How I'm spending 48-hours in Winnipeg with my kids

Posted March 23, 2023 | Author Jillian Recksiedler

I love being a tourist in my backyard. I'm taking full advantage of my kids being out of school to take them on a learning vacation...around their hometown of Winnipeg. Check out our 48-hours itinerary, which combines learning indoors, fresh air outdoors, hot eats and pool time.

Day 1

Afternoon: Check in at a splash-friendly hotel

A water park makes or breaks a kids' hotel stay, so we're checking in at one of Winnipeg's top family hotels. The Holiday Inn Airport West is renowned for its giant indoor pirate-themed play structure next to the multi-pool swimming area. Various Canad Inns across the city are equipped with water slides at their Splashers water parks. Other hotel pools that entertain for hours are near Polo Park Shopping Centre: the spa-like Clarion Hotel & Suites, the dino-themed Victoria Inn, and the sparkling Fairfield Inn & Suites. We'll get a solid two hours of play time in before our tummies start to grumble.

Supper: Trans Canada Brewing Co.

This massive, airy taproom on Kenaston Blvd is bustling with long harvest tables filled with people, and I don't second guess about bringing my kids into the crowd - they are totally welcome! There are many TC brews on tap for mom and dad to enjoy, but the real draw is the much raved about pizza of both artisanal and classic varieties. The only-in-Manitoba pierogi pizza comes highly recommended and we can't wait to try it.

Evening: Activate Games

To burn off the 'za, we're going to check out Activate Games on Portage Avenue, a live-action gaming centre that's the first of its kind in Canada. As a team, we'll work to complete 11 interactive video game-inspired challenges, ranging from dodgeball to a dance off on a motion sensored floor (which my daughter will be all over). Games are suited for ages 10+ and it costs $25 per person to play.

Day 2

Breakfast: Park Cafe at Assiniboine Park

Quaintly tucked away in Assiniboine Park on the banks of the Riley Family Duck Pond is the Park Cafe. A great spot spot for morning breakfast. Enjoy a slow morning in the sun while spotting for ducks. The kids can choose from either pancakes, parfaits, or the park breakfast. And if the kids get full, grab it to go for a snack later.

Morning: Fun Park Amusement Centre

While waiting for the day to warm up, we'll spend the morning monkeying around one of southwest Winnipeg's indoor play areas. Fun Park Amusement Centre, near the Golf Dome, has activities for all ages - from rock climbing and laser tag for tweens, to a trampoline park and giant play structure for youngins.

Afternoon: Fort Whyte Alive

We'll start our outdoor adventure with a nibble at Buffalo Stone Cafe, the onsite restaurant at Fort Whyte Alive that serves delicious casual fare using local ingredients. The view from the large windows that overlook the lake beckon us. At FortWhyte Alive, we can choose our own adventure: walk forested trails to the pioneer sod house, explore the plains tipi and check out the resident bison herd, or engage in a scheduled learning activity that brings us closer to nature.

Evening: Return to the pool & Order in Skip the Dishes for Supper

After a full day of indoor and outdoor play, we'll retreat to our hotel for an evening of water therapy at the pool. We won't feel like leaving for supper, so we'll engage in a true Winnipeg ritual and order Skip the Dishes and have the take out delivered to our hotel room.

Day 3

Morning: Tour the Royal Canadian Mint

There's not a more entertaining way to educate kids about money than by touring this Winnipeg icon. We'll browse the coin collectors boutique and interactive gallery - the solid gold bar, which is worth over half a million dollars, makes for a brag-worthy photo opp. We'll sign up for an affordable public tour of the money making factory, and be amazed at the sheer volume of shiny coins that it produces. For boutique and tours hours, consult the Royal Canadian Mint's website.

Lunch: Leopold's Tavern

Some may overlook Leopold's as a neighbourhood watering hole, but word is out that this South Osborne pub is super welcoming to families (as long as the kids are out by 8 pm). The kids will love the cozy space all decked out in retro memorabilia while mom and dad will feel like they managed to have a night out (despite it being midday).

Coffee Break: Little Sister Coffee House in South Osborne

While in the 'hood, we will stop in at the new Little Sister Coffee Maker on South Osborne Street for a little jolt to get us through the afternoon. This hipster hangout is cool with kids, who love hanging on the tiered banquette seating with a hot chocolate in hand.

Afternoon: The Forks

No outing in Winnipeg is complete without a stop at The Forks, and we're going specifically to check out Phantom Amusement Arcade, an arcade pop-up in the market featuring old school games and machines. After a few games, we'll wander over to Johnston Terminal to browse the awesome toy and board game selection at Kite and Kaboodle (one of Winnipeg's top independent toy stores).

Supper: Brazen Hall

Our last stop before heading home is supper at Brazen Hall on Pembina Highway, another trendy beer hall that turns out to be very inviting for families. We'll cozy up in a circular booth and share a platter of fried chicken and smoked BBQ and close out our adventure in one of the chicest restaurants in Winnipeg.

About The Author

Hi, I'm Jillian, a marketer, communicator, traveller and Manitoba flag waver. Growing up in rural Manitoba during the '80s means I have a penchant for daytrips, maps (the paper kind), and prairie sunsets. I never tire of sharing stories about my home.

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