We just wrapped up a whirlwind long weekend with the kids in Winnipeg! My husband Denny and I were born and raised in Winnipeg so we were excited to take the kids back to our hometown to take in all the fun things to see and do. I hear a lot of complaints about Winnipeg so I was excited for the opportunity to share some of the amazing things this city has to offer! Winnipeg is home to some of the friendliest people, and we experienced that throughout our trip. They live up to their title of Friendly Manitoba!
Our trip was short and our to do list long but we managed to take it all in over the weekend. For the first time in years our 11 year old had to take a nap we did so much! All in all we had an amazing time with our kids and I wanted to share our experience with you! Winnipeg is a great city to travel with kids, there are lots of things to see and do, especially in the summer. We took in attractions, shopping, food, treats and more during our stay with the help of Tourism Winnipeg. Here’s what our family would recommend for you to see and do!
Our family had a great flight to and from Winnipeg with Flair Airlines. We were able to prebook our seats and luggage online making it a quick and easy check in process at the airport. From Edmonton to Winnipeg, Flair Airlines offers a quick 1.5 hour direct flight with options throughout the week to choose from. This low cost airline has plenty of ways to save money during your flight. By stripping back every costly addition, they help you fly for less by only paying for what you want. You start with the base fare and can add on from there, including checked baggage, seat selection, snacks and drinks and carry on bags. We are seasoned travellers and fly with our kids a lot, the low prices at Flair Airlines allow us to visit more places more often. We have cut down on costs by sharing a suitcase, checking in online, and making sure our carry on bags were small enough to fit under the seat. By making a few changes we are able to save on our vacations with the kids!
Having lived in Winnipeg we had never had the opportunity to stay in a hotel in the city until this trip! The Delta Hotel is located in the heart of downtown which was centrally located to all the activities we took in during our visit. This hotel was fantastic for families and has so much to offer during your stay.
The highlight for the kids was the pool. This property has 2 pools, one indoors and one outdoors. One day we hope to get back during the warmer months to enjoy the outdoor pool as that is a rare find at a hotel these days in Canada! The indoor pool was large with ample seating areas to watch the kids. It also had a separate kiddie pool and hot tub area to enjoy. Our first night we arrived the kids spent the night playing in the pool which they loved!
Our hotel room was on the club floor which included a full breakfast everyday. The kids loved all the breakfast options including the smoothies, cereal bar and variety of baked goods. My hubby and I enjoyed the hot offerings from scrambled eggs and sausages to waffles which was a great way for us to start our busy days. They also had appetizers available from 5-7 pm which we enjoyed the one evening we were at the hotel. The hotel also has Urban Bean, a coffee house and Blaze Restaurant and Lounge in the lobby.
Our room was comfortable and clean and the perfect size for our family of 4. It was great to have a fridge in our room for snacks and drinks and also a balcony to take in the views of downtown Winnipeg. We would definitely stay at this location again whether travelling for business or a stay with the family.
There are so many things to see and do in Winnipeg with the kids! Our time was limited but we made the best of it and took in as much as we could. Our kids are 7 & 11 years old and have always been early risers so we were up bright and early every morning ready to take on the day. On our first day we took in the sights at The Forks and the second day Assiniboine Park. We had so much fun spending time as a family and exploring the city.
Manitoba Children’s Museum
The Manitoba Children’s Museum is a fun family destination in Winnipeg. It is located at The Forks so be sure to set aside some time to do some exploring in the area as well. The museum is housed in the oldest surviving train repair facility in Manitoba and features twelve permanent galleries to spark creative learning in kids. You can find a toddler-exclusive space, an authentic 1952 diesel locomotive and 1910 Pullman passenger coach train, a splash lab, and more.
There was plenty to see and do for the kids, you can plan to spend at least a couple hours in this space with them. The kids loved Tapescape, a unique art installation and immersive indoor landscape made entirely of tape, including a slide! I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything like it myself, it was pretty neat!
This year the Manitoba Children’s Museum will celebrate its 33rd birthday. This location has over 150k visitors to it each year! During the holidays you can take in the Fairytale Vignettes display which includes 15 fun fairytale vignettes that were from the Eaton’s downtown store. I love that they have preserved these since the store closed many years ago. We would love to get back to check these out with the kids one day!
Canadian Museum For Human Rights
This Canadian Museum For Human Rights invites you to explore and reflect on human rights within Canada and around the world. Human Rights themes and stories are woven through the Museum’s architecture and galleries. The architecture of this building alone is stunning to look at and the building is filled with interactive displays to take in.
During your visit you will be able to explore human rights from multiple perspectives which is an experience for all ages and abilities. Respect, inclusion, cooperation and fairness are relevant to all and the stories within these walls provide a great learning experience. From the Holocaust to Nelson Mandela’s struggle for freedom you will immense yourself in emotion and inspiration throughout. Human rights are ever-changing, the Museum is intended to spark a personal commitment to positive social change. The gallery incorporates objects and images from events that have promoted human rights, and asks you to contemplate your own role in building a better world for all.
Over 30 years ago this space transformed from an abandoned rail yard to The Forks.It is located downtown at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. The building itself offers an array of dining options, local makers and retailers, as well as entertainment and events for all ages. During the warmer months you can take in the boat rides on the river and in the winter skate outdoors with the family.
We took in the sights and enjoyed the indoor market. Our kids loved the candy store (no surprise there) and we all enjoyed the pizza lunch as well! Set some time aside to enjoy a meal and take in all this location has to offer. Don’t forget to stop by the Johnson Terminal as well for a fabulous local toy store for the kids to check out.
Assiniboine Park Zoo
I remember going to this zoo as a child, particularly when they had the panda exhibit when I was in grade 4. It was one of my favourite field trips ever!
The Stingray Beach is a newly opened attraction which offers an interactive experience with Stingrays. The kids rolled up their sleeves and got right in there to touch and feel them as they swam by. The exhibit is home to cownose rays and southern stingrays. Pro tip: ask the staff where the feeding area is at the tank, they will swim to this area the most!
Journey to Churchillis home to Polar Bears and other northern species, something that we do not have at the Edmonton zoo. This area of the zoo is a MUST SEE! Spend sometime indoors under the sea where you will spot the Seals swimming, you might even catch the Polar Bears going for a dip! We had to stop by the restaurant viewing area to catch the Polar Bears, it must have been nap time because they were fast asleep! Be sure to also check out the polar bear playground and the restaurant area which has sweeping views of the bear habitat.
Besides the zoo, the Assiniboine Park is a great place to explore with the kids. We stopped by the Nature Playground which is a fun interactive play area for kids! Be sure to stop by the statue of Winnie the Bear otherwise known as Winnie the Pooh to show the kids on your way in. They also have a large shelter area which is great for a picnic lunch with the family!
I never go on a holiday without fitting in some shopping! I was excited to check out the newest shopping mall in town, the Outlet Collection Winnipeg. This shopping destination is home to almost 100 stores, many of which you can only find at this centre including Kate Spade, Torrid, Nike Factory Store, Saks OFF 5th, Under Armour, Justice, DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse and Portia Ella.
The Outlet Collection Winnipeg offers a FREE VIP Shopping Experience Program which is designed for tourists. They can get up to 50% off at participating retailers if they live 60km or more outside of Winnipeg. All we had to do to claim the free VIP card was show proof of residency to Guest Services. The card is valid for one day only and a brochure is available at Guest Services with the list of retailers and more details. They also have a FREE Gift with Purchase on a same day spending of $750 or more (can combine receipts from multiple stores)! Just bring your receipts to Guest Services to claim your free gift.
Sweets & Eats
One of my favourite things to do when I travel is find delicious places to eat! Winnipeg has a great culinary scene with many hometown must visits for my hubby and I. We took the kids to some of our favourites growing up as well as some new places we hadn’t been to before while in town. Our visit was short and we’d love to get back again to explore the food scene Winnipeg has to offer. So much has changed since we lived there but we love that the classics are still around!
Jenna Rae Cakes first opened their Winnipeg location in 2014, offering sweet treats and cakes. This adorable bakery can be found in the trendy Academy Road shopping district as well as at The Forks. We picked up some of their famous Macarons and Cookie Sandwiches to try with our family and loved them all! Their Academy Road bakery space was picturesque, you’re going to want to bring your camera when you visit.
The Bridge Drive In or BDI has been serving their famous ice cream treats for over 55 years in the Elm park neighbourhood of Winnipeg! When my hubby and I were in high school we often walked to get ice cream on our dates so this place holds a lot of special memories for us both.
Our family LOVES ice cream and there is no where in Edmonton where we live quite like the Bridge Drive in. They are known for their famous creamy shakes and multiple flavours of self serve ice cream but also have some new offerings including a fun collaboration with Jenna Rae Cakes! My hubby always gets the hot fudge sundae and my go to is the classic peanut butter shake. The kids tried out some of the crazy fun cones they had to offer this year!
Goodies Bake Shop is home to my all time favourite cookie from my childhood. I was excited to take the kids to try the Imperial cookies! When I was little we would always have these cookies at the lake, it’s a memory I fondly remember. Goodies Bake Shop hands down has the best Imperial cookies in the city, and I’ve tried them all. We visited their Ellice Ave location but were happy to see they also had a location at the Outlet Collection Winnipeg!
Myers Delicatessen is a must visit when we come to Winnipeg, we also ask everyone who comes to visit us in Edmonton to bring us their famous corned beef sandwiches! My family always stocked up on lunch items at Myers for the lake so they were a big part of my childhood as well. I have never found a Jewish deli quite like it anywhere else! Their corned beef sandwiches are a MUST try with a side of salt and vinegar chips and a coke, my favourite combo from the shop!
Stella’s Bakery and Cafewas recommended to us by many and it did not disappoint. We stopped for breakfast at their Winnipeg Airport location on our way out of town, it was the perfect place to enjoy an early morning breakfast before our flight home. I am a huge cinnamon bun fan so I really enjoyed their grilled cinnamon bun, the kids shared a pancake breakfast and my hubby enjoyed the breakfast sandwich. With multiple locations in the Winnipeg area it is a must visit with families!
The Red Ember is located inside The Forks and a great place to take the kids for lunch or dinner. We tried a couple different pizzas and really enjoyed their wood fired flavours. They focus on using local, ethically raised ingredients in their food and offer a variety of pizzas and starters on their menu. If you are headed to The Forks with the family we recommend you check them out!
This blog post was written in partnership with Flair Airlines, Tourism Winnipeg, Delta Hotels and The Outlet Collection Winnipeg. Views expressed are my own based on our personal travel experience as a family. We are thankful for the opportunity to experience and share our hometown with our children who equally enjoyed all the places we visited throughout our trip.