What are you doing on Canada Day?

canada-day-flagCanada’s birthday is just around the corner. How do you plan to celebrate? For the frugal reveler, Canada Day means free (or nearly free) celebrations from dawn to dusk.

Your Town

First stop, check out celebrations in your own neighbourhood, town or city. Canada Day is famous for its fireworks celebrations, but there is plenty to keep you going during the daylight hours as well.

Google your municipality or city, and see what’s on and when.  Expect live music, BBQ’s, pancake breakfasts, spectacular shows and fun times to be had by all. Many neighbourhood associations or municipalities run family-friendly activities (think fair games, races and face painting) throughout the day-either at low or no-cost.

Think outside the City Limits

This is a great time to pack the kids in the car and go explore small towns and boroughs that you might not otherwise visit to check out small town Canada Day.

There is nothing more celebratory than a small town parade, with participation from all the town’s inhabitants- either as parade marchers or as enthusiastic fans. Expect to see lots of local clubs, cool old cars, likely some dancing and plenty of local dignitaries.

Rock your Block

Do you embrace the mantra, there is no place like home? Organize an impromptu neighbourhood celebration. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Suggest that neighbours combine BBQ’s and bring their own food, but share in conversation. Organize a street hockey game (kids and adults too).

If you live near an area that accommodates it, and permits allow (check with local municipalities for rules on operating fireworks), have your own fireworks extravaganza after dark.

Light up that Night Sky

If you do plan to take in a fireworks celebration hosted by your city or town, a few tips. Consider carpooling or taking public transit to get to the location. Not only will you save money on gas and parking, you will save yourself time when trying to leave, by doing your own part to reduce the notorious traffic congestion that comes with major events where everyone leaves at the same time.

Arrive early, so that you get “premium” seating. Bring chairs, blankets and insect repellent (those creatures like warm summer nights as much as we do).

Get Fit

Canada Day is host to numerous family-friendly runs and walks that encourage family fitness and time together. Start your day off running or walking in support of a cause as a family. You don’t have to be fast- just willing!

Many races offer “kids” events (shorter distance, but are still timed so kids feel part of the action) for very little cost- or for free. Check it out.

Pack a picnic and hit the trails for a family bike ride (while wearing your red and white, of course). It is rare to get a day off in the middle of the week together. Couple that with good weather- and you have a priceless opportunity to get out and about together.