Earlier this month, my family and I booked a staycation right here in Winnipeg, Manitoba and had the best time! A staycation is truly the perfect way to carve out some exclusive family time in a busy summer schedule. Today I’m sharing all the details on everything from my exact itinerary to how we felt about staycationing during a pandemic. Make sure to read to the end of today’s post for details on how to win your own Winnipeg staycation!
I’m so excited that we were able to team up with Tourism Winnipeg for our staycation because the team there really knows Winnipeg the best! They helped us plan the perfect itinerary for exploring the city with our two year old. Their website is full of ideas for planning the perfect family staycation, getting the best hotel deals and even sharing where to get the best ice cream in Winnipeg.
Winnipeg Staycation Day One: The Forks
On the first day of our staycation we visited the Forks for a quick dinner. We love visiting the food hall at the Forks since there are so many amazing options and the service is always prompt. It’s a great option for bringing kids along as you can walk around the building while you wait for your dinner to be freshly made. This time, we decided to try the pizza at Red Ember Common and loved the delicious non-traditional flavours. For dessert we wandered upstairs to the second level of the Forks to grab some macarons from Jenna Rae Cakes where Emilia was more than happy to scarf down her fair share.
Where we stayed for our Winnipeg Staycation:
For our Winnipeg staycation we stayed at the Super-8 Winnipeg East. The hotel was newly rebuilt in 2017 and is a great option for a family friendly hotel. Complimentary breakfast and a large pool are two notable features perfect for those with little kids.
We felt very comfortable at the hotel regarding Covid-19 precautions. The room itself was sparkling clean and all hard surfaces had been sanitized prior to our arrival. The complimentary breakfast was done differently as well. Instead of a buffet you could order directly from the kitchen where they would prepare your tray with muffins, fruit and toast at your request. Each table had a laminated sign placed on it once it was sanitized so you could easily see which tables were safe to use.
The pool usage was also different than usual with a limit of 6 people in the pool at a time and the requirement of pre-scheduling your half-hour pool time. The majority of convenient pool times were already booked up when we checked in, so we ended up having to wake up early on our second morning to use the pool. However, although it was a bit inconvenient, having the pool entirely to ourselves made for a fun morning ideal for our two year old to explore the water without all the loud noises and other kids splashing her.
Winnipeg Staycation Day Two: Deer Meadow Farms & Tinkertown
This was the first time my family has visited Deer Meadow Farms and we were impressed by the extensive petting zoo. My daughter loved visiting the baby cows and petting the goats. The highlight for me was taking the wagon ride to visit the fallow deer in the forest. The deer are stunningly beautiful up close and they walk right up to the wagon to visit.
After visiting Deer Meadow farm, we decided to drive into the city to get some ice-cream. I had seen a few photos of Milksmith’s shop on Instagram and had been wanting to visit their pink aesthetic storefront on Corydon for a while. We tried the Utoffeea rolled ice-cream and all agreed it was fantastic!
This summer was also our first time bringing our daughter to Tinkertown and she absolutely loved it. While she is still quite little, there were quite a few rides that we were able to enjoy together as a family. The spinning monkey ride and the carousel especially were two rides that everyone in our family had fun on. Emilia was also quite brave and tried some of the rides exclusively for little kids.
When I shared photos of our time at Tinkertown on my Instagram stories, I had quite a few DM’s asking about Covid-19 precautions so I thought I’d share my thoughts on visiting an amusement park during a pandemic. Overall, I was very impressed with how Tinkertown was handling safety precautions. Every ride was sanitized and wiped down in between riders and there were social distancing markers in each ride line up. That being said, it is a bit difficult to keep kids social distanced from each other and there were a few families that I felt didn’t necessarily respect my 6ft personal bubble. Wiping down the rides did add a bit of a delay between riders but even so, the line ups were short enough that my impatient 2 year old did just fine. It wasn’t super busy the day we visited but on busy days I believe they limit the amount of people into the park to allow for proper social distancing. Lastly, make sure to bring your own hand sanitizer along since hand washing stations are limited in the park.
Winnipeg Staycation Day Three: Assiniboine Park Zoo & Park Cafe
Visiting the zoo is a usually a staple in our summer itinerary, but this was my first time visiting Assiniboine Park Zoo since the Covid-19 outbreak began. Overall we felt like we had lots of personal space at the zoo and it was quite easy to maintain a 6ft personal bubble. All of the pathways were one-way with arrows painted on the ground directing you to the various displays. Our favourite animal of the day was definitely the tiger and my daughter was fascinated to watch him roam his cage. I was happy to see the butterfly exhibit was open and it was such a treat to watch the butterflies flutter among all the scented flowers. One thing I did want to mention to those wanting to visit the zoo this summer is that all the water bottle refill stations and drink fountains were closed. So make sure to fill up your water bottles before leaving home!
After the zoo, we went to the Park Cafe to grab lunch. While the Park Cafe is a dine-in restaurant, they also have a take-out window for drinks and sweet treats. While we were waiting for our table we picked up some herbed lemonade from the take-out window and were wowed by the amazing flavour! I would totally recommend grabbing some lemonade there then wandering through the nearby English Gardens.
Our Winnipeg Family Staycation Itinerary:
Check in to Hotel
Head to the Forks for dinner & explore the grounds
Grab dessert at Jenna Rae Cakes
Continental Breakfast at Hotel
Visit Deer Meadow Farms
Nap time at Hotel
Ice-cream at Milksmith
Continental Breakfast at Hotel
Pool time at Hotel
Check out of Hotel
Visit the Animals at Assiniboine Park Zoo
Lunch at Park Cafe
Explore the Gardens and Playgrounds in Assiniboine Park
Want to win the ultimate Winnipeg family staycation? Tourism Winnipeg is giving away an amazing staycation experience worth $1500 when you book a Winnipeg hotel then share about your stay on social media using the hashtag #SummerSavedContest. Check out the full details on how to enter here!