Family Fun - Spring / Summer
Winnipeg’s family friendly activities and attractions do a stellar job of keeping both kids and parents entertained. On top of that, our summer months bring with them plenty of sunshine, meaning all you generally need to pack are some shades, sunscreen and your family’s sense of adventure.
The Great Outdoors
Winnipeg's urban nature reserve, FortWhyte Alive, is brimming with wetlands and wildlife, along with plenty of equipment and activities to experience them both. On the water, you can traverse their small sheltered lakes via canoe, kayak or sailboat (lessons available), while budding young biologists will relish the opportunity to do some dipnetting in the marshlands. For on-land entertainment, along with nature hikes around plenty of sites, make sure you stop by the bison herd enclosure, where you can get within feet of these mammoth creatures.
Water-based adventures continue at Assiniboine Park, where a mini waterpark complete with sandy beach are part of the wondrous, whimsical Nature Playground, which also boasts giant plantlike creatures that your kids will love. After drying off, you can spend hours running through the Snakes and Ladders-inspired play area.
Since you’re already at Assiniboine Park, don’t forget to say hi to the polar bears! Assiniboine Park Zoo features more than 200 animals — lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Journey to Churchill, the world’s most extensive Arctic species exhibit, offers a view of polar bears swimming right overhead that you won’t see anywhere else.
When thinking of the best places to spend a day outdoors, The Forks tops out most lists. Teens will flip when they see The Plaza at The Forks, where skaters and BMXers try out their best moves (this place is so mint that even Tony Hawk has shredded it). You can also hop aboard Splash Dash Tours for a pontoon boating experience that will have the whole family seeing the city from a unique perspective along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.
Just outside the city, you can keep adrenaline junkies happy at A Maze in Corn. While the famous corn maze doesn’t open until August, drop by in June for a zip-lining adventure. In addition to a view of the humongous field, you can zip across six different lines or unleash your competitive spirit on the dual racing line, before taking a rickety walk across the rope bridge. While you’re there, don’t forget to stop by the petting zoo and enjoy a hayride.
On the north side of the Perimeter, the peaceful wilderness of Oak Hammock Marsh takes you away from the city hustle. This birding hotspot offers nature walks, critter dipping, canoe rides and more. With over 30km of walking trails, ditch the technology and spend a day getting up close with nature.
If you want to get really wet, why not head to a waterpark? Fun Mountain Waterslide Park has waterslides, tunnels and multiple pools to beat the summer heat, while bumper boats will get you drenched. If you’d prefer to stay dry, head next door to Tinkertown, an outdoor amusement park for the wee ones that’s filled with pint-sized rides and games.
For high-octane adventures, hit the racetrack at Grand Prix Amusements where you can rev your
go-kart engines on Grand Prix (ages 10+) and Formula
Fun (14+) tracks. Mini-golf, Spaceball trampoline
and water balloon wars round out a whole day’s
While Spring and summer storms might keep you from an outdoor adventure, there are tons of great indoor venues where your kids can still run themselves ragged. in other words, bring on the rain!
A fad that has serious legs, escape rooms have quickly become a favourite for code-breaking Winnipeggers. Companies like Enigma Escapes, The Real Escape and Codebreakers invite groups of all sizes and ages to navigate their way through themed puzzles, codes and clues to reach freedom.
If it’s time to bounce, Flying Squirrel Sports let your kids jump around for hours (and get some exercise in the most fun way possible). If you have a large group to entertain, might we recommend trampoline dodgeball?
Channel your inner Spiderman at the rock climbing walls of Vertical Adventures. Drop in and be introduced to bouldering, while large groups can book ahead for an uplifting party! This is fun for all ages as kids five and up can give it a try.
For a sure fire way to tucker the tots out, try LaserTopia’s two-level,10,200 sq. ft. facility or Uptown Alley, where kids can play laser tag, go five-pin bowling, or hit the arcades. If your children are under 12, bring them to Hide N Seek Indoor Playground, or Kid City
Fun Park Amusement Centre pretty much is a showcase for all of the above, with climbing walls, a huge indoor tree house, dodge ball, zero gravity slides, arcades, laser tag, a trampoline park, and an upstairs viewing area for parents.With speedy slides, oodles of climbing space and a section tailored specifically for toddlers, there is something for all the kids. Adults may not have their own slides, but there is a full-service café to enjoy.
Entire families can swing for the fences at The Golf Dome. The driving range lets you channel your inner
Brooke Henderson, while virtual golf will have you
feeling like you’ve finally joined the PGA Tour. The
always-delightful mini-golf rounds off the whole family friendly
The Children’s Museum at The Forks provides hands on, colourful, inventive exhibits — a perfect diversion for creative young ones (9 and under) to explore new sights and sounds.
The Manitoba Museum offers kids a chance to run their own experiments in the Science Gallery, journey through the cosmos in the Planetarium, and explore a whole suite of galleries — including the ever-popular dinosaur fossils. Sailors take note: the Nonsuch gallery just underwent an incredible renovation and is now even better than ever, with a new feature that transforms the port from day to night in a manner of minutes.
The ever-climbing exhibits of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) bring families on an empathetic journey through past, present and future human rights issues. Several of the interactive galleries demonstrate how children have made a difference in the world, providing an inspirational model for your young ones.
A tour at one of the most visually striking buildings in the city, the Royal Canadian Mint sees families exploring interactive displays including Olympic medals that were created here. The Mint also affords you with the opportunity to hold a $500,000 gold bar, while you can also witness how millions of coins are produced for countries around the world.
Experience the savings
Several of Winnipeg’s museums and cultural landmarks are available to visit for just a few bucks, providing visitors with an affordable way to discover the city’s history and culture.
At the Manitoba Electrical Museum and Education Centre hands-on exhibits detail our region’s hydroelectric history. Riel House is a Parks Canada National Historic Site that commemorates the life of Manitoba’s founder, the rebellious leader of the Métis people, Louis Riel. Fort Gibraltar allows you to experience life as a 19th century voyageur while the historic inhabitants at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site will bring you back to the 1830s.
EVENTS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Kidsfest takes place at The Forks, with a four day festival featuring some of Canada’s best children’s performers and other educational entertainment. Drop by to discover countless games and activities throughout the entire festival (June 4 – 7).
The Red River Exhibition is a late-June staple for Winnipeg families. You name it, the Ex has it — amusement park rides, food stalls serving up some original creations, agricultural shows and nightly concerts featuring some of the region’s hottest acts (June 12–21).
There’s always a new act to discover at the Fringe Theatre Festival, with the Exchange District coming
alive with live theatre of all genres, from local and
international performers. Kid-friendly shows are always
designated, and Old Market Square will have buskers,
street performers and live music each night of the
festival (July 15 – 26).
For more theatre, follow the yellow brick road to Rainbow Stage, Canada's largest and longest continually-running outdoor theatre company. This summer you can catch (you guessed it) The Wizard of Oz (August 13-30) and The Drowsy Chaperon (July 2-19) at this brilliant open-air stage in picturesque Kildonan Park.
Folklorama, the world’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival takes over every corner of Winnipeg from August 2 – 15. Dozens of pavilions from countries across the world will be featuring their local song, dance, cuisine and teachings.
Finally, you can join the fans in the stands at Winnipeg’s pro sports teams. The CFL Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the soccer team Valour FC call IG Field home, while right in the middle of downtown you’ll find Shaw Park, where you can catch the Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball club in action.