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Submitted photo

Entertainer John Ellison and Braden Marshall launch the first Hot Chocolate Festival in 2012.

Warm up winter with cool family fun

Conservation authority, museums offer plenty of options for Family Day

Ten-year-old Braden Marshall wants to warm your heart and your tummy on Family Day 2013.

Braden is the Hamilton youngster whose idea for a Hot Chocolate Festival lured more than 2,500 folks to to the picturesque Dundas Valley Trail Centre last year. Participants sipped delicious beverages, while John Ellison — who penned the 1967 classic song Some Kind of Wonderful —entertained.

Braden has even bigger and better plans for 2013, with a story tellers’ corner featuring children’s authors, a bird-feeder workshop, sweet treats, food trucks and mapped tours of the Dundas Valley trails.

There is no admission fee. Cups of hot chocolate will be provided for a minimum donation of $2.

Proceeds go to the Hamilton Conservaton Foundation and Sustainable Hamilton.

Watch the websitse hotchocolatefestival.ca for updates on this year’s event.

If Braden’s event is not quite your cup of tea..or hot chocolate..here are some other options for Family Day 2013.

• An Early Upper Canadian Family during the War of 1812, Battlefield House Museum and Park, 77 King St. W., Stoney Creek, Feb. 18, noon to 4 p.m. The 200-year-old Battle of Stoney Creek had a great impact on the lives of the Gage family. Visit the home of this early Upper Canadian family and experience their work and play during this dramatic time in history.

• Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology, 900 Woodward Ave., Feb. 18, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn about the long history of industrial development that has shaped Hamilton into the community it is today.

• Whitehern Historic House and Garden, 41 Jackson St. W., Monday, Feb. 18, noon to 4 p.m. Tour the McQuesten home as it was in 1939 and then head to the renovated stable to enjoy short comedy classic films from the 1930s.

• Griffin House National Historical Site, 733 Mineral Springs Rd., Ancaster, Feb. 18, 1-4 p.m. Explore black history by strolling the paths of the Dundas Valley. Griffin House is a 19th-century home that stands as a testament to the determination of black Canadians who journeyed to southern Ontario.

• Hamilton Children’s Museum, 1072 Main St. E. in Gage Park, Feb. 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children and adults can make bird snacks for feathered friends at the Pine Cone Cafe. Participants will make bird feeders from pine cones as well as their own bird books to take home,

• Westfield Heritage Village, Feb. 18, 12:30 to 4 p.m. Celebrate heritage and family together by participating in fun activities among heritage buildings, the candy store and a unique gift shop.

• Valens Lake Conservation Area, 1691 Regional Road 97, Feb. 15-18. Enjoy the great outdoors with a Family Day Winter Campout Weekend.

• Valens Lake and Fifty Point, licence-free fishing weekend, Feb. 15-18. Enjoy the fun of fishing in Ontario without a licence.

• Ice Fishing Derby at Valens, Sunday, Feb. 17, sunrise to 2 p.m.. The sixth derby for bluegill and crappie features a number of prizes. The first 50 children receive a free fishing rod combo.

• Hamilton’s Kidsfest Shows, Feb. 16-18, Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, are designed to make kids bounce, laugh, play, run and scream in some of North America’s largest indoor inflatables.

For more information on conservation authority events, visit www.conservationhamilton.ca. For more about the Hamilton Civic Museums, visit www.hamilton.ca.

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