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68. Skate with Lions and Bollywood Dancers

Have you thought about where you’re spending Family Day, February 21? The cities of Toronto and Mississauga have some great suggestions, most of them free of charge. The problem will be deciding. There are a lot of venues and attractions. You’ll need some time to research what’s best for you and your kids.

The following is from Toronto City Hall. For Mississauga, click on: http://www.mississaugakids.com/?gclid=CImjqsD6_6YCFUS8KgodtCe0fQ.

These events should be good places to get to know other Torontonians. You can find maps if you click on Mel Lastman Square below, for example.

Monday, February 21 from noon to 4 pm: at all four venues below. Dance, music, crafts, street theatre, storytelling, skating, tasty treats, free hot chocolate (one cup each while supplies last), and more. Mayor Rob Ford will participate too. “Family is one of the most important things in life, and I invite everyone to join me in our parks and public squares to celebrate with your community,” he says.

North York – Mel Lastman Square – 5100 Yonge St. Dance party, crafts, games and activities indoors. On the rink outdoors, there will be Chinese dragon dancers – yes, they promise skating Chinese lions too — and other performances. Bring your ice skates. Use old floppy disks, aluminum tubing, cigar boxes, and other junk to make unique musical instruments and form a junk band.

Downtown – Fort York – 250 Fort York Blvd. Aboriginal, French Canadian and Métis music, dance and stories. Skating on synthetic-ice rink. Sit in a 27ft high tipi and learn about longhouses and wigwams. Learn to Two-Step with French Canadian fiddlers and dancers. See a real birch bark canoe and meet a man who still makes them.

Scarborough – Albert Campbell Square – 150 Borough Dr. Music, dance and art of our many cultures. Skate with Bollywood dancers on the outdoor rink. Hear an intimate acoustic performance with Obie, the street savvy R&B performer. Learn how to DJ, and thrill to a wide variety of music, some Egypt-inspired and some Francophone, some reggae, fiddle. and Indian. There’s Brazilian drumming too.

Etobicoke – Colonel Samuel Smith Park – Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive. Dance, hip hop, circus acts and contemporary art at Etobicoke’s new skating trail.

In addition, the city is offering free leisure skating at all outdoor rinks on Family Day at select times, as well as indoor skating, shinny hockey, and swimming at some locations.

Centennial Park and Earl Bales Ski and Snowboard Centres, Riverdale Farm, and High Park Zoo will also be open as usual. Toronto’s Historic Sites also have plenty of interactive activities planned, but there could be an entrance fee. Their activities include crafts, scavenger hunts, dressing up in historical costumes, decorating cookies, baking treats over an open hearth, and more.

For more information, including detailed schedules of the celebratory performances and activities, call 311 or visit http://www.toronto.ca/familyday.
A list of many other Family Day events across the city can be found at http://www.toronto.ca/eventcalendar.  Have fun!

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