In Winnipeg staycations make perfect sense. A short summer season packed with festivals means that inexpensive - heck, even free - entertainment is to be had by just wandering around the Forks and Market Square. Toss in the odd trip to the beach, or lake, and you'll be vacationed-out by the time the Autumn rolls around !
Below are a few options for around the province. What are your favourite close to home getaways ?
Plug your favourites for others to try !!
1. The Old Dog is Back ! After a few years and $500k in renovations Prairie Dog Central's circa 1882 Engine No. 3 is back in service making PDC once again the oldest operating steam engine in North America !
Tickets can be ordered on-line but if you want No. 3 check what days it is running. (Related Media).
2. Walking Tours Why not be a tourist in your own city ? Get out the natty straw hat, slide sandals on over the brown dress-socks, click on the fanny-pack and let's go ! Some are guided, some self-guided, some both. Here are a few:
- The MHS has a number of self-guided tours for MB
- The West End Murals Tour (guided or self-guided)
- Exchange District Tours (too many different ones to list !)
- St. Boniface (also self guided versions)
- Historic Selkirk Ave (til Aug 30 by appt 586-3445)
- Hermetic Code Tours of the Leg
- Legislative Tour sans code !
- North Main Walking Tour (pdf)
- Muddy Waters Tours for something more entertaining
- Spence Neighbourhood (self guided)
- Routes on the Red has a great series of self guided tours
Of course, you can go here and build your own !
3. Wardrobe ! The West End Mural Tour was selected by Where Winnipeg as a must-do this summer. Looking back I see that in 2008 it was the Costume Museum of Canada (formerly the Dugald Costume Museum) that made the cut. I have to admit that I have not visited the museum tucked away at 109 Pacific Ave behind the Manitoba Museum but will add it to my list.
If you want to find other museums check out.
4. Bed and Breakfast If you really want a STAYcation why not a B&B ? I see there's a new one in The Gates called Cowan's Castle. How about a night in The Columns (which also stars in the TV show Murdoch Mysteries). If you want something further afield try Casa Maley in Brandon.
For B&B's throughout Manitoba check out this site.
5. Boat Tour If you've not had a water tour of the city you should. It's a unique perspective of the city. I also feel bad for the SplashDash guy - it seems like every second year or so there's some issue that shuts down the water bus portion of his business. Go and support him !
6. The Leo Mol Sculpture Gallery in Assiniboine Park should be a spot to spend some time to see the works of the recently passed Leo Mol.
If you want out of the city here are some options around the province:7. The International Peace Gardens should be in full bloom by now. It's a great drive and a great setting ! Boissevain is the nearest town and is a really nice place.
8. Small Towns ! I love getting out to small towns for their festivals. The best ones to go to, I find, are the special anniversary events as the towns are jam-packed, they make extra effort to gussy the place up and more special events than usual are planned.
This year the Town of Arden, (home to the world's largest crocus dontcha know !), and it's RM of Lansdowne are celebrating their 125th. The RM of Blanshard is turning 125. The Town AND RM of Shoal Lake are celebrating different anniversaries - 100 for the town, (a really pretty place), and 125 for the RM. All sorts of stuff coming up in the next few days to celebrate.
Check here for maps and links.
9. The Morris Stampede Part town fair, part business meeting for the industry, part circus. The Stampede offers one of the oddest collections of people you will ever find in one place. Great people watching opportunities.
I've gone a couple of times and though I don't follow anything rodeo-related, I have to admit that I've had a good time. Two hours from the city and you're in the very different world of the professional rodeo circuit.
If rodeo isn't to your liking they have many "non-tackling-of-animal" events as well.
10. The Inglis Grain Elevators National Historic Site is in the shadow of Riding Mountain National Park. Five restored turn of last century elevators. If you're city folk and live on the prairies you really should know how an elevator works ! They, of course, have other prairie history items as well.
That whole "Parkland Region" of the Province is absolutely beautiful. There's Riding Mountain, with Wasagaming and Clear Lake. Also Assessippi with the ski hill and golf course. Nice towns like Inglis and Russell near by. There's Dauphin with all of it's flowers, rec centre and great historic buildings and sites. There's even the tiny village (hamlet ?) of Kelwood that has a funky cafe / art gallery (that's always closed when I pass by) and it's own music fest ! Gotta love small towns !
For better or worse, those are some of my suggestions. Tell me more !