Family Fun - Spring / Summer
Family Fun (#bestparentsever)
SUPERPARENTS TO THE RESCUE!
With superhero movies all the rage nowadays it’s a common sight to see your kids idolizing all these high-flying, laser-beam shooting, little-old-lady-savingsuperstars. How can you compete with such flashyfashion choices? Fortunately, you can still be the Superdad or Supermom for your kids by following this awesome itinerary that is jam-packed full of nifty things to do.
TO THE OUTDOORS, AND BEYOND
If it’s a boat life for you, may we suggest fishing, canoeing or sailing at FortWhyte Alive, Winnipeg’s urban nature reserve? This place is brimming with wetlands, wildlife and family-friendly activities that includes getting so close to a huge herd of bison that you’ll be able to hear them grunt and munch on grass.
No trip to Assiniboine Park is complete without a trip to the zoo. Assiniboine Park Zoo features more than 200 animals, including our famous polar bears that swim and play right over your head at Journey to Churchill, the world’s most extensive Arctic species exhibit.
Just outside of Winnipeg is A Maze in Corn. Come August, its gigantic corn maze can grow up to 10 feet high, while there is also zip-lining on the premises (which opens in June and provides a stunning vantage point of the maze), a petting zoo, and hayrides.
If you’re in the mood for getting soaked, you can also take your kids to Fun Mountain Waterslide Park where waterslides, tunnels, and multiple pools provide an ideal environment to beat the summer heat. Right next-door is Tinkertown, an outdoor amusement park for the wee ones that’s filled with pint-sized rides and games that they will relish.
Take it to the races at Grand Prix Amusements whose Grand Prix (ages 10+) or Formula Fun (14+) tracks are guaranteed to start your family’s engines. Even the little ones can get in on the action on bumper boats and bumper cars.
The Forks has loads of fun places to shop, dine and explore. Teens will flip when they see the truly awesome 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). Younger kids can let loose and enjoy the imaginative and creative Variety Heritage Adventure Playground, as they splash around in the water park, or climb around on play structures that present the history of The Forks. Manitoba Theatre for Young People is the spot for whimsical, kid-centric productions. Finally, you can hop on Splash Dash Guided River Tours for a riverboat experience that will have the whole family seeing the city from a unique perspective.
A little outside the city lies the peaceful wilderness of Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre. This birding hotspot has much to offer including nature walks, critter dipping, canoe rides and more.
WITH GREAT POWER, COMES GREAT INDOOR ACTIVITIES
If the weather is looking stormy, or simply if you are looking for some excellent spots where the kiddies can still run themselves ragged indoors, check out these spots:
In LaserTopia’s 10,200 sq. ft. facility, kids can set their phasers to fun as they zap it up in a giant, two-level laser tag stadium. Escape rooms like Enigma Escapes, The Real Escape, and Codebreakers allows the whole family (10 and up) to cleverly navigate through puzzles, codes, and clues to reach freedom from a thematic adventure room.
At Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park kids can jump around for some fun exercise, while the rock climbing walls of Vertical Adventures offer uplifting, muscle building times for kids 10 and up.
If your children are under 12, bring them to Great Big Adventure, a sprawling 12,000 sq. ft. indoor park featuring a mammoth 3,000 sq. ft. play structure, games and a nifty section tailored specifically for toddlers.
Families can test their swings at The Golf Dome where you can grip it and rip it in the driving range, play some of the world’s best courses in virtual golf, or practice putting at the always-delightful mini-golf.
At The Forks is where you’ll find the Children’s Museum, where hands-on, colourful, inventive exhibits provide a perfect diversion for rambunctious young ones(nine and under) looking to spark their creative energies.
The Manitoba Museum offers kids a chance to run their own experiments in the Science Gallery, journey through the cosmos in the Planetarium, hop aboard a life-sized replica 17th century ship (which actually traversed across the Atlantic) and see gigantic fossils in the main galleries.
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 kids 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, will have families touching gold bars and Olympic medals, while also witnessing how millions of coins are produced for countries around the world.
TRUST ME, IT’S FREE!
Many of Winnipeg’s museums and attractions are free-of-charge, including all Parks Canada historic sites and parks this year in celebration of Canada’s 150th, so put away your wallets and dive in to discover the city’s history and culture.
The Manitoba Electrical Museum and Education Centre’s hands-on exhibits detail our hydroelectric history; Riel House is a Parks Canada National Historic Site that commemorates the life of the “father of Manitoba,” Louis Riel, while the interactive historic inhabitants of Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site will bring you back to the 1830s.
IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE, IT’S…FAMILY EVENTS
The 35th Annual Kidsfest: a four-day festival at The Forks featuring some of Canada’s best children’s performers along with countless games and educational activities (June 8–11).
Red River Exhibition: you name it, the Ex has it, from amusement park rides, to food stalls serving up some “out there” creations, to agricultural shows, to nightly concerts from some of the region’s hottest acts (June 16–25).
The 30th Annual Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival: a slew of live theatre from local and international performers comes to town July 19–30, transforming Old Market Square and the Exchange District into one big theatrical experience.
Folklorama: the world’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival takes over Winnipeg from August 6–19 featuring song, dance, cuisine and teachings from every corner of the globe.