10 Family Activities An Hour North Of The Border

by on Jun 23, 2017


School’s out, meaning kids everywhere are celebrating and parents have to provide mental stimulation for an extra five days per week. Luckily for parents in Fargo, there’s plenty of activities to be found just an hour north of the border.

Winnipeg has dozens of family-friendly activities that will help parents fill a weekend away. With a thriving arts scene, charmingly historic walkable neighborhoods and plenty of summer events, a trip to Winnipeg is the perfect way to get out of town and reap the benefits of the low Canadian dollar.

Pack a suitcase for the family and let’s head north!

Tinkertown Amusement Park

Tinkertown Amusement Park

Tinkertown has been a Winnipeg family favorite for decades. Over 20 amusement park rides entertain children (and the young at heart), while the half-mile miniature train ride gives visitors a scenic tour around the park. With shady picnic tables perfect for a hot summer day, parents can relax and enjoy the carnival atmosphere.

Manitoba Museum

Manitoba Museum

The Manitoba Museum has it all: history, a planetarium, dinosaurs and a really cool boat to explore. The permanent galleries tell the history of the province in a fun, interactive way. You’ll be able to climb aboard a 17th century fur trade ship or experience life in Winnipeg in the 1920s. This summer, the Manitoba Museum is hosting DinoSnores—Night at the Museum–style sleepovers—for a truly unique experience.

Destination Canada

The Forks National Historic Site

The Forks National Historic Site

The Forks is one of Winnipeg’s most famous attractions. Situated at the meeting point of the Assiniboine and Red River, this site is steeped in history and known for its bustling marketplace, skate park and walking paths. Kids will love the water park and stopping for an ice cream at Neon Cone, while families will enjoy exploring The Forks’ rich history at the Variety Heritage Adventure Playground. If you have time, Parks Canada’s 6,000 Years in 60 Minutes walking tour is an easy (and free!) way to explore the stories of the curious and colorful characters that helped shape this iconic meeting place.

The Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum

The Winnipeg Children’s Museum is an unforgettable experience that seeks to educate through play. Conveniently located at The Forks, the museum is the perfect activity for in between meals at this lively, public space. You’ll climb aboard a vintage locomotive, crawl through a giant slice of lasagna and experiment with water and jets in the splash lab.

kids at zoo polar bear Assiniboine Park Zoo

Assiniboine Park Zoo

The Assiniboine Park Zoo is a can’t-miss stop for families visiting Winnipeg. With exhibits ranging from tropical birds in Toucan Ridge to the cold-loving polar bears in the Journey to Churchill exhibit, kids will learn about the wonders of the natural world. This summer, the Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit returns, with 16 animatronic dinosaurs and an interactive paleontology dig site.

Explore the past with a ViewmasterPhoto by kenora_pix via Flickr CC

Explore the past with a Viewmaster

Experience a time warp downtown with this free guided walking tour. You’ll learn about the history of the downtown area while traveling back in time via Viewmaster slides. Stops on the tour include the famous intersection of Portage and Main, the old Eaton’s building and Union Station. If you’d prefer to relax and let the city transform around you, hop aboard the Winnipeg Trolley Company Tour and ride through the province’s capital on a historically-inspired trolley.

The Mint Canada

The Mint

The beauty of visiting Winnipeg is that thanks to the strength of the American dollar, visitors can experience Canada at 30% cheaper than traveling within America. What better way to enjoy the cheap Canadian dollar than by visiting the Royal Canadian Mint? Every single coin in circulation in Canada is produced here, as well as currency for more than 75 countries worldwide. Look on as loonies and toonies are minted and join one of the family-oriented tours to lift a gold bar worth half a million dollars. We recommend booking in advance.

Prairie Dog Central Railway

Prairie Dog Central Railway

The Prairie Dog Central is a vintage steam locomotive that was in operation under the name of Locomotive No. 3 from 1918 through to 1961. But retirement was short! Since 1970, the Prairie Dog Central has been delighting guests of all ages as a fully restored vintage museum-on-rails. Experience the excitement of a train robbery, tour beautifully restored heritage buildings and learn about the history of the Canadian wild west.

The Witch’s Hut in Kildonan ParkPhoto by Craig Bennett via Flickr CC

The Witch’s Hut in Kildonan Park

The Witch’s Hut in Kildonan Park has been scaring small children since 1970. Its charming exterior tells the Brothers Grimm fairytale Hansel and Gretel, and inside the house, you’ll meet the famously foolish duo… and the witch, if you’re brave enough to venture upstairs! Also in Kildonan Park is Rainbow Stage, Canada’s longest operating outdoor theater. This summer, catch the musicals Little Shop of Horrors and Mamma Mia.

The Bridge Drive-In

The Bridge Drive-In

Once you’ve experienced all that Winnipeg has to offer, you will have worked up a bit of an appetite. While Winnipeg has a blossoming culinary scene, you can never go wrong with a delicious ice cream treat on a hot summer’s day. Travel down to Bridge Drive-In, known by locals as BDI, for the best soft-serve north of the border and creative ice cream treats such as The Goog. You’ll be guaranteed a peaceful drive back down south with happy, full kids.