collect, restore, preserve, and provide a means for displaying for students and the general public those articles of farm machinery and pioneer life of a historical nature.

“All items have been donated to the association since its opening in 1966 and the two large exhibit buildings are full to the rafters – literally,” she noted. “Volunteers work to restore and repair items in the basement woodworking or mechanical shops. Many items are in operating condition.”


Fort fun

The Fort Langley National Historic Site hopes to make a splash with its Family Day event.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, the public can participate in river and ocean-themed activities and learn about the site’s connection to salmon and killer whales with guests from the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, the Parks Canada Southern Resident Killer Whale team, Salmon River Enhancement Society, Derby Reach Brae Island Parks Association, and more.

Visitors of all ages can explore the various interactive stations around the site to learn about the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales, the fort’s connection to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery and salmon, and how being located along the Fraser River shaped the fort’s history and relationship with local First Nations.

In addition to the river- and ocean-themed activities planned throughout the day, visitors can take a guided tour, relax in the iconic Parks Canada red chairs or on a bench to take in the view of the historic grounds and buildings, interact with heritage interpreters dressed in period costumes, and climb the rustic bastion towers to explore the history of Fort Langley. Children can explore the Children’s Play Area, pan for gold and discover all kinds of hands-on activities. Visitors will be immersed in history through scheduled demonstrations, such as woodworking and blacksmithing.

Admission for the day is $8.50 per adult, $7 per senior (age 65 plus), and free for youth 17 and under and for annual pass holders. People can take advantage of the early bird annual pass sale to purchase an adult season’s pass for just $16.75 or $14.25 for seniors. The site is 23433 Mavis Ave.


Flying fun

The Canadian Museum of Flight will open the gates at 10 a.m. on Monday and offer a free day of activities until closing at 4 p.m.

“The main activity for visitors to our site is to enjoy our ‘aviation discovery center’, enjoying the beautiful aircraft, and delving into the stories we tell through our numerous displays. We do sneak in quite a bit of informal STEM inspiration for the kids. On our free-admission days, that is augmented by crafts for the kids, some form of game and scavenger hunt,” said Bruce Friesen, the museum president.

The museum is planning for big crowds as families look for fun ways to spend the day.

“We expect families of all kinds, with kids of all ages from the littlest to teenagers, and many grandparents enjoying the day just as much as the young ones,” he said.

There are no COVID-related restrictions for this years event.

“Pre-covid, the Canadian Museum of Flight welcomed as many as 1,500 people on the Family Day holiday,” he noted. “Last year, 2022, due to lingering concerns about COVID the museum asked visitors to pre-book time slots, and limited the numbers to about 550 over two days. This year, 2023, we will welcome all who choose to come.”

He recommends arriving no later than 3 p.m. to have time to not only see the museum artifacts and exhibits but also participate in the activities.

Friesen recommends people dress warmly.

“As this is February, the weather can be wonderful, or can be a bit damp. The Canadian Museum of Flight has two aircraft display areas. One is inside our hangar, and comfortable regardless of weather. The crafts, also will be inside. If it is drippy, an umbrella would be a good idea, to enjoy the aircraft on the outside display courtyard. Parking can become a bit tight, particularly if the weather is warm and sunny. Which, of course, we hope it will be.”

There will be parking marshals to help the public and there will be basic concession items available (water, drinks, and snacks).


Fun on ice

The Vancouver Giants take on the Spokane Giants at the Langley Events Centre starting at 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20, and the game includes a fundraiser for the Valley West Stampede in Langley. There will be western booths and rodeo merchandise on site. The rodeo organizers have a limited number of hockey tickets are on sale $20 for end-zone seating. Contact Valley West Stampede via Facebook messenger to get a promo code.

The day also includes a free public skate after the game.

The B.C. Farm Museum has some displays that allow people to climb up on, great for snapping family photos. (B.C. Farm Museum/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Jade Szymanski is promotions officer at the Fort Langley National Historic Site. (FLNHS/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Members of the Parks Canada Southern Resident Killer Whale team will be at the Fort Langley National Historic Site for Family Day. (FLNHS/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Since starting in the news industry in 1992, my passion for sharing stories has taken me around Western Canada.
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