Believe it or not, spring break is just around the corner and it's time to get out of the city and expose your kids to some adventure. Whether it's heading poolside for a weekend or taking a day trip past the perimeter, these awesome activities are sure to stave off any boredom that might settle in during a week off school.
A note: Since the weather at this time of year is unpredictable (let's face it, it could be -20 or +20), take this list and its parts depending on the weather and how much snow is left on the ground and what the temperature is. You'll forgive us if some of this isn't applicable come the end of March--we wish we had a crystal ball, but alas we are at the whim of Mother Nature, too.
It would be pretty easy to book a weekend here and never leave. Between the pool for the kids, spa for mom and/or dad and delicious dining right on site, you'd have everything you need. Depending on the weather, you could also rent from the hotel's store of skates and cross country skis and head out for some exploring. Be sure to visit their website for their package deals. If you've got older kids, you could also check out one of their craft weekends. They've got needle felting and essential oil bracelets workshops on the weekend of Spring Break.
While Elkhorn is located on the edge of Riding Mountain National Park, you could also have a completely different kind of experience in the park itself by renting an oTENTik. These canvas A-frames are something between a cabin and a tent and very comfortably sleep six people. Winterized ones come complete with an electric heater, wood stove, electricity, USB plug ins and all the firewood you could need. Nearby bathrooms are heated for your comfort, too. From here, explore the trails (by ski or foot, depending on the weather), and make your way to the nearby townsite of Wasagaming and The Lakehouse for hot coffee and scrumptious food.
If you're looking for a day trip from the city, set your sights on Morden. The kids will delight in a trip to the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre, where they can come face to face with a larger than life mosasaur named Bruce. Then stop in for lunch at Bella's Castle where a meal will make your little one feel like a royal princess or prince. Take a walk down the main street and explore some of the shops--be sure to stop into Pure Anada for natural skin and hair products and the Quilter's Den for the most incredible array of quilting supplies you've seen in a while. If it's a nice day, finish it off with a visit to Morden Park and enjoy its array of play structures. If it's nippy out, head to Sharptooth Adventures and continue the dinosaur theme for the day with this indoor play park.
What could be better than a few days away in Manitoba's second largest city? One of the city's premier events takes place during this time of year--the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. This annual festival runs March 25-March 30 and is a favourite for families across the province. World class horse shows, agricultural exhibits and kid's entertainment will keep you all busy for days. Book a hotel in the city--the Victoria Inn and Clarion both have great pools--and check out palate-pleasing restaurants like The Prairie Firehouse or Lady of the Lake. Be sure to stroll the downtown strip and stop in for a brew at Fraser Sneath and pastry at Chez Angela, and then head out to the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum and marvel at the vintage airplanes.
If you want something that is truly the most adventurous of adventures, book an ice fishing trip in northern Manitoba. Bakers Narrows Lodge is located just 1/2 km from Flin Flon's airport and boasts beautifully renovated cabins in the pristine wilderness of Manitoba's north. Book a fishing package complete with a guide and on site dining and make some magical memories as you reel in the big one. This is a great time of year to catch the northern lights as well, and this far north, the show is even more dazzling.
Another option is to drive east to the Whiteshell and book yourself into one of the many lodges scattered throughout the park. Falcon Trails Resort is one of the area's most beautiful and fills up fast--they currently have some open bookings the week of spring break but don't delay for long. From here, head out to Falcon Beach Ranch for trail rides and strap on your cross-country skis and make your way around the area's many groomed trails. You can also go to the north Whiteshell and book a cabin or poolside room at Pinewood Lodge. For indoor fun, the pool will entertain the kids and once you're ready for some fresh air, hike out to the bridge that spans the Whiteshell River at Nutimik Campground for a fantastic photo op of the spring ice breaking up.
If you'd like to get away for a few days, head out to Hecla Resort. This out of the way (but not too far away) spot is a perfect place for the family. Kids will love the indoor pool and waterslide, while parents can take turns at the spa and adults-only mineral pools and hot tubs. An on site restaurant will ensure everyone is well fed while an outdoor skating rink and plenty of ski trails will get you outside. At night, cuddle up with free DVD movies in your room.