Our Family Day “Tech-Free Challenge” Entries

We hope that you enjoyed your Family Day and had a real chance to enjoy your family.  As you might know, Connexus put out a challenge to families to go technology-free for Family Day in an effort to connect with each other.  Click here to see that post

Using the comment section below, send in the highlights of your technology free day (Thursday is the deadline).  We'll pick a winner who will choose from one of the following family prizes:

Toronto Zoo Day Passes

Ontario Science Center Day Passes

Barrie Colt’s Tickets

Dinner Out As A Family

Can't wait to hear about your Family Day adventures!



  1. Small Group from south of the border says, February 21, 2012 at 8:50 am

    NOTE: Please do NOT include in any contests/prize considerations. Geography prohibits, and good nature suggests this. We just want to support the cause….

    Ironically, on the same day as your Family Day, two couples from our Community Group (us and another…) journeyed to an Ikea (furniture) store, among similar venues, in Michigan (an hour north of us). As it would require the entire day, the two couples made an adventure of it. No cells, no GPS’s (we knew where everything was/is), just good planning.

    Since both couples are expecting in different ways (one by the natural route, the other by adoption…), and with that, goes needs like furniture, supplies, etc., we made a community effort out of it all. We have been making the most of the journey to parenthood since we are on similar timelines, and already very close friends as couples go, that this was the perfect opportunity to share the experience mutually.

    So with the exception of a lunch break in between, we spent the entire day out of town shopping for and comparing nursery furniture, strollers, stuff like that. I think we even ended up getting “off road” strollers from the same exact line, since we travel, camp, and hike a lot together when the weather permits.

    With you guys in spirit!! It was great!

    • Jeff says, February 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Thanks for joining us from afar!

  2. Sarah & Steve Dobson says, February 21, 2012 at 9:45 am

    The Dobson Family had such a great day technology free…
    We had tea with the neighbours, then we spent the afternoon sledding…. It was great!!! Thanks Connexus for encouraging us to be technology free
    Sarah and Steve Dobson

    • Jeff says, February 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. joanne says, February 21, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Family Day arrives and it’s a beautiful winter day – crisp, clear, sunny with just a hint, a smell, a tickle of the spring that’s just around the corner. At my urging, we all dress warmly for the day and head over to the lake. On winter days like this it beckons – and it’s a wonder that what’s so warm and liquid and blue in the summer is now flat and white and frozen. The “ice walk” is perfect! Everyone enjoys the chance to run and laugh in this wide open space, and what a blessing – to feel the sun on our face! The daylight fades and we sit on steps leading onto the lake to watch the glorious sunset while the first twinkle of stars peek into the sky. Awesome! And then I realize, the gift is the time we’ve had together, and the life that God breathes into us and into every day – every single day is a gift from our Father above.

    • Jeff says, February 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      So great to hear how you enjoyed the outdoors!

  4. Amy St John says, February 21, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I am so excited that my family did the technology free family day. It is something we (I) have wanted to do for a long time. I have to give most of the credit to my husband as I did have to work for part of the day. My boys spent the day playing board games, making killer snow forts, snow ball fights, baking, hiking in the woods and lots of stories. When they wanted to watch tv we decided to act out some of their favourite shows. As resistant as the boys were they had an amazing day and quietly admitted this. We will be doing this again!

    • Jeff says, February 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Sounds like you made great use of the day!

  5. Debra Bowser says, February 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Our family shared a tech-free Family Day! We headed up to Camp Mini-Yo-We near Huntsville to enjoy all day outside playing in the snow – we met up with my bestie of (clear throat…) 38 years and her family. Snow tubing, snow climbing, park playing, cross-country skiing, lake walking, Dead-Man’s Island adventuring, ice discovering, eating, hot-chocolate drinking, chatting, laughing… I love it when you have no concept of time because you’re enjoying the day so much. We got home shortly after the dinner-hour, put the kids to bed and enjoyed the feeling on sunshine still on our faces. Looking forward to making it a Family Day tradition. Really treasuring the Family Day we had together yesterday. I love my family ♥ and praising God for the gifts He showers upon us!

    • Jeff says, February 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm

      Thanks so much! Great to hear about how you enjoyed MYW!

  6. Martha says, February 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Technology-free day was awesome! We started the day by having a bacon and eggs breakfast. Because my husband and I made breakfast, my daughters volunteered to do the dishes (that in itself made the day worthwhile!). My girls then decided to put the names of all their favourite games into a hat and each of us got to pick out a paper. We all agreed that no matter how much moaning, we HAD to play the game. We had so much fun playing, laughing and spending the afternoon together. While my husband and I prepared a beautiful dinner, the girls finished up their homework. After dinner, it was back to playing a fierce competition of Pictionary. We ended the night by baking and eating chocoloate cake-in-a-cup. We all agreed that we did not miss the ringing phone and idle time spent checking emails or surfing the net. Thanks!

    • Jeff says, February 21, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      Baked goods, Pictionary, and breakfast–some of my favourite things!

  7. don says, February 21, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    wow a whole day with out no technology never would have thought of that before thats one thing i do love about connexus they have really gave me some great ideals of new thing to try well i woke up monday morning with out any alams (i have to say that wasnt that hard to take) i did some reading with no back groung noise i really couldnt belive how quite the house really is without tv or radio i we then took some time and took the dog for a long walk we then took a drive to Meaford what a gorgeous day for a drive its been awhile sice we been there we talk laught just had fun time there got home did a project around the house that we wouldnt have done we would have probley whatch tv or some thing like that. Usally at bed time i put on the tv but i dusted off the bible by my bed( that i been meaning to start reading) and thanks for the great ideal i had a great techy free day Don

    • Jeff says, February 21, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      Sounds great Don–sounds like a great day!

  8. Julia & Andy Achilles says, February 21, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    We had a great day outdoors!!!!
    We started our day off with skating on an outdoor rink in Washago with some friends that are just like family to us!!!! Then took a break for some lunch. Then continued the fun sledding for a few hours!!!!
    Then we went to my mom’s place for dinner with the family and played a great game of Pictionary which the guys won!!!

    • Jeff says, February 22, 2012 at 12:29 am

      Sounds like fun Julia!

  9. Michael Creasor says, February 21, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    We decided that we would spend part of family day going tubing at a local ski resort. Unfortunately, so did most of southern ontario and we spent an hour in the car lined up to find out that the parking lot was closed. Rather than waste the opportunity we had been given, we decided to go out for lunch together. It was great to laugh together and have real conversations with one another, rather than burying our faces in our phones and ipods. We were having such a great time after lunch that we decided to go to the movies. Most of my family headed to the Vow, but I went off with my 10 year old to watch the Journey to Mysterious Island. I won’t say that it was the greatest movie ever, but to a 10 year old girl who got some time alone with her dad, out of the busy day to day routine, it was magical.

    We came home and celebrated our son’s 8 month anniversary. My mom came over and we took pictures of all seven of us together, something that doesn’t happen very often. It was really nice and will give Matthew something special to remember that he was 8 months old when his family went tech free on his first Family Day. He will know how much we enjoyed it by the smiles on our faces.

    • Jeff says, February 22, 2012 at 12:29 am

      Love to hear you got some pictures of all of you together–sounds like a great day Mike!

  10. Anne Marie says, February 21, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    We had a great family day! For the simple fact of nice weather I think many families are saying the same thing. From our lips straight to the ears of God. (Thank you God for that special blessing.) My kids were so excited to have our undivided attention for the day. The goal was to find something each kid enjoyed and do it. So the day began with Freeze Dance where everyone got to show their favourite moves. After heating up the house we headed out and happened upon a great sledding hill. It is a bit of a hidden gem in the south end and had enough hills to suit various ‘risk’ seeking appetites. The fun didn’t end there though because close by was a outdoor rink that after a friendly neighbour shovelled was all ours. Not everyone had skates but it didn’t stop the fun. Because the weather was so nice the kids were free to skate until their legs buckled instead of their toes froze. Our youngest even learnt to skate. After big bowls of DQ ice cream and McD’s pies we headed home to raid the game closet. By the days end we were tired and talked out.
    Thank you for the challenge. I think we will continue to carry much of this forward. We had a great day and in the words of my son. “The best Family Day ever.”

    • Jeff says, February 22, 2012 at 12:28 am

      Freeze Dance and DQ–we love the cold theme Anne Marie!

  11. Linda says, February 22, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Without TV yesterday morning, my three kids had coloured/sketched, had breakfast, got dressed, and baked cookies from scratch…all by 9:00am!! Then we went on to enjoy the day with my sister, her husband, my two nephews, my parents and our Katimavik billet student. Unfortunately, my husband had to work at the ski resort where tons of families spent family day togther. 🙂 Everyone agreed (with a little hesitation:) to go tech-free. We went for a gorgeous hike at Scout Valley, and even had our picture taken for SNAP! newspaper, as they was an event for the SPCA there that day.
    But the highlight of my day, was after the hike. We celebrated my nephews 12th birthday with a yummy homemade chocolate cake, made by his favourite (okay, okay…his only) aunt. :). After that, we just hung out. My highlight was sitting and chatting with my nephew. At some point during the day, conversation had come up about Adam and Eve. He says to me that he doesn’t really know about Adam and Eve, or the whole “bible thing”. He asked why his family doesn’t go to church and my family does. He asked why my sister and I didn’t go to church when we were young. Then he says he’d love to hear more about the bible. I asked my sister if I could get one for him, and she said if he’s asked for it, sure. Wow! I pray a seed has been planted in my nephew on his 12th birthday. None of this conversation would have happened if the kids had gone off to play video games after cake!
    Our day ended with a hot tub and Apples to Apples game. Awesome!
    Thanks Connexus for putting out the tech-free challenge. We loved it!

  12. Andria says, February 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    I should start by saying that our daughter left a week ago for an eight week exchange program in France and so she wasn’t home to share in our tech free family day experience. We started the day with a hot tub in the beautiful sunshine, followed up with breakfast that my 8 year old son helped me make, we then headed to the community rink to skate/play some hockey. A spur of the moment decision had us heading to Bracebridge to visit our grandmother to take her for a drive around the area and hear about all the places where had grown up. Our family day became complete as we received a cell phone call from our daughter in France, unfortunately this ended our tech free day!

    • Jeff says, February 22, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      I guess we’ll bend the rules for a cell phone call from your daughter in France. Great stuff!

  13. Jen says, February 22, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    We didn’t have an entire day tech free but did get a chance to take most of the afternoon out of the house away from technology to enjoy the beautiful weather. We were joined by some great friends from a previous Connexus small group. The seven us took the afternoon to explore the back fields of the property we live on, where we explored an old house that is still standing after over 90 years, we knew it was back there but never took the chance to actually look around and see it. We then walked further into the bush all the while talking amongst ourselves about everything and anything. We returned to the house afterward for hot drinks. Our company made their way home and we sat down to enjoy a scrumptious pot of chile and fresh bread that my brother made while we were exploring. A great day for the entire family.

    • Jeff says, February 22, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      Sounds like a perfect winter day Jen!

  14. Alli says, February 22, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Family fun day was wonderful from start to finish…Any day in February that feels like spring is worth extra thanks and praise in my books. We started our tech free day by unplugging the tv so the concept would become more real for my four year old daughter. It didn’t take her long to embrace the concept (honestly, she only asked for tv once)…..that being said, we kept our day pretty busy with “family time” so boredom wouldn’t drive her to “tv time” as it would most other days. We started our day with brunch at my parent’s farm with my siblings. Immediately following brunch, we were all called outside to witness the aftermath of a runaway ski-doo that had driven right into the side of the pool pumphouse……no one was injured (thankfully)…..my dad was left shaking his head informing us all in his defense that “it never starts on the first pull”…..and never rely on a stick to hold the throttle down for you 😉 After a few laughs and many pictures to share with those who wouldn’t believe the story had they not seen it with their own eyes, we took a walk through the cedar bush and around the fields to soak up the sunshine and feel gratitude for such a gorgeous day and time together. Who needs technology when you can enjoy a day at the farm? Never a dull moment and much to be thankful for.

  15. Ruth Anne Piggott says, February 23, 2012 at 1:48 am

    Our family day was quite enjoyable! My daughters and I slept in and then had a great brunch made by my youngest daughter, Sierra Lyn (10) . My older daughter, Marley Anne suggested we invite their cousin over to make it more family here for family day! We had our neighbours’ permission to explore a bunch of hills on their property. Marley Anne decided to try snowboarding for first time and grabbed my board and the rest of us took our sleds. We hopped fences and went a couple of fields back and spent the entire afternoon blazing trails for sledding, making jumps, had contests to who can go the farthest. We came back to a crock pot dinner and relaxed all evening. An enjoyable true family day! Thanks to God for the snow we got and the lovely weather!

    • Jeff says, February 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks for participating Ruth!

  16. Amanda and Todd MacDonald says, February 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I love the focus on this Family Day weekend. Its really catchin on! Thanks to Connexus for the technology free Family Day suggestion. We had a busy weekend actually. Daddy worked Friday and Sunday and we were able to visit him at the work on the Sunday. Our good friends, the Baileys joined us for their first tour of the new firehall. It was a great time for all of us! Colton, Jacob and Claire can really rock the bunker gear. The following day, Monday we went tobogganing with Olivia’s small group from Waumba Land, napped and then went out again to play in the snow with our new neighbours! We’re so thankful for our friends and opportunities!

    • Jeff says, February 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      The fire hall! Sounds awesome!

  17. Karen says, February 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Hey we had a great family day going technology free! We started the day by driving up to the family cottage to go snowshoeing. It was supposed to be -18 but fortunately that forcast was wrong 😉 After our hike we went geocaching and found 6 of the 7 we tried! The last one was not winter friendly unfortunatly and was under several feet of snow 🙁 Once we were throughly tired and hungry we went to my parents house for a delicious supper! We finally arrived back home around 9pm after a wonderful day of enjoying eachothers company and the great outdoors.

    • Jeff says, February 23, 2012 at 11:09 pm

      Great stuff Karen–geocaching is a great idea!

  18. Kyle Chupp says, February 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Family day was awesome for us! Last weekend was license free fishing in Ontario so everyone could get out and fish with no license required. I was really excited about this because i had been wanting to invite our small group and their families to join us on lake Couchiching for some good old ice fishing! I think a few were skeptics about the ice being safe ( something about lots of warnings on the news or something), or catching any fish, or it being just plain boring and cold. However, everyone came out and made it an awesome day. We hauled out tons of poles, chairs, and a tent made for three that im sure held 7 or 8 at one point ( it had a heater). We had lunch on the ice with some delicious home made chili, someone else brought hot dogs, and then of course hot chocolate to wash it down. Despite an unusually slow day of fishing, everyone’s family had at least one representative to catch a fish and put their team on the scoreboard. To top it off for me, our 1 year old daughter came out as we were getting ready to head in. The smile on that kids face as she riding on her sled is just amazing. We brought home some keepers and now they are anxiously waiting in the freezer until it’s time for small group potluck. I know what I’m bringing!

    • Jeff says, February 23, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      Love your initiative to get your small group together Kyle!

  19. Misty says, February 24, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    We took our kids for a nice drive up through Huntsville and Algonquin Park we enjoyed seeing all the gorgeous rock, trees, lakes that God put on our earth such amazing beauty in every turn. We hoped to see some moose or deer but none were out we did get to see a really amazing ice formation formed over a rock cliff in algonquin park and took the time to enjoy a family photo. The kids enjoyed playing on the snow hill by the west gate entrance filled there boots with snow. lol.
    The sunset on our drive home was breathtaking.
    We got our 5 kids home and settled them into bed.

    • Jeff says, February 24, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      Sounds like a great day outside!

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