The Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre at the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst is planning plenty for families to keep them busy this coming Family Day Weekend, including rare glimpses into the area’s past and the chance to build your own boat.
On Saturday, Feb. 15, the museum will open up its archives from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for its annual Port Hole To The Past event, this year celebrating “Founding Families of Gravenhurst.” Guests can research their own family history and hear about Gravenhurst’s early days from historians and members of those early families.
Family Seaflea Building takes place over the weekend, with the chance to build your own personal hydroplane with Muskoka Seaflea. Space is limited, but a waiting list will be started for a future workshop if necessary.
Family Day Monday the museum will be open with admission by donation, with craft tables, bannock-baking and activities for everyone. “I absolutely love
Family Day because it’s one of those days where families get out and do things like go to museums and enjoy their time together,” says manager Ann Curley.
Ontario’s best and brightest young athletes are set to visit Muskoka from Feb. 27 to March 3.
The 2014 Ontario Winter Games will showcase their talents through various events being hosted in Bracebridge, Georgian Bay, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Lake of Bays, Muskoka Lakes, Orillia, and Midland.
The Ontario Winter Games is the province’s largest multi-sport event and provides young athletes with development and competitive opportunities.
“These are some top-notch athletes,” says Greg Pilling, general manager of the games. “We’re taking place on the heels of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and it’s an amazing chance to see kids who may one day represent our country. Also, for the first time, we’ll be hosting parasport events at the Games.”
The Games are for athletes aged 12 and up with the majority being between 14 and 18 years old.
“We need volunteers in many areas, including as greeters or ambassadors, sports officials and to help with the opening ceremonies,” he says. For more information, visit: www.ontariowintergames.com
The 2014 Ontario Winter Games will be doing on site/day of ticket sales only. Tickets are $10 per day or $25 for the weekend.
Spring art show coming in March
There is nothing quite like spring in Muskoka, and Muskoka Arts and Crafts will be ready when it arrives with the annual Spring Arts and Crafts Show.
The work of area artisans will be on display at the Bracebridge Sportsplex from March 21 to March 23.
“It’s a chance to see some fabulous art and meet the artists,” says Elene Freer, executive director of Muskoka Arts and Crafts. “ This show really launches our schedule of events.”
The show kicks off with a reception at 7 p.m., followed by awards for best in show, as well as best 2-D and 3-D artwork.
Over 100 MAC members typically enter their work into the show, with art ranging from pottery and painting, to sculpture and woodwork.
Throughout the show on Saturday and Sunday members will be in attendance offering demonstrations of their technique, and answering questions from the public.
“This is a really great chance to see how this artwork is made,” says Freer. This is the 37th edition of the annual event, and admission is by donation.
Winter Carnivals are on the way to help break up the winter blahs.
From Feb. 7 to Feb. 9, Port Carling celebrates its 47th annual Winterfest.
Most events run on Saturday with horse and wagon rides, a dog show, lumberjack events and a dance, all taking place near the community centre. Sunday starts with a pancake and sausage breakfast, followed by the snow snake competition and fan-favourite polar bear dip.
The following weekend (Feb. 14 -15) is the Dorset Snowball which has been going strong since 1991.
Friday night guests are encouraged to join Mr. And Mrs. Snowball for a Family Skating Party with music and lights at the Dorset Rink. Outside there are opening ceremonies at 11:30 a.m., chainsaw carving demonstrations, snowmobile races, a kids vs adults shinny game and karaoke.
Both Dwight and Gravenhurst will be running concurrently on the weekend of Feb. 21 – 22.
The Dwight carnival begins on Friday with shinny at the rink and carnival games at the community centre.
A snow sculpture contest is a new addition this year, and entrants have until Feb. 20 to complete their sculpture and send a photo in for judging.
The weekend’s activities in Dwight will also include a fishing tournament and pancake breakfast.
The Gravenhurst Winter Carnival is one of the largest winter carnivals in Muskoka and a huge list of events are planned for the busy weekend. Some of the biggest attractions of the event are the bed races, the demolition derby and snowmobile radar runs.