The mid-winter blahs were quickly forgotten Monday as Prince George celebrated its first Family Day holiday.
"It's awesome because it's a long winter," Sheryl Wiebe said while enjoying the day with her family at Exploration Place. "February even though it's the shortest month of the year, it feels like the longest. It's nice to have an extra day to relax and spend time with the kids."
The province instituted the new statutory holiday this year, following the lead of five other provinces which have added an extra day off from work and school in recent years.
One of the busiest places in the city Monday was Exploration Place, which was hosting a provincially funded open house complete with face painting, gold panning and crafts in addition to the regular exhibits. By noon the parking lot was jam packed and the lobby was overflowing with families.
"It's a nice way to spend the day and do things we don't normally get to do together," Charity Taylor said as she visited the museum and science centre before going out for lunch and then roller skating with her family.
Nine-year-olds Chase Taylor and Deacon Faucher said they really enjoyed some of the interactive activities at Exploration Place, like one game where you step on projected images of bugs, water, ice and other items.
"It's funny," Chase said. "Probably my favorite is when you step on the ice because it sounds like real cracking ice."
Derek Domeij enjoyed the new holiday with his daughters Alyssa and Micheala, but would have preferred if the province had fallen into line with Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island which all have their days off on the third Monday of the month.
"It would be nice to have them all on the same day, it's weird how we're on a different week from the other provinces," he said. "All across Canada it should be the same day, I think."
In addition to a visit to Exploration Place, Domeij said his family was also going take advantage of the mild weather and go sliding. The unseasonably warm temperatures continued Monday as it got has high as 3 C.
"It's nice to see a lot of families out today," Domeij said.