Rally the Kids! Family Time in Portage la Prairie

Posted February 14, 2024 | Author Shel Zolkewich

Loaded with state-of-the-art facilities, Portage la Prairie shines when it comes to parks and recreation. From Manitoba’s largest indoor wave pool to a towering rock-climbing wall, the prairie city promises to delight every adventurer in your group.

Check In and Check It Out!

The fun in Portage La Prairie starts with a stay at Canad Inns Destination Centre where the first order of business is a dip in Splasher’s Indoor Pool & Waterslide. The winding, big yellow slide invites repeat visits for the brave while the kiddie pool with its warm water keeps the younger crowd at play. There’s even a hot tub tucked into the cozy, wood clad room and plenty of tables and chairs for relaxation.

Take your pick of guest rooms including those especially designed for travels with your four-legged friends. Enjoy a big breakfast of French toast and bacon at Aalto’s, and if you’re a fan of curling, pop into the Portage la Prairie Curling Club to catch a game. It’s all under one roof, including Tavern United sports bar for loaded burgers, wings and a kid’s menu featuring the Splasher’s Smashed Cheeseburger!

Slide into Stride

Stride Place Arena

Shindleman Aquatic Centre

There’s always something going on at Stride Place, home to a pair of NHL-sized arenas that host tournaments, practices, games and shows on ice. It’s also home to the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League that delight fans with fast action in the 2,000-seat arena, complete with suites and concession stands. Lace up for public skate sessions or get your steps in on the walking track that circles the ice surface.

Under the same roof is the Shindleman Aquatic Centre where splish-splashing fun awaits in every corner. There are six swim lanes, a lazy river, kiddie pool, big red waterslide and a 14-person hot tub—all inside the light and bright space.

Good Eats!

Over the Coals Restaurant

Little Spruce Cafe

Mole Guacamole

Stop for lunch at Over The Coals where the bacon double cheeseburger poutine promises to refuel the hungriest in your crowd. Greek specialties are on the menu here including pita wraps, souvlaki and Greek salad loaded with feta.

There’s always a couple of hearty soups simmering at Little Spruce Café —the perfect starter for creative sandwiches like the Spicy Peach Chicken Brie Melt or impressive burgers like the Whisky BBQ Bacon. On Saturday evenings, the café switches over to cocktails and small plates featuring seasonal ingredients. Start with the lemony Bee Five cocktail and nibble on the Little Elm Board of cheeses and meats and pork dumplings with sweet ginger glaze.

Bring your appetite to Mole Guacamole for authentic Mexican fare inside the Midtown Motor Inn. Start with chips, salsa and guacamole then move on to a crispy chimichanga loaded with chipotle chicken and cheese. Wash it all down with a Mexican soda or zippy lime margarita.

Check out the Retail Gems

Portage MCC Thrift Shop

Solomon's Home, Garden and Gift

The Portage MCC Thrift Shop is a must stop! From toys to tableware and clothing to collectibles, the Saskatchewan Avenue shop promises a treasure or two with every visit. It’s also the place to stock up on fair trade coffee, tea and chocolate.

Open year round, Solomon’s Home, Garden and Gift has a delightful selection of stuffed toys and books that make perfect gifts. Plan to spend some time browsing the kitchenware, home décor and clothing sections, and get your hint of spring with their selection of succulents and houseplants.

Super Fun in Southport!

Just three kilometres south of the city, the community of Southport is home to the Central Plains RecPlex, a recreation facility that includes an indoor track, fully equipped fitness club (with drop-in rates) and a massive gymnasium. There’s also a nine-metre rock climbing wall that will challenge beginners and novices alike. And it’s home to Southport Bowl for five lanes of five-pin fun including glow bowling. And yes, bumper rails are available for beginners and those less likely to throw a strike. Pizzas, snacks and drinks are available at Brews + Bites onsite to refuel after that serious game.

Whether it’s a hockey tournament that brings you to Portage la Prairie or your choice for a weekend getaway destination, the city is full of family friendly activities and great food for a few days of fun.

About The Author

A journalist by trade and an adventurer at heart, my career has included stints as a reporter, magazine writer, editor, food stylist, television cook and digital marketer. I am always collecting stories about Manitoba, whether I’m on assignment or not.