What's up in February?

Free family day activities, Valentine's horseback riding, and plenty of other things to do in the Fraser Valley this month.

Love is in the air this month—but it’s thicker in some areas than in others.

February is a month for celebrating the loved ones in our lives. Two whole holidays are dedicated to it: the classic Valentine’s Day and the more recent addition of Family Day. Special ways to celebrate both will take place throughout the Fraser Valley over the next few weeks—though some local spots have eschewed romantic events for their singleness-celebrating cousins.

Valentine’s Day

Plan a special day with a special someone this Valentine's Day with one of these events. Some strike the traditional notes of Valentine’s Day—nice food, music, maybe a candle or two—and some are a little off the beaten track.

In Abbotsford, Spice Kitchen is taking over Matsqui Hall for a Valentines dinner, dance, and comedy show. The night promises a big buffet, a live DJ to keep everyone dancing, and a stand-up comedy act. Learn more or secure your spot online

Across the river in Mission, leave the beaten track (or, rather, venture onto it) with a special Valentines horseback riding lesson. Finding Your Stride, a Fraser Valley equine organization, is holding a special lesson for couples this Valentine’s Day weekend. The three-hour lesson is designed to help couples connect, communicate, and learn to ride a horse (no experience required). Snacks and drinks will be provided. 

If a big to-do on Valentines Day isn’t really your style, visit a special themed market in Fort Langley to shop in advance of the big day. Pick out a nice gift, and maybe some flowers or a local wine, at Fort Langley’s Valentine’s Market Extravaganza. Held at the Fort Langley Seniors Hall on February 10, it’s perfect timing for anyone who hasn’t quite realized that Valentine’s Day has already snuck up on them.

In Chilliwack there are still plenty of options for the happy couples to have nice dinners, but local businesses in Chilliwack seem to have decided to celebrate an anti-Valentine’s Day. Major League Pub is going in a different direction and holding an “Emo Party” on Feb. 14. Billed as an “escape from all things lovely and sickening,” the party starts at 10pm. (Bricklayer Brewing is also hosting an anti-Valentines drag show, but online tickets were sold out.)

Family Day

Later this month, we get to celebrate a different kind of love. Families get a special day off to just do their thing, be together, and maybe have an adventure or two along the way. If you’re looking for a way to best use the extra day and make a few memories, look no further. Some of these family-oriented activities are completely free, others are ticketed, but all of them look like a lot of fun.

The City of Mission is running a variety of discounted and free activities at its rec centre on Monday, Feb. 19 to help local families celebrate family day. There will be skating, swimming, and an open gymnasium for everyone from 8:30am and 4:30pm. Find the times for each activity online.

The City of Chilliwack is running a free Family Day public skate on Monday, Feb. 19 from 1:45 to 3:15pm at the Sardis Sports Complex and on Sunday, Feb. 18 from 2:30 to 4pm at the Chilliwack Coliseum.

The District of Kent has a free family fun day on Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Agassiz Rec Centre complete with bouncy castles, healthy snacks, art and recreation activities, and community booths. 

In Abbotsford, The Reach Museum and Gallery will present a free family day event from noon to 5pm on Saturday, Feb. 17. The afternoon will include activities and events that prompt creative learning and cultural discovery. Visitors will get to meet local artists, make some art themselves, and contribute to the community mural.

In Langley, the Explore Science Club is putting on a Family Day Science Magic Show at Willoughby Hall on Sunday, Feb. 18. Watch science and magic collide to create epic wonders and learn about chemistry, biology, and physics at the same time.

Finally, down the road in Fort Langley, cheer on family, friends, or complete strangers as the Fort Langley Historic Half Marathon kicks off on Sunday, Feb. 18. Runners will jog the Fort-to-Fort trail along the river and start and end in the village. Registration is still open for half-marathon, 10k, and 5k events if you’d rather run yourself. You can always drag some family members along with you to make it a great family day event.

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