The Saturday Weekly Review

5 Family Day Fun Events That Cost Us Nothing : The Saturday Weekend Review #211

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family day fun events that cost us nothing CanadaFREE FAMILY DAY FUN IS ABOUT TO GET BUSY IN THE CBB HOUSEHOLD.


If you’re as excited as I am for the Family Day holiday then you’ve probably scheduled a line-up of activities to keep everyone busy like we have. This year we’re prepared for Family Day fun as we found so many free events with neighbours, family, friends and our community.

You don’t have to spend money to spend time with your family. For the most part any free events that we attend accept Food Bank donations. This is a great way to give back to the community and help those fellow citizens who are in need, especially during the winter months.

Related: Types of Food Bank Donations

This year we will be donating two boxes of diapers that we have leftover from our son when he was a baby. We kind of went overboard buying them on sale thinking we’d use them but our son grew so fast and we can’t return them. Instead of selling them we decided to donate them. You don’t have to be related to someone for them to be family.


When is Family Day?


Family Day 2017 is celebrated on Monday, February 20th a stat holiday that hasn’t been around for too long but certainly welcomed by Canadians each year.

Chart source: Wikipedia (link above)

Family Day is….

Also called Louis Riel Day (Manitoba), Islander Day (PEI), Nova Scotia Heritage Day (Nova Scotia)
Observed by Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan
Date Third Monday in February
2016 date February 15
2017 date February 20
2018 date February 19
2019 date February 18
Frequency annual
Family Day (BC)
Official name Family Day
Observed by British Columbia
Date Second Monday in February
2016 date February 8
2017 date February 13
2018 date February 12
2019 date February 11
Frequency annual
Yukon Heritage Day
Official name Yukon Heritage Day
Observed by Yukon
Date Friday before last Sunday in February
2016 date February 26, 2016
2017 date February 24, 2017
2018 date February 23, 2018
2019 date February 22, 2019



What is open on Family Day 2017?


Every city is different when it comes to what shops and services are open and closed for Family Day. During Family Day 2017 Ontario you won’t find many stores open because Family Day is a stat-holiday. You may however find corner shops, coffee shops and other independent places that offer holiday pay to their employees.

For this reason you may also find that Family Day daycare centres might be open or you’ll have to find alternate arrangements for your child. Schools and government buildings are closed so buy your beer and alcohol before Monday. If you might be in need of medications I’d also find out if your local pharmacy will be open. I was a bit shocked to read that Canada Post was still running but I guess that’s the way it goes.

Most grocery stores will be closed in Ontario but some may be open for holiday hours only. Your best bet is to make a phone call and find out.

Related: Here’s what’s open and closed on Monday, Family Day 2017 in Toronto, Ontario.

All provincial government offices, including Service Ontario (online services are still available) are closed.

Municipal employment and social services locations are also not operating, along with waste drop-off depots and all Toronto Public Library branches.

Garbage collection will be mostly normal, with a few exceptions. Details can be found on the City of Toronto website.

Canada Post offices — not including those inside private businesses — will be open, and mail will be collected and delivered as normal.

Banks, however, are closed.

Related: What is open and closed in TO on Family Day- an extensive list (BlogTO)

If you want to spend money Toronto Ripley’s Aquarium, CN Tower and The Toronto Zoo are all open on Family Day. We’ve been to two of the three and plan to visit the Toronto Zoo some time this summer. I highly recommend Ripley’s Aquarium as our family loved it so much we went twice in one year.


Our Free Family Day Activities


I’m not sure why most people frantically search the morning of for Family Day events in their local area. If you want to arrive early for any shows or excursions that are free then start researching Family Day fun in advance. Start now, you have two days before the holiday.

Working two jobs over the past 3 years has certainly taken time away that I would normally spend with Mrs. CBB and now our son. Every year we like to add something new to do for Family Day fun rather then repeating the same events over and over.

Family Day events in our house often consist of Food, Family, Food, Family, Fun and more food. We love to eat and food brings our family together at a table where we can all sit and look at each other and communicate.


One thing that won’t change is that morning coffee in bed for Mrs. CBB and Scottish pancakes for the little guy and I. Mrs. CBB sometimes makes her low-carb pancakes with sugar-free syrup as a breakfast treat to kick off Family Day.

This year we’re attending a free Winteramafest in the morning where there will be games for the kids, free skating, hot cocoa, prizes and outdoor fun for the kids. There are also indoor events where families can warm up and enjoy some snacks.

All proceeds from snack and drink sales go towards funding next years event. You are not obliged to buy anything and are allowed to bring your own drinks and snacks.

After Winteramafest there is a free movie for kids being held in a school auditorium that has a play centre for toddlers who won’t sit still. That would be our son. In the play room they have cartoons on the television and the older kids go into the gym to watch a featured movie. This is all free.

Our last stop before heading home is to have coffee and cake at my sister and brother-in-laws house to celebrate and so the cousins can play together. Their neighbourhood is also hosting a winter street party for families and relatives in the area until 6 pm. This is the first year they are hosting it so I’m not too sure what to expect. It’s supposed to be sunny out which will be better for the kids instead of it being too cold.

In the evening we will come home to enjoy homemade pizza that I will be making for the boy and I since Mrs. CBB

Mr.CBB's Homemade Pizza On a Pizza Stone
Mr.CBB’s Homemade Pizza On a Pizza Stone

doesn’t eat it. I’ll prep the dough in the early morning so it’s ready when we get home so all I have to do is roll it out and top with our favourite toppings, meat, meat and more meat. I let junior join in on topping the pizza and he loves every minute of it.

Our son is a pizza lover and will peel all the meat and cheese off before eating the bread. Mrs. CBB will be making our low-carb pizza recipe that doesn’t taste too bad especially if you stop eating breads.

Obviously there are some costs involved with gas and making pizza but we didn’t stress over the day. Our local newspaper, internet and Facebook helped us to source free Family Day activities in our area.

These kids events are great to meet other parents and for the kids to get social interaction and make new friends.


Family Day Trips


Family Day trips are a great idea to explore Ontario without any stress worrying about going to work. There are many amazing parks in Ontario that you can visit over the winter and walking trails everywhere. Free of course apart from gas and possibly parking fees.

In the past we’ve taken a road trip to see the in-laws but with the little guy here it might be too much driving for one day as we’d come back the same night. If we go on a road trip we may go to the next town to explore what it has to offer, sit in for a coffee and talk to the locals. They always seem to love my British accent for some reason.

Family day fun may cost you little to nothing if you are frugal-minded like we are because you can’t put any amount of money on love. Besides, with so many events taking place for free on Family Day why would you pay for something to do?

Discussion Question: What does Family Day Fun mean to you?


Behind Closed Doors


Hey friends,

This week was certainly better than last week when everyone was sick in the CBB house. Our son still has some rough coughs coming out as is Mrs. CBB. Hopefully it clears up for them quickly. We took a small road trip out-of-town this week over to Hamilton, Ontario to visit a friend that we hadn’t seen a long time and go out for dinner. It was a nice evening but the little guy really wasn’t feeling up to it.

For Valentine’s Day I was welcomed home to plenty of paintings from my little guy and a lovely card. I was able to sneak out and get Mrs. CBB a card which she was shocked I remembered. Of course I did. I admit I’m not the best with holidays but I’m working on taking that up a notch. Typically we don’t spend money buying roses or chocolates because she won’t eat them and flowers she’d rather see them grow outside. Working too much is not an excuse but it’s true and I’m hoping next year I’ll see improvements in my work hours.

Lastly we made our way into the mall a couple of times to do some window shopping and have coffee. The little guy likes his rides on the escalator so while I’m doing that Mrs. CBB is buying our java hit for the night. We spend a majority of my allowance on coffee dates out as a family. I know it may seem strange but this is our way of getting out of the house, connect in public and people watch. Our son loves going to McDonald’s just to say hi to all the customers coming in. We love the coffee!

It seems like it’s warming up outside and the birds are chirping so I’m hoping that is an early sign of Spring. I’ve got SO MUCH to get done this summer around the house plus fit in our holidays. It never ends. In a way I wish I would have worked harder to get these renovations done before the little guy came. It seems when I’m home there’s so much that takes me away from my family. Family day is every day at our house but when it’s a holiday Family Day it means everything to me. No work- Just the 3 of us.

How was your week?



CBB Published Posts


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Top Post This Week: How Much Should My Grocery Budget Be?


Making a difference (MAD) 2017


Making A Difference Canadian Budget Binder MAD

Welcome to the 2017 Making A Difference series! Join the networking movement of Personal Finance Bloggers around the world. If you are a personal finance blogger and would like your blog to be featured simply drop me an email.

I’m currently booking March/April 2017-Limited spots.

Hey there Mr. CBB and Friends,

K4 LogoMy Name is Kent Tilley and I am a CFP Professional as well as a stand-up comedian. I worked for a large financial institution for many years, but recently branched out on my own to start an online, fee-for-service financial planning company called – K4 Financial Services.

As well as doing planning, I write financial blogs and do videos once or twice a week, which cover all areas of financial planning. I try my best to make this relatively boring subject funny, in the hopes that I can attract a larger audience, because I feel that all Canadians can benefit from understanding the basics of financial planning.

I want to make a difference by educating as many Canadians as possible and uncovering some of the ways that the large institutions are taking advantage of their consumers. I can be found everywhere on social media by searching for @K4Financial.


Weekly fan brag


If you have a brag that you want to share email me at with a photo and small write-up of your deal. It can be anything you saved money on that you are excited about.

If your story gets featured you get two ballots in the yearly draw for a PC Financial Gift Card and at least one ballot for emailing me your entry. Either way, you get a ballot in the draw.

olleen the Dairy Queen Cheap milk

Hi Mr.CBB and Readers,

Back at it again with more reduced milk. I was lucky to hit the mother-load of milk this week. One 4 litre of skim, 2 two litre of 2 per cent, 3 two litres of whole milk. I managed to find almost $30 of milk and paid a whopping $5.94. The expiry dates were for the next 2 days.

I don’t mind because now we get milk for the month.- Colleen K.

Mr.CBB- We buy milk in bulk if we find a deal and freeze it although we have bags of milk in Ontario. We’ve never had any issues with it.

Related: Milk in a Bag or Jug, Which Do You Prefer?


CBB Finance Tip


punch back the walls when everything seems like its closing in on you

When I wrote this quote I did so because I was remembering a time when life was getting very tough for me. I had just moved to Canada and was trying to find a job but no one would hire me. I returned to school when I was 29 and had to start all over again. Being in a new country was tough but having to figure it all out when you have gone from being a University grad to amounting to nothing is tough to swallow.

In time things got better because I didn’t give in. I wanted to be successful at what I did and that meant sacrifice living in a tiny room with my wife and working many hours that I didn’t spend much time with her. Today, I’m happy to say that had I not punched down those walls I wouldn’t be where I am. Never give up on yourself, there’s a whole world out there.


Top finance post


Over at Pretend to Be Poor I enjoyed reading a Shopping Hack post about Shopping In the Wrong Department To Get Better Savings. Oddly enough Mrs. CBB and I have run into this situation a few times. We’ve found similar products in another department where you wouldn’t expect it but for less money.

Sometimes we’ve found the same shirts in two different departments but one costs less than the other because one is listed in baby and the other in toddler. It doesn’t hurt to shop around and look for alternatives like Neil pointed out in his post about the gardening hat. Going to the accessories department you will pay almost double what you would than if you had gone to the gardening department. It may not be as fancy but you’re gardening so who cares?

I hope you enjoy this post and please share any experiences you’ve had. I’d love to hear about them..



Top frugal recipe



Food is a big part of any budget and a struggle for so many people which is why I’ve created frugal recipes for my family and yours for many years.

I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I exclusively share recipes from Food Bloggers around the world. Check out the Free Recipe Index on CBB compiled of frugal recipes that are 100% tested and accepted by family and friends!

This week I was over at the food blog, Cooking With Janica checking out her Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme which is the homemade version from Taco Bell. When Mrs. CBB was pregnant there was one day that she had a thing for Taco Bell.

I can’t even remember how many hard and soft tacos we ate that day but it was filling. When I saw this recipe I knew Mrs. CBB would love it but she won’t eat it as she doesn’t eat breads or tortillas any longer. I think I’m going to work on a low-carb tortilla wrap for her then make this. I know I’d be in the good books for sure.


Did You Know?


vegetables to grow in the shade


We’re getting towards that time of year where we should be thinking about our vegetable gardens. Many of you may start planting seeds indoors to transplant outdoors when the weather warms up in the Spring.

Our back garden has a few very large trees, wooden fence and not so much sunlight. I stumbled upon this neat infographic from Dream Garden 101 that details what vegetables you can grow in the shade.

For many of you with a balcony or small garden that has more shade then light don’t think that you can’t fire up that green thumb of yours.

I’m sure many of you enjoy eating just about every fresh vegetable on this list as much as we do. I think it’s great that we can grow vegetables in the shade so this year I’m going to pick a shady spot and see what I can do with it.

Some of our favourites from this list would be;

  • Endive or leaf lettuces
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Radish (we tried this one year and it was an epic fail)
  • Cauliflower  (we’ve never grown this before)
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Beets (I love beets and have never tired to grow them. I might give them a go this summer)

The next time someone tells you that you can’t grow a garden in the shade tell them, watch me!! Then get out there and grow vegetables that you never though you could do but now know you can. Aren’t you just as excited as I am? I hope so.


Search term giggles


Always begin and end your day with a SMILE!- Mr.CBB

Every week I get tens of thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

Most times funny, Sometimes serious.

  • Mr. Food Shortbread Cookies : Nope, wrong guy but I bet the Dundurn Castle Shortbread would change your mind.
  • What do women think of their Valentine’s Day Gifts– One, stop over-thinking and two, dude if you’re still there and it’s February 18 you’re good.
  • How to clear $100,000.00 in debt with no money– Are you good with magic?
  • Should I buy a more expensive house- Yes because the internet told you to do so.
  • What should I do with my $100,000.00 in February 2017?– Well if you don’t know the person above sure could use that money, hahaha!!

That’s all the fun for this week, thanks for dropping by and we’ll see you all again next Saturday.


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