Cat lovers: back me up. Attractions are so much better when there's a friendly resident cat to meet. As they say....come for the cat, stay for the museum...farm...you get it! While there are several amazing cat shelters in Manitoba, this post will focus on tourist attractions that are enhanced by cats. Here we go!*
*Please remember to respect COVID-19 protocols and get permission/sanitize before giving the cats a pet!
1 - Integrity Foods
Riverton/Treaty 2, traditional land of the Cree
Cats, pizza, family fun vibes - Integrity Foods has it all. If you find yourself keen to drive up through the Interlake this summer, plan to visit on a Friday or Saturday night and experience Pizza Night at Integrity Farms near Riverton. This summer event features wood-fired pizza (you can pick the ingredients yourself from the garden, if you like) and tons of cute animals - including cats!
2 - Lower Fort Garry
St. Andrews/Treaty 1, traditional land of the Anishinaabeg
Wander within the historical stone walls of Lower Fort Garry, located approximately 40 minutes north east of Winnipeg and discover Canada's oldest collection of fur trade buildings (some dating back to the 1830s). While many of the buildings are currently closed due to COVID-19, you can still walk the grounds and keep your eyes peeled for Rupert, the site's resident cat. EDIT: We have received the sad news that Rupert recently pass away. RIP Rupert.
3 - Fort la Reine
Portage la Prairie/ Treaty 1, traditional land of the Anishinaabeg
There's plenty of reason to visit Fort la Reine this summer - if not just to meet Brooks, the fluffy orange cat who calls the museum home. On every Sunday in July and August (1 to 3pm), the museum will be hosting a variety hands-on heritage activities, included with regular Museum admission. As it happens, this weekend's activity is Fun with Farm Animals, so there's a good chance you might meet some cute critters!
4 - A Maze in Corn
St. Adolphe/Treaty 1, traditional land of the Anishinaabeg
Mark your calendar for August 3, when A Maze in Corn will open its gates to those brave enough to wander through its extensive corn fields. If you get lost, follow the sounds of farm animals to the petting zoo - which in previous years, featured a litter of adorable kittens.
5 - Morning Sound Farm
Sanford/Treaty 1, traditional land of the Anishinaabeg
Get close to animals big and small at Morning Sound Farm. In addition to meeting the farm cats, you can also see a goat milked, ride a pony or take a hayride through the pasture. To keep the atmosphere as safe as possible, pre-registration is required for your visit.
6 - Boonstra Farms
Stonewall/Treaty 1, traditional land of the Anishinaabeg
Take advantage of Manitoba's berry boon with a visit to the bright and sunny Boonstra Farms. Here, you can pick farm-fresh strawberries or visit the petting zoo to meet a variety of critters - think goats, rabbits, kittens, sheep, chickens and more!
7 - Mennonite Heritage Village
Steinbach/Treaty 1, traditional land of the Anishinaabeg
There's plenty to see at the Mennonite Heritage Village: from the turn-of-the century Russian Mennonite street village and the classic Mennonite house barn to the fully operational Dutch windmill and the traditional Livery Barn Restaurant. There's also a fairly good chance you'll see several cats running about - if my top secret sources are correct, that is!