Thunder Bay Bucket List Things to Do: Winter FunDays, SnowDay on the Waterfront, Ontario Winter Games & More

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Thunder Bay Bucket List Things to Do: Winter FunDays, SnowDay on the Waterfront, Ontario Winter Games & More

If you are looking for winter bucket list ideas, Teachers on Call’s in-person and online tutoring team recommends exploring Northern Ontario. Albeit with a warm winter coat and gear! The second largest city in the north, Thunder Bay, is filled with amazing outdoor experiences that pair well with heavy-duty snow. If you’ve never been before, now is a particularly exciting time to visit. Fortunately, the Recreation & Culture team at the City of Thunder Bay is sharing with us their exciting winter line-up of things to do. There is no shortage of events between Sunday FunDays, Family Day Weekend SnowDay on the Waterfront, and Ontario Winter Games for amateur youth athletes. Grab your gloves and read on!

It is no secret that Teachers on Call’s online and in-person tutors love the winter season. After all, it’s filled with so many educational opportunities, and cool winter STEM facts to learn about. It also provides unique seasonal sports, recreation, and community events to explore. For our readers who followed our Doors Open Ontario interview series, you will know we love sharing about cool adventures our province has to offer. This blog is dedicated to Thunder Bay, which is Northern Ontario’s second most populous city behind Sudbury. While known for their major industries of mining, forestry, and transportation, this blog is dedicated to tourism for families interested in new winter experiences like watching the sunset over Lake Superior or enjoying Indigenous cuisine by a roaring fire.

Check out Teachers on Call’s interview with the City of Thunder Bay’s community programming and events group to learn more about all the exciting opportunities in store this winter!

Your Winter FunDays are a great way for families to enjoy new activities together every Sunday from January to March, completely free of charge. What types of different programs do you have planned?

We have a different activity planned each Sunday including snowshoeing, winter snow games, skating parties, a variety of art projects with CAHEP (Community Arts and Heritage Education Project) and a St. Patty’s Day Winter BBQ.  Winter FunDays are taking place throughout the community this year.

Timing: Sundays from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm between January 7 – March 17, 2024

Locations:

Chapples Park - 530 Chapples Park Dr., Thunder Bay, Ontario, P7C 4L7

Minnesota Park - 820 Minnesota St., Thunder Bay, Ontario, P7C 3C7

Marina Park - 2200 Sleeping Giant Pkwy, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7A 0E7

Further Details: Check out our City of Thunder Bay website for the week-by-week breakdown.

SnowDay on the Waterfront is scheduled for Family Day weekend. For visitors attending for the first time, please tell us more about it.

We are so excited to feature the EXPosure, a FREE interactive public art installation that will illuminate the night!  Additionally, there will be artistic snow sculptures to check out, ice fishing on the pond, a candlelit snowshoe trail, and CAHEP and Science north will be in the festival area.  This is all happening from 4-8pm on Monday February 19th.  And in case that wasn’t enough, on we are extending the fun on Sunday February 18th Winter Fun Day where we will be changing the hours to 5-7pm, having a skate party with the Fighting Walleye and Hot Chocolate, a snowflake activity with CAHEP, and the snow sculptures and EXPosure Art Exhibition will be available both days.



Timing: Sunday, February 18 & Monday, February 19 from 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm 

Location: Marina Park - The local waterfront park situated on the shores of Lake Superior, Thunder Bay’s north end near the downtown north core.

Further Details: Check in with SnowDay on the Waterfront for more information.

This winter is an exciting time for Thunder Bay, as you will also be hosting the Ontario Winter Games from February 16 – 26, 2024. What can fans expect and look forward to this year?

  • The Ontario Winter Games run from Feb 16- 26, 2024, venues across Thunder Bay.  The Games are a showcase of amateur sport in Ontario and provides top youth athletes with development and competitive opportunities to prepare them for national and international competition. 

    What are the different options to participate and watch the games?

    There are many ways to get involved in the Ontario Winter Games.

    Watching the athletes compete in following events:
  • 5 Pin Bowling: Mario’s Bowl - 710 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 3Z5
  • Archery: Lakehead Archers - 282 Vibert Rd N, Rosslyn, Ontario P7K 0E5
  • Artistic Swimming: Canada Games Complex - 420 Winnipeg Ave, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 6B7
  • Badminton: Superior CVI - 333 High St N, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7A 5S3
  • Biathlon: Kamview Nordic Ski Centre - 851 20th Side Rd, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7J 1M6
  • Cross County Skiing: Lappe Nordic Ski Centre - 3160 Kam Current Rd, Kaministiquia, Ontario P0T 1X0
  • Curling: Fort Willima Gardens & Curling Club - 218 Vickers St N, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7C 6A3
  • Diving: Canada Games Complex - 420 Winnipeg Ave, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 6B7
  • Fencing: Confederation College Wellness Centre - 1450 Nakina Dr, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7C 4W1
  • Futsal: Lakehead University, CJ Sanders Fieldhouse - 955 Sanders Drive (Main Campus Athletics Centre), Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 5E1
  • Hockey: Fort William Gardens - 901 Miles St E, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7C 1J9
  • Ringette: Delaney Arena - 300 Legion Track Dr, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7C 4L4 
  • Wrestling: Lakehead University- The Hanger - 955 Sanders Dr, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 5E1

Attending the opening and closing ceremonies:

  • Friday, February 16, 2024 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Fort William Historical Park - 1350 King Rd, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7K 1L7
  • Friday, February 23, 2024 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Fort William Historical Park

More information and games schedule to come.  Please visit official website.

The City of Thunder Bay proudly promotes the celebration of Indigenous spaces and places. For visitors interested in exploring and honouring these locations, please tell us more.

Our events and programming are inclusive and celebrate culture, arts, heritage, and the diversity that makes our community great. Through community events and programming, we work alongside our Indigenous Relations office and community partners to offer education through storytelling, including ceremonies like sacred fire and more.

Everyone is welcome to all spaces within the City. Additionally, the City offers specific spaces honouring the community's history, culture, and traditions at different sites throughout the city. Prince Arthur’s Landing spaces (Sleeping Giant Pkwy, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7A 0E7) include The Spirit Garden, The Celebration Circle and The Honouring Circle. The Spirit Garden is a space to honour the history and cultures of Indigenous peoples in the City. The Circle's overall design of the space represents inclusiveness and bringing of world views. The Celebration Circle (Outdoor Theatre) within the Spirit Garden was inspired by Roy Thomas' concept for the space to pay homage to Turtle Island based on the Anishinaabe Creation Story. The Celebration Circle symbolizes an inclusive circle between all people and creation. The Honouring Circle (Sacred Fire) maintains the vision of honouring Turtle Island by configuring stones surrounding the fire pit. The fire pit is also placed in the Medicine Wheel's centre to honour the Anishinaabe's teaching principles. The Honouring Circle is a place of contemplation, ceremony, and contribution.  More recently, the City raised the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s official Residential School Survivors flag at Hillcrest Park (High Street, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 3K5) and constructed a sitting area at the base of the flagpole as a place to gather, offer tobacco or sit in quiet refection.

We continue to strive to build relationships, listen to the truth and make changes to ensure that everyone in our community feels welcome and sees itself through our spaces, programming, and events.

With so many festivities and initiatives in place, how can members of the community become involved and volunteer?

To get involved with the volunteer program all volunteers will need to apply online. Volunteers will be invited to a volunteer interview as an opportunity for the Volunteer Coordinator to get to know you a little better and assign you to the position that best fits the volunteers interests. Volunteer opportunities are available for anyone over the age of 13. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@thunderbay.ca or (807) 625-3169.

Additional Information on Future Community Events:

Quest: Tech & Gaming Event

May 10, 11, 2024 - Fort William Gardens - 901 Miles St E, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7C 1J9

Kite Festival

June 9, 2024 - Chippewa Park - 2465 City Rd, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7J 1J7

Maamawe Summer Festival

Date TBD Summer 2024

Canada Day on the Waterfront

July 1, 2024 - Marina Park - also known as Prince Arthur's Landing

Teddy Bears Picnic

July 9, 2024 - Vickers Park - 1700 Arthur St E, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7E 2R6

Live on the Waterfront

July 17 – August 29, 2024 (every Summer Wednesday from 6:00pm-9:00pm) – Marina Park

Youth and Cultural Programming

Youth Week Youth Move Program

May 1- 7, 2024 – Virtual Programming and Drop-in Sites

Kinsmen Youth Centre (609 James St. N), Canada Games Complex, Minnesota Park, North End Community Centre (954 Huron Ave.)

Culture Days

September 20th to October 13, 2024

We hope you enjoy learning about all the exciting winter activities in Thunder Bay. If you are looking for further seasonal ideas, check out our blog on Snow Much Fun in Southern Ontario.

*Image provided by City of Thunder Bay, Cultural Development, Community Programing & Events

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