1. Winnipeg Folk Festival
Going to Folk Fest is a tradition for many families because there’s so much for everyone to hear and do at this four-day festival at Birds Hill Provincial Park. There are nine stages of music featuring everything from world music to rock to, yes, folk and more! Children ages 12 and under get in free when accompanied by an adult, and there’s a family area filled with arts and crafts, a reading tent and the Chickadee Bigtop stage, where children’s performers like Benedettiville and Gustavo and the Green Fools will entertain the little ones. If your family loves the great outdoors and likes to rough it, you can buy a four-day ticket that includes camping at the festival site.
When: July 7 to 10
More info: winnipegfolkfestival.ca
2. Kids Fringe
On weekends during the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, there’s tons of free fun for kids in Old Market Square as part of Kids Fringe. There, you’ll find creative workshops, crafts, entertainers and more! During the festival, you can also check out kid-friendly performances, including storytelling, puppetry, magic and musicals, at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People at the Forks, where shows are priced at $5 for kids ages 12 and under when accompanied by an adult.
When: July 13 to 24
More info: winnipegfringe.com
3. Odd Squad: The Movie
Hilarious, smart and great at teaching kids math—what’s not to love about the TV show Odd Squad? Now there’s a feature-length movie playing on July 16 at 11 a.m. at 90 theatres across Canada—including three in Winnipeg—as part of Cineplex Family Favourites. In the movie, Ms. O and her team of young Odd Squad agents face off against Weird Team, a group of adults led by Weird Tom (30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer). Will the Odd Squad agents be able to save the world with math and problem solving? You’ll be able to find out soon!
When: July 16
More info: oddsquadthemovie.com
4. Ballet in the Park
Enchant your tiny dancer at one of three free performances by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet at Assiniboine Park’s Lyric Theatre to launch the company’s 77th season. The shows begin at 7:30 p.m., and there will be food trucks parked nearby if your kids get hungry. Be prepared for crowds, as this popular event is attended by 20,000 people each year.
When: July 27 to 29
More info: rwb.org
5. Prairie Dog Central Railway
It’s one thing to go for a ride on a vintage locomotive, but when you add entertainment to the package, it’s a whole other level of fun. The Prairie Dog Central Railway offers trips throughout the summer, including the Mr. Circus Comes to Town ride on July 31, where passengers travel on a short-line railway to the communities of Grosse Isle or Warren and back again to Inkster Junction Station. On this ride, Mr. Circus performs his comedy circus act, which features juggling and plenty of audience participation, at the stopover at Grosse Isle. The whole trip lasts just under four hours. Tickets for this event are $20.95 for kids ages 13 and under and $28.95 for those 14 and up. Babies under two are free if they’re sitting on an adult’s lap.
When: Trips run through October. Mr. Circus Comes to Town takes place on July 31
More info: pdcrailway.com
6. Movies in the Park
Pack up some low folding chairs or a large blanket and take the kids to Assiniboine Park on Friday nights in August to watch favourites like The Good Dinosaur and Inside Out at the 7 p.m. shows or Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Footloose at the 9:15 p.m. shows. All of this free movie-going takes place outdoors at the Lyric Theatre.
When: August 5, 12, 19 and 26
More info: assiniboinepark.ca
7. The Manitoba Museum
With its museum galleries, planetarium and science gallery, there is a lot to explore at The Manitoba Museum. Kids with a penchant for prehistoric creatures will love visiting the interactive Dino Dig Discovery Room, which opened on May 6. There, they can dig in the pit for real fossils and museum-quality replicas of dino teeth and match their findings with pictures of dinosaurs to help identify and learn about these giant reptiles. There are also mini dig pits filled with dino toys for kids ages three and under to find. August 11 is a big day at the museum, as that’s when the 90-million-year-old pliosaur fossil (and a full-scale replica of the swimming reptile that ruled the sea over what is now Manitoba during the Cretaceous Period) is expected to arrive at its home in the Earth History Gallery.
When: All year round
More info: manitobamuseum.ca
8. FortWhyte Alive and FortWhyte Farms
This outdoor experience centre and its sister urban farm offer tons of fun options for families, including canoeing, nature activities and yoga. The cost for admission to FortWhyte Alive is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $6 for students and children, with free entry for kids under three. In July and August, they host free Family Fishing (and Fish Fry!) Fridays, and on July 10 and August 7, there is a free kids’ craft at 1 p.m. to honour FortWhyte Alive’s 50th anniversary. Your family will also have a blast going on a Bison Safari, where they’ll get the chance to travel by bus through FortWhyte Alive’s bison prairie to meet these gorgeous animals. The Bison Safari is available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through July and August. The cost is $5 for kids under 12 who are accompanied by an adult and $15 for adults. At FortWhyte Farms, admission is free with your FortWhyte Alive ticket. They also host special events, like their Honey Harvest workshop on August 9 from 6 to 8 p.m., which costs $17 to participate (and kids must register with an adult).
When: All year round
More info: fortwhyte.org
9. Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre
Located 20 kilometres north of Winnipeg, the Oak Hammock Marsh Wildlife Management Area is well known among birders and features 30 kilometres of trails that will allow you and your kids to check out prairie marsh, artesian springs, tall-grass prairies and more. The Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre offers many guided educational nature programs, including a bird-banding program where visitors can help track these creatures on Fridays from May to late September. There are also exhibits to see at the centre, as well as fun events like Hazy, Lazy Days of Summer, which is being held on the August long weekend (July 30 to August 1). Kids will be able to cool off by participating in a toe-dipping contest at the artesian spring, which bubbles along at 4°C despite the summer heat, and build milk-carton boats to race on the creek. There will also be guided Voyageur Canoe rides through the marsh. The cost to visit the Oak Hammock Marsh is $8 for adults, $7 for youth ages three to 17, and $26 for a family of two adults and up to four children.
When: All year round
More info: oakhammockmarsh.ca