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Fun spots to visit with children during the winter

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I hope that all the readers of this column have had an enjoyable Christmas and holiday season.

Certainly the people of Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley have the gift of music and the arts in their blood. Enjoying Christmas concerts and art shows is one of my favourite activities.

High schools and junior high have their annual concerts. Scores of churches in our area have wonderful choirs and of course, there’s the Canadian Mennonite University at the corner of Grant and Shaftesbury, which has choral concerts throughout the year. 

During my Christmas, the highlight is when my nieces and nephews come to visit each year. My brother and sister-in-law bring their three kids (one girl, aged five, and two boys, three and one) in from San Diego, and my sister and her husband bring her two kids (a boy and a girl) in from London, England. I exercise my God-given right to spoil these five fabulous children. After all, I do not have to deal with the consequences and I am pretty sure they will be back next year!

However, having five kids under the age of six has forced me to ponder what the heck to do with the kids after they have broken all the toys I have just given them! The purpose of this is to share with you some of the activities that exist around our area for kids.

Let's start with the obvious: Assiniboine Park. If you grew up in Winnipeg you are likely to have wonderful memories of Assiniboine Park. It has changed remarkably in the last few years and is an all-season playground for any child or child at heart.

The ice skating pond has been expanded, the two old toboggan slides have been
replaced with a toboggan hill (I was surprised to see that the toboggan hill is more efficient than the old slides). I remember as a kid I had to wait in line to use the slide. There are no lines on the hill — just beautiful, safe chaos.

There are so many places and let me just list a few more: Beaudry Park, just west of Headingley, where I have many fond memories of cross-country skiing as a kid. The Assiniboine forest is always an adventure for children and the trails have been expanded since my day. There is Adrenaline Adventures, which is relatively new and offers tubing downhill and a tow rope to get back up the hill. There is also a great restaurant for the adults to watch from a warm place.

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