For nature enthusiasts -- which should be all of you (kids get off your smart phones as soon as you finish reading this and go outdoors) -- one of the best places in the city is FortWhyte Alive.
It's a stunning nature reserve located right inside of Winnipeg. It's the home to North America's largest urban bison herd (which I will have you know is the largest land animal on the continent), lakes which you can canoe and sail on, countless nature trails through the aspen forests, and an events calendar filled with tours, workshops, and other cool things for the whole family to do.
Plus, the whole place is guided by an expert staff of scientists, naturalists and even a couple seasoned hatchet throwers (I kid you not, one does not make jokes when it comes to the delicate art of hatchet throwing.)
This all makes FortWhyte Alive a great place to visit anytime during the year, but that being said, you must certainly make a point to go when they put on special events.
And boy, oh boy, they have the big daddy of all events coming up on Sunday, April 24 (from 10 a.m to 4 p.m), for Earth Day, which also just happens to mark FortWhyte Alive's 50th anniversary!
Around the FortWhyte office, those nature lovers and hatchet throwers are calling it their "B-Earth Day Party," so needless to say their will be good times and of course, cake!
It's going to be the biggest celebration yet at FortWhyte, so here's the skinny:
For the kids, they have it going on. For starters you've got classic FortWhyte activities like archery (which now every youngster is into because of Katniss Everdeen, and maybe Hawkeye, but let's not pretend that Jeremy Renner has anything on Jennifer Lawerence), geocaching, exploring the lakes in their massive Voyageur canoes, dip-netting -- where your little ones will marvel at the tiny universes that exist in the marsh waters, and interpretive hikes with humours and insightful guides where you'll get to get up close to those huge bison.
On top of all this, they also have special surprises like a performance from Juno award- winning children's performer Al Simmons (2 p.m. on the Family Stage), a puppet show in the main theatre of the interpretive centre (noon), face painting (they do a great Ninja Turtle and a range of superb butterflies), while those crafty folks from Art City will be creating a time capsule that will be buried at FortWhyte Alive to be unearthed in the future (which will be a great place to get rid of that Meghan Trainor album #hersongsareawful #sorrynotsorry).
And hey, speaking of getting rid of things, on Earth Day at FortWhyte Alive CAA will be there collecting your old tires and car batteries to be safely recycled, while Urbanmine will have a recycling station where you can get rid of your old consumer electronics.
Since we're in the "do your part section," if you aren't bringing in heavy items like car batteries and tires, you best be riding your bike (the first 50 riders to their Bike Valet will get a FREE FORTWHYE ALIVE FAMILY MEMBERSHIP #capsnecessary) or taking pubic transit, as they have FREE Winnipeg Transit service to the event with pick-ups at Kildonan Place (11 a.m.), St. Vital Mall (11:30 a.m.), University of Winnipeg (11 a.m.) and CF Polo Park Mall (11:30 a.m.) -- first come, first serve, bus makes the return trip at 3:30 p.m..
Finally, we haven't even talked about FortWhyte Farms, which is always incredible, but right now even more so than usual as a new set of piglets was recently born! #cutenessoverload
Anyway, if the piglets alone aren't enough for you (yeah, I know, impossible, just look at those little faces!) from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. they'll be doing urban farming demonstrations where you can learn about all the amazing things they are doing out there like beekeeping, keeping pastured laying hens, raising rabbits (also #adorbs) and starting seeds.
So mark April 24th on your calendar right now with a big smiley face, and make your plans for the big "B-Earth Day Party" at FortWhyte Alive!
For more info, check out their website.