Summer fun for the whole family
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/07/2022 (251 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, you might be craving some family time outside of your home. We’ve got the fix to help you and your family make the most of our short but spectacular summers.
- Dug and Betty’s Ice Creamery, 309 Des Meurons St.
Dug & Betty’s namesakes are two basset hounds, so it’s no wonder this famed Winnipeg ice cream shop has something for everyone — right down to the pup cones it makes for its four-legged guests.
With a takeout window and picnic tables, you don’t have to worry about your kids spilling ice cream here. Its family-friendly atmosphere, along with its house-made hard ice cream, is what Dug & Betty’s is known for.
Manager Chris Kirouac says kids love the blue-and-pink swirled unicorn ice cream, the bubble gum ice cream, and what they often refer to as “the purple one.”
“I never have the heart to tell them that it’s purple sweet potato ice cream,” Kirouac says, “but they love it. It’s unexpectedly popular.”
Dug & Betty’s also offers a long list of gluten-free and vegan menu items — and with flavours like vegan cookie dough, there’s more than your standard vanilla-only option (though, the tried-and-true favourites are available, too).
Dug & Betty’s namesakes are two basset hounds, so it’s no wonder this famed Winnipeg ice cream shop has something for everyone– right down to the pup cones it makes for its four-legged guests.
Also check out:
- Bridge Drive-In, or BDI, 766 Jubilee Ave.
You know it’s summer when BDI opens its doors — or, rather, its take-out windows. This Winnipeg institution is as famous for its ice-cold treats as it is for its location, on the foot of the Elm Park Bridge.
- Sargent Sundae, 2053 Portage Ave.
Sit on the patio and enjoy your Sargent Sundae ice cream or head across the street for a stroll through Assiniboine Park while you eat.
- Chaeban Ice Cream, 390 Osborne St.
Chaeban’s ice cream has names as unique as its flavours, like Salty Carl (Salty Carla is his dairy-free twin sister) and Glen Coconut. All ice cream is made from scratch and you’ll even get a $1 refund when you return your pint jars.
Nature and animal sanctuaries
- Oak Hammock Marsh, 1 Snow Goose Bay on Highway 220, Stonewall
Oak Hammock Marsh is one of nature’s gems, with a restored prairie marsh and the many mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish and invertebrates that live there. Its Harry J. Enns Wetland Discovery Centre is fully accessible, with an observation area and a café where your little explorers can enjoy snack time.
Jacques Bourgeois, a nature and wildlife enthusiast who has worked at Oak Hammock Marsh for nearly 25 years, says dragonflies are a draw for kids in the summer months.
“We do dragonfly surveys on a weekly basis,” he says, “with about 60 different species, including dragon hunters and shiners and darters — some really cool, medieval-sounding names.”
There are always events going on, like the Dragon Fly Festival that includes a dragon fly safari and dragon fly art or the Hazy, Lazy Days of Summer, with canoe adventures, toe-dipping contests and water games.
“We do dragonfly surveys on a weekly basis,” he says, “with about 60 different species, including dragon hunters and shiners and darters– some really cool, medieval-sounding names.” – Jacques Bourgeois, Oak Hammock Marsh
- The Little Red Barn Micro-Sanctuary, Charleswood, Winnipeg (Address is provided once tour is booked, for privacy reasons)
If your kids are curious about animals, The Little Red Barn Micro-Sanctuary is a great place to spend the day.
The sanctuary provides rescued farm animals a forever home, where interactions with the animals happen as they allow it.
“This is their home, and guests are entering their home and need to respect their space,” says Jessica Walker, who founded the sanctuary in Grade 8 as a place for children to connect with farm animals on a personal level and learn that they are “someone, not something.”
“They are all free to come and go around the entire property and not confined to a small space where they can’t escape unwanted attention,” Walker explains.
The sanctuary focuses on showing and teaching compassion towards animals, with private tours that can be geared to a young audience.
“They learn that each animal is an individual, with needs and emotions no different than humans or their pet cat or dog at home,” Walker says. “They are all different species, ages, colours, sizes and genders, but they are one family and get along together — something we could all learn from.”
“They learn that each animal is an individual, with needs and emotions no different than humans or their pet cat or dog at home.” – Jessica Walker, The Little Red Barn Micro-Sanctuary
Winnipeg has more than 1,000 parks throughout the city, though these ones have some extra-cool features you may want to check out with your family:
- Transcona Aquatic Park, 1101 Wabasha St.
With four water slides, shallow entry, a spray pad and picnic areas, this aquatic park is the perfect place to spend sunny days.
- Pirate Ship Playground, 150 Bluemeadow Rd.
The main play structure was built to look like an actual pirate ship, with a smaller pirate ship play area for younger kids.
- Glenn McWhinney Park, 401 Roch St.
This blue-and-gold-themed park features turf and seats from Winnipeg’s original football stadium.
- Jumpstart Playground, Grant Avenue at Cambridge Street
This playground is universally accessible, so kids of all ages and abilities can play.
- Kildonan Park, 2015 Main St.
This park features multiple play structures, a Hansel and Gretel-themed witch’s hut (call 311 to confirm hours), an outdoor swimming pool and spray pad (admission is first come, first served) and, of course, Winnipeg’s renowned Rainbow Stage.
- Nature Playground, 55 Pavilion Cres.
Located inside Assiniboine Park, this playground features brightly coloured slides, swings and plenty of places to run and play.
Amusements and attractions
Looking for some excitement and maybe even a little friendly competition? You’ll want to add these amusement parks to your summer calendar.
- Tinkertown Amusements, 56111 Murdock Rd., Springfield
If you grew up in or around Winnipeg, chances are you’ve been to Tinkertown a time or two. This long-running outdoor amusement park has more than 20 rides and attractions for young children and the young at heart.
- Grand Prix Amusements, Highway 1 (4 kilometres east of The Mint)
This amusement park features batting cages, mini golf, bumper boats, go-karts and more. Check the website before you visit, as some activities are only available on weekends.
- Thunder Rapids, 5058 Portage Ave., Headingley
Kids as young as three years old have a licence to drive — the go-karts, that is — at Thunder Rapids (kids two and up can ride the go-karts with an adult). Mini golf, batting cages and bumper boats are also fun options to try.
There’s no shortage of family fun here in Manitoba. For more spots to spend family time, check out Tourism Winnipeg and Travel Manitoba.