March break is coming up fast! As your kiddos and you are surely aware, you need to start planning now, as the city is going to be bumping.
Thankfully, we’ve created the Winnipeg Attractions Pass to help families see the most of the city all while saving big.
The Manitoba Museum, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, FortWhyte Alive, and Royal Canadian Mint are all part of this unique online pass, granting you up to 35 per cent off admission! Here’s how you can maximize a three-day Winnipeg Attractions Pass this spring, featuring even more ideas to fill your days with some of our best options for families.
Check in to your Winnipeg hotel and drop off those bags.
If you haven’t booked yet, use that link there to see all your options, while you can also find exclusive packages and deals for Delta Hotels by Marriott Winnipeg and select Canad Inns Destination Centres on our Packages and Deals website.
For your first dinner, The Forks Market is always a great choice for families as it offers an abundance of options all under one roof. Within the Market you’ll find tacos, tapas, sushi, pizza, pasta, fish and chips, Greek, Sri Lankan, gourmet hot dogs and burgers, and a number of other options (including house-made ice cream!), all executed by some of the city’s best restaurant groups, chefs and food truck operators. Ordering from the kiosks is seamless, plus there’s plenty of seating while some parents will surely appreciate the craft beer and unique wine options from The Common, its celebrated bar.
Start with breakfast or room service from your hotel then activate that three-day pass!
The Manitoba Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., making it a great first stop any time after opening. Here, you’ll encounter countless artifacts and specimens across a diverse lineup of exhibits that depict the history of our region. Marquee galleries like the Hudson’s Bay Company Gallery and Nonsuch Gallery–home to the famed 17th century replica Nonsuch ship (which you can board), are surely can’t-miss, but try to take in as much as you can, including the Earth History Gallery.
In Earth History, you’ll find some show-stopping pieces like a giant sloth replica (which many people mistake for a dinosaur) along with a 90-million-year-old pliosaur fossil that is truly remarkable. Kids will love this section as dioramas here depict the Cretaceous Seaway (that being The Western Interior Seaway) that once covered the region. This body of water was also home to mosasaurs, those giant aquatic lizards that recently came to popular prominence with the later Jurassic World films. The new Prairies Gallery will also astound, as it provides a showcase for the flora and fauna in the area everywhere you look, from birds and eagles hanging from the ceiling to fox and badgers burrowing below displays.
For lunch, The Manitoba Museum is surrounded with options—all of which are located within historic buildings with ample seating. Kids craving pizza will love the piled-on cheese at Corrientes, while its next-door neighbour Kevin’s literally specializes in mac n’ cheese. Saddlery on Market does everything right from tacos to burgers and share plates, while Cibo Waterfront Café serves Italian right beside the Red River.
For the afternoon, take a journey through the interactive galleries of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR). Located at The Forks, it’s just a five-to 10-minute walk from all of the above, so there’s no need to even hop in a car.
You can’t miss the CMHR simply because you’ve never seen anything like it (unless you happen to be holding a CDN $10, which features it on the back). The facility’s glass cloud façade encases the building like the wings of a dove, while inside the ever-climbing interactive exhibits you’ll literally emerge from darkness to light.
Give your family some time to explore the exhibits at a contemplative place, as much of the subject matter is stirring, sometimes devastating, but also uplifting as the Museum urges visitors to strive for a better world for all people. If it’s a clear day, you must finish at the apex, The Tower of Hope, which provides views of downtown, The Forks and Saint-Boniface across the Red River.
Come evening, keep it central and see what else is in store downtown. For family dining options, check out spots like The Merchant Kitchen–celebrated for its international street food, The Tipsy Cow–which excels with a wide range of burgers, or Hargrave Street Market–with its kiosks hocking tacos, smash burgers, smoked meats, bountiful salads, sushi and so much more.
Make it a morning in the great outdoors at FortWhyte Alive (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week). Located within the south west of the city, this place is brimming with natural wonders, while spring presents the chance to do some excellent birding as countless songbirds and larger species return here for summer. Trails through the aspen forests are great for hiking and biking, while you can grab breakfast or brunch from the Buffalo Stone Café (opens at 9 a.m.) while looking out onto its lakes.
Once you’ve had your fill of nature, treat your family to a little retail therapy within the Seasons of Tuxedo area–just a five-minute drive from FortWhyte’s natural beauty. The area is home to IKEA, Outlet Collection Winnipeg, and a number of big box stores, along with a few locally owned eateries amongst all the chains, including the bustling Trans Canada Brewery (it serves up some pretty impressive pizzas, and kids are welcomed), Holy Spice East Indian (a hidden gem on our Indian scene) or the super cute Korean spot, Snow & Moon Dessert Café—where the massive creations will not leave your family wanting.
For a fun spot to swing away the afternoon, The Golf Dome is just up the road off Kenaston Blvd. This being spring, it’s a good time to work on your swing at the driving range, or you and the fam could play a round of Virtual Golf or mini putt. Should the kids have energy to burn, Fun Park Amusement is also in the area, flaunting a massive indoor play area where kiddos can climb, slide and frolic, while The Hive Climbing gym is also right there, with its multiple walls and motto “you are never too young to start climbing.” For dinner, head to the West End to take your family’s taste buds globetrotting. This cool, colourful neighbourhood (it’s chock-full of murals depicting the area’s multiethnic history) has our highest concentration of restaurants. Here you’ll find everything from authentic Philippine, to Mexico-city style tacos, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, and above all Vietnamese and Ethiopian cuisine that’s tailor-made for sharing.
Start your morning right on the money with one of Winnipeg’s best breakfasts (here’s looking at you Clementine, Juneberry, The Tallest Poppy, Marion Street Café, etc.–click on the brunch category) followed by a tour at The Royal Canadian Mint.
On your way into The Mint you can’t help but notice the “parade of flags” that directs you into its grounds. Each flag here represents the countries for which The Mint mints coins (which is at 73 and counting). Along with seeing state-of-the-art machines that produce millions of these diverse coins, you’ll experience a number of interactive exhibits to test your worldly knowledge. The Mint also produced medals for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, while its gift shop contains many cool coins for purchase, along with memorabilia and special collectors’ items.
You still have one more stop to hit to finish off your pass–the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada–so on your way there be sure to drive through South Osborne to experience lunch and snacks from a few can’t-miss locations. For snacks, along with Winnipeg-made products you’ll want to bring home, see Black Market Provisions. Further up the street satisfy your sandwich cravings at the crazy delicious Hoagie Boyz, followed by the best ice cream in Canada (they have the award to prove it) from Chaeban Ice Cream.
From there, see your family’s expectations soar at your final destination, the Aviation Museum.
This brand-new facility presents the region’s history of flight in some fascinating ways, combining giant artifacts (whole commercial aircrafts you can board), with some of the strangest vehicles you can imagine to have ever flown (or attempted to). There are open-air helicopters that will have you scratching your head (or ducking your head, if you can imagine the blades rotating above), an experimental spaceship-like hovering car, plus plenty of historical tidbits that your whole family will love. Being in the western part of the city, this is an incredible spot to see the sun start to set as the whole western façade of the building features floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s also a second-floor observation deck where you can see planes take off from and land at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport.
Cap off your adventures in the area by starring in your own 8-bit inspired game at Activate, or go for more shopping at CF Polo Park, central Canada’s nicest shopping centre. Brands here include Anthropologie, Apple, Disney, Lego and Aritzia, while the surrounding area is home to a variety of unique, locally-owned restaurants that are great for dining–including gems like Preservation Hall, One Great City Brewing, all these other greats, and these bright new spots in Sunny St. James.