A family winter vacation not in the budget this year? Get a little water therapy and a much needed boost with a staycation centered around one of these noteworthy indoor pools.
Day-trip to a community pool
The most economical option for a family on budget is avoiding paying for accommodations and just doing a day-trip to either of these cities for a dip in their stellar community pools.
Shindleman Aquatic Centre, Portage La Prairie
Just one section of Portage La Prairie’s impressive Stride Place recreation complex, the pool claims the crown for being Manitoba’s largest indoor leisure wave pool. It has options for every kind of swimmer, be it a ramp entry for toddlers, a lazy river for tweens, swim lanes for teenagers and a whirlpool for mom and dad. Note to self: plan a return visit to Portage La Prairie in the summer for a visit to its cousin, the outdoor Splash Island Water park.
Steinbach Aquatic Centre, Steinbach
Some of our favourite features of this impeccably maintained civic pool in Steinbach are a water slide that flattens out at the bottom instead of emptying into a deep pool (which is ideal for preschoolers who want to play independently) and the ever-cute smiling pigs fountain. An attached outdoor spray pad during the summer months means double the fun.
Overnight at a Winnipeg hotel
It’s well-worth the splurge to check into these Winnipeg hotels, even if a trip to the city means you just stick around the pool all day.
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, 1301 Ellice Ave
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott is the new kid on the block in terms of Winnipeg hotels with a buzzing family pool. We love that it has zero beach entry for toddlers and a tunnel water slide for big bro or sis. The pool area is intimate so it’s easy to keep the kiddos within sight and arm’s reach.
Holiday Inn Airport West, 2520 Portage Ave
The two-tiered pool area has a baby pool and a family pool with a froggy slide, but arguably the Holiday Inn Airport West’s coolest recreation feature is Pirate Cove Playland, an interactive, three-storey, pirate-themed play structure beside the pool that kids can get lost in for hours. Read more about a stay at the Holiday Inn Airport West here.
Victoria Inn Winnipeg, 1808 Wellington Ave
Kidlets never tire of Victoria Inn’s venerable Dino Beach water park (my 6-year-old still asks about the “dinosaur hotel”). The Jurrasic-themed pool manages to pack in four water slides, plus a hot tub, catering to kids of all ages.
Weekend getaway to a resort
Families cannot go wrong with a winter adventure to either one of these resorts that have a pool, restaurant and spa all rolled into one, and the best part is they’re set against a backdrop of nature.
Hecla Lakeview, Hecla Provincial Park
This designer resort 2.5 hours north of Winnipeg on Lake Winnipeg boasts two pool areas: the family water park area and the adult-only mineral pool area. The pitch-black tunnel water slide in the family area is rocket-speed and a sure thrill for tweens and teenagers.
Elkhorn Resort, Riding Mountain National Park
Elkhorn Resort’s new pool area has major wow factor. Trust us, your kids will grin ear to ear zipping down the water slide, splashing under the bucket brigade or climbing over the lily pad walk. A favourite feature is a massive outdoor hot tub on a raised patio that overlooks the serenity of Riding Mountain National Park.
Is your favourite indoor water park escape not on the list? Tell us about it.