It's the official day of the year to enjoy quality family time together, Family Day!
Many families already have a day of the week set aside as ‘family day’. I love our day together but I don’t always want a day that is completely kid-centric (my weekdays already are), so we twin our destinations. Here are my suggestions for great family day trips around Victoria, BC.
We often head to the Cowichan Valley for a day trip. This area has lots to offer and as it’s the sunniest place in Canada you can generally count on nice weather. The drive up is beautiful and it’s just the right amount of driving time for the little one to get a quick snooze in.
We head to the historic waterfront village of Cowichan Bay for lunch. Our favourite lunch stop is for sensational soup and sandwiches from Hilary’s Cheese. We tour the boardwalk, look for starfish and admire the boats. Then we hop back in the car for a 10 minute drive south to Cobble Hill. We love cider and Merridale is one of our favourite places. It’s great for lunch or a glass of cider and apple pie (spoiler alert you get a whole apple pie to yourself so make sure you have room). We stock up on cider and freshly baked bread from their outdoor brick oven then head to the orchard to have a run around. Our daughter observes the bees pollinating the trees, and we take a stroll around the perimeter of the orchard and check out the various hidden faery grottos dotted around the forest. If cider isn’t your thing, Unsworth Vineyards is just down the road and they have a bistro with stunning views of the vines and hills beyond.
Head to the bakery at the Roost Farm Centre for scrummy home baked goods or brick oven pizza (for a truly decadent treat try the beesting). It’s a great place to stop for breakfast or lunch and kids love to eat in the old school bus. While you’re waiting for your food visit the chickens out back. Once your tummies are full up, zip down to the long, sandy beaches of Island View Beach to collect rocks and run around to work off those treats.
Metchosin has many lovely beaches to explore. Witty’s Lagoon has it all; Creek, waterfall, lagoon, beach and rocky shore. Start off at the Nature Information Centre then wind your way down the creek, past the waterfall and salt marsh and venture on to the vast beach. When it’s time to eat head to the My-Chosen Café in the centre of Metchosin. They offer the kids paper and crayons at the table and there’s a little petting zoo behind the parking lot. If your kids won’t sit still in a restaurant be sure to visit on the same day as the market and chicken swap – it’s a ton of fun. http://www.bcfarmersmarket.org/markets/marketdetails.asp?marketID=219
Combine a trip to French Beach (http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/french_bch/) with a visit to the Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery (http://tugwellcreekfarm.com/) where you can take a tour of the farm, sample honey and mead and the kids can watch the bees in action.
For special events happening on family day weekend, check out our listing of Family Day events!