Skip to content

Families flock to Bell Park for Snow Day

Annual event a chance for outdoor family fun on a winter's day

With temperatures hovering around -6 under cloudy skies, Bell Park was a busy place Saturday, as hundreds of families turned out for Healthy Kids Snow Day.

Young people who wanted to try their hand at skating, snowshoeing, hockey, sliding and a host of other outdoor activities arrived at the park, parents in tow, for the second edition of the event.

Greater Sudbury staffer Kate Barber is one of the organizers on Snow Day, which was held at James Jerome last year. Barber said moving to Bell Park for 2017 just made a lot of sense, since the park isn't used much in the winter.

"And being next to the skating trail (on Ramsey Lake) that just opened this morning makes it even better," she said. "So there's a lot of tired kids around here -- and there's some tired volunteers."

Snow Day is a little different than typical winter carnivals, Barber said. The emphasis is on getting outside and spending the day together with your family.

“We're really promoting do-it-yourself, active outdoor fun,” she said. “We want people to be able to recreate this anytime they want. So really, we're just trying to create an environment where people can play.

"Lots and lots of families have been out. We've seen families with babies all the way up to big kids, and they're all finding fun things to do and that's what this day is about. Just being outside, enjoying active play and having fun as a family."

While one parent did ask her where the rest of the activities were, Barber said the feedback from most people has been overwhelmingly positive.

"Because we have all the equipment they need,” she said. “If they don't have a sled, that's no problem. We have that. If they don't have skates, we have our skate exchange trailer. We have snowboarding lessons and you don't need to have special boots.

"We have snowshoes -- really, everyone can participate in everything."

The biggest challenge this year, she said, was the lack of snow, something that limited the range of activities they were able to offer. 

"But we still have pony rides and that kind of thing, and some beautiful food, some really nice nutritious snacks and we got water."

Several groups came together to make Snow Day a reality, she said, including Laurentian Outdoor Ed, which helped with snowshoeing, Adanac Ski instructors came over to do the snow boarding, and volunteers from Valley East Skating that came to help with skating.

"There are people who have been here for three or four hours -- you can just keep going," Barber said.

She expects the event will return to the park again next year.

"I don't see why we wouldn't be,” Barber said. "And hopefully next year we'll have lots of powdery snow that's more fun to play in."


Verified reader

If you would like to apply to become a verified commenter, please fill out this form.

Darren MacDonald

About the Author: Darren MacDonald

Read more