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Summer + sun = splish splash fun. This year, home is where the heart is. Make family memories by hitting the road, exploring corners of the province you've never been to for these wet 'n wild waterparks or floaty activities. 

Take the plunge at Splish Splash 

Splish Splash Water Park came on the scene in the summer of 2019 and set up its giant inflatable obstacle course on Lake Minnedosa to great fanfare from summer-loving Manitobans. This summer, there is double the opportunity for families to enjoy the fun as Splish Splash opens a second Manitoba location: Colert Beach in Morden. Kiddos can blast down the big slide or hang from the jungle bar, while tweens will love launching from the giant jumping pillow. Each park has a designated ‘professional launcher’ staff this year who can help any dare devils get optimal air. Also new, is the nightly race challenge à la the hilarious TV show Wipe Out. Splish Splash Water Parks in Morden is open now and has daily hours. The Minnedosa Splish Splash opens on June 26. Check website for admission prices.

Chill poolside at a community pool 

There’s no doubt that a local community pool will be the place to safely gather this summer…remembering to keep physical distancing practices in check. For a splish splash good time, consider heading out of Winnipeg on a day trip to a community pool in Central Manitoba, many of which are less than a two-hour drive away. You will discover well-maintained aquatic parks, fewer crowds, and the opportunity to 'show Manitoba some love' by supporting local businesses and attractions. 

The city of Winkler’s Aquatic Centre features beach entry for toddlers, speed slides and aquatic wall climbing. Further west on Hwy #3, the town of Manitou is very proud of its aquatic park that features a junior Olympic pool, three waterslides and a bubble bench. Treherne has a beautiful community pool located near the Cottonwood Campground replete with a mushroom fountain, lazy river and diving board. For major waterslide fun, Splash Island waterpark in Portage la Prairie’s is a magnet for families needing fun on a hot day. The town of Carman is only one hour from Winnipeg, and their community pool is tucked in King’s Park along with a new splash zone for young kids. Plan ahead: you want to get to all these pools early before they reach capacity. Each aquatic park has an admission rate.

Let the current take you away

If you prefer a more nature-based water activity for your kids, tubing lazy rivers – like the Pinawa Channel – has exploded in popularity over the last few summers. Nevertheless, do not worry; it is still possible to physical distance when on the water. There are a few tour companies to choose from for this Pinawa adventure: Float & Paddle offers individual luxury tubes or family-style UFO tubes; Wilderness Edge Resort offers overnight packages that include tube or rafting rentals; and Pinawa UnPlugged Eco Tours offers tubes with back rests, which is a nice feature considering you’re spending 2-4 hours on the water taking in the rugged Canadian Shield scenery.

For a tubing adventure off the beaten track, the Whitemouth River is a paddler’s and tuber’s dream. This lazy river winds through the rolling prairies as it transitions to Canadian Shield in Manitoba’s Eastman region. Located just west of the town of Whitemouth on Hwy 44, Bigfoot Paddle boarding & Rafting offers tube rentals so you can spend a few hours shooting the gentle rapids and relaxing in the sun. A tubing adventure for the day will cost you $20 p.p.

Camp where you can play

 

Camping is top of mind for many families this summer, and if you are not so keen on beaches and lakes (hey, sand and seaweed is not for everyone!) find a campground where you can park it and hit the pool instead. Family run campgrounds are dotted throughout the province, and the Manitoba Association of Campgrounds & Parks (MACAP) is a great resource for finding local campgrounds with amenities to fit your interests and entertainment. In eastern Manitoba, Lilac Resort offers a few nightly rental sites, which includes access to their tropical oasis-style waterpark with three pools and a variety of waterslides for all ages. In the Interlake, Rubber Ducky Resort and Campground has been a family go-to retreat for generations. With two pools, two hot tubs, bumper boats and more, there are many ways kids can splish splash on summer vacation. Oak Island Resort near Virden is a  gathering place in Westman for families who love the idea of mini-golfing, devouring ice cream, relaxing by the pool and camping under the stars.