Header photo by @laura_from_505
Gifts have been exchanged, carols have been sung, turkey has been consumed and after a few days spent in the close company of your family, ‘bonding’ has happened and you’re all pretty much over it and each other. You love them, of course, but it is time to get out and do something with your out-of-guests that doesn’t involve Aunt Sue asking you yet again why you’re still single.
1. Outdoor magic
With all those candy canes and egg nog taking up residence in your belly, it’s time to get out and get moving. Head to FortWhyte Alive to take in a host of winter themed fun from ice fishing to screaming down a snow ramp that shoots you out on the frozen lake. Take a walk through the frost covered trails and then warm up with a cup of something at the café.
2. Check out the critters
Did you know the Assiniboine Park Zoo is open all year long? Head over to visit with the snow leopards, wolves and arctic foxes, and of course, walk the tunnel inside the Journey to Churchill and get a glimpse of the majestic kings and queens of the north, the polar bears. Time for snack? Take a break at the Tundra Grill where the coffee will be hot and the little ones can burn off some energy in the indoor playground.
3. Get a little historic
The Manitoba Museum is the kind of place that can work for all kinds of tastes. The Science Gallery will entertain kids and the kids-at-heart, while a show at the planetarium will dazzle those who want to contemplate the vastness of the universe, or quite frankly, just want a dark, comfy spot to sit down. Head to the gallery upstairs for life-sized bison hunt, replica of a Hudson Bay trading ship and a Winnipeg street scape circa 1920.
4. Remember the love
While they might drive you a little cuckoo, you love your family and you’re happy to have them in your life. If you need a reminder, head to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, where an exploration of human rights through the past and present, makes way for a look at a brighter future and the realization that deep down it’s all about the love.
5. Get gaming
There’s something about a board game that brings out the joy and excitement in a group of people. Head to the Across the Board Game Café and pick from hundreds of board and card games to get your gang in a jollier mood. Game masters can help you choose the perfect challenge, while a menu full of goodies, will keep everyone happy.
6. Water park fun
Book at night at Elkhorn Resort in Riding Mountain for a real adventure. Kids will love the indoor water park, while their grownups can enjoy some relaxation time and at the spa. Rent some cross-country skis, snow shoes or skates and get out side and enjoy winter’s outdoor playground.
7. Follow the shiny things
Spend a few hours at the Royal Canadian Mint where much of the world’s coins are made. This real-life working facility is chock full of shiny coins for you to feast your eyes on. Take a tour and get the chance to hold a real gold bar worth more than all your Christmas gifts combined for your entire life, probably.
8. Heart of the city
Nothing beats The Forks on a winter day. The whole family can rent skates and make their way through the paths that line the area—complete with gorgeous twinkling light displays. Once everyone’s cheeks are rosy, head into the market for wine, beer, hot chocolate and every other treat you can imagine (I mean what’s one more, amiright?)
9. Find true relaxation
If you’ve only got adults to contend with (or you can trick someone into staying home with the kids), then head to Thermea for the ultimate in post-holiday relaxation. Enjoy the saunas, the pools and the delicious menu inside the restaurant. Perhaps the best part? They ask that people keep talking to a minimum, so if you’re really sick of Uncle Bob asking when you’re going to get a real job one day, you’ll have the perfect excuse not to answer.