Plan a Winnipeg Winter Staycation

Family Fun Memories in the Making

By Carmen Kaethler, Macaroni Kid Winnipeg February 1, 2021

Take a winter STAYCATION in Winnipeg with the family this year! The last 11 months have definitely added challenge after challenge for everyone and one of the roadblocks has been our ability to take vacations outside of our own community with our families but that doesn't mean we can't create adventures and memories here. 

We partnered with Tourism Winnipeg  on their #hereforitwpg campaign to give you some ideas of how you can plan a staycation with your family in Winnipeg. All the fun and adventure with out having to drive (or fly) hours to get there!

Watch the Reel of our staycation by clicking on the above photo

For our staycation we stayed at the beautiful Fairmont Winnipeg in the “Home but not Alone” package that came with a DIY sundae bar for the girls which MADE their night and a Caesar bar for us. Picking a hotel that was downtown was perfect for us as we were able to walk and get take out dinner for a local restaurant, Kevin's Bistro, which had a lot of vegan options for Dan, as well as easy access to the Forks. (We drove over but if you kids are a little older or you brought something like a sleigh to pull them in when they decided they can't walk the few blocks...which we didn' could easily walk over to.)

When you pack for your staycation plan to relax in the hotel room too, not just go go go! While we were there the pools were still not open because of the provincial restricts but our kids stayed occupied and happy in our room while we relaxed after check in. One because they gorged on the DIY sundae bar as soon as it arrived but also because I always pack a bag of activities when we travel. My go to kit includes colouring books, crayons, sketch book with blank paper and water colour paints, playdough or plasticine, a few of our board games, puzzles and card games, and a craft kit. This time Dan made the suggestion that we bring along his Super Nintendo Mini which he hooked up to the hotel room's tv easily. This was a great idea as it provided the girls some down time that didn't need us to constantly supervise. Highly recommend always packing an activity bag when you travel.

After the girls ate their weight in ice cream we packed up to drive over to the The Forks for an evening of skating on both the inland and river trails. We had brought our skates with us. (In previous years the Forks offered skate rentals but this year they aren't doing it. The Icicle Garden has skates you can rent although there are limited sizes. There are some great local stores to buy skates, new and used or you can be like us when we needed an extra pair of skis and call up a friend to borrow theirs if you aren't ready to invest).

The girls really enjoyed skating the in land trail which was great for us as we chose not to put on our skates so we could help the girls a bit more as they don't skate a lot. There are walk trails that runs parallel to the ice and the lights along the trails at night are beautiful so worth the walk even if you don't have skates.

Before heading back to the hotel the girls asked that we head down to the river and skate there as well. While we were down there it started to snow which made the night very magical for us.

If skating isn't your thing you can also bring your sleds and toboggans to go down the hills across from the stage.

In the morning we relaxed in our hotel room with room service breakfast (again delicious vegan option for Dan). The girls pulled out the Super Nintendo to play with their dad while I relaxed with a nice bath and read a book.

After packing up we grabbed lunch at Acorn Cafe and I shopped at Generation Green (where I bought a new Winnipeg sweat shirt) before heading out for the rest of our adventure. The original plan was to enjoy the murals of the West End but it was very blustery so figured we'd do something a little more 'snow' themed and check out the Bears of Barrington, polar bear snow sculptures, which are at the corner of Barrington and Dunkirk.

Click above for our REEL of the Bears on Barrington 

After we had our fill of the snow sculptures we  drove out to Harbourview Park to go Cross Country skiing with the skis we rented from the Icicle Garden at Plain Bicycle. Harbourview is a great place in the north east end of the city for FREE family fun. During the winter they have toboggan hills, ice skating on the pond behind the pro shop and groomed ski trails around the golfing greens. The city website says that they rent out skis but I wasn't able to get ahold of them prior to going and they weren't open when we got there so I'm happy I arranged alternative ways to have skis. Its very likely it had to do with the strict restrictions during January but I would recommend calling a head to confirm they are open for rentals if that is where you plan to get your skis. 

This staycation was long over due for our family and something I can't recommend enough, especially this winter when we have so many restrictions on travel. There is so much to do in Winnipeg in the Winter that you will be amazed at the memories you make.