5 Days: Family Vacation
This five-day jaunt covers a lot of ground and will have the family enthralled with the diverse sights and sounds found across Manitoba. From sandy beaches to dense forests to sprawling prairie, you'll never look at Manitoba the same way again.
Starting in Winnipeg, head north on Highway 7 and follow the signs to Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre. Join a guided walk and discover the wonders of the wetlands, including hundreds of species of birds and other wildlife. Pack a lunch - you'll need it later!
Continue your trek north on Highway 7, turning left at Highway 17 to make your way to the Narcisse snake dens. Here, you can view the garter snakes either leaving (early May) or returning to (early September) their dens. Enjoy a picnic, then walk it off on a nearby walking trail.
Jump back in the car, follow Highway 17 back to Highway 9 and drive around the south edge of Lake Winnipeg, then head north to Grand Beach. Set up a campsite at Grand Beach Provincial Park or, if you'd rather not rough it, stay the night at a resort or cabin.
Enjoy what remains of the afternoon by hitting the beach and going for a swim, or just bring your towel and sunbathe the afternoon away. Nearby play structures and volleyball courts provide fun in the sun.
For a great morning, take the family and hit the links at one of the area's golf courses. If golfing isn't your thing, explore the lake on a pedal boat, kayak or rowboat. Take the kids for lunch at Lanky's Food Stand and try their great hot dogs, fries and shakes!
Spend the afternoon at Thunder Mountain Waterslides where you can experience the 70km/h bullet slide.
After dinner, stroll down the beach or check out the wildflowers along the hiking trails.
Pack up and hit Highway 12 to southeastern Manitoba, on your way to Whiteshell Provincial Park. If you're travelling on a weekend, stop in Lac du Bonnet and visit the farmer's market to pick up some homemade treats and gifts.
Once in the Whiteshell, head to Bannock Point to see the petroforms, stones laid out in the shapes of animals, human and in geometric designs believed to have been made centuries ago by First Nations people. Check into one of the many resorts in the area.
Work up an appetite - head out on one of the park's many hiking trails. Find the trail that's right for you - the trails vary by distance and difficulty. If you’re up for it, try the 60-km Mantario Hiking Trail, intended for experienced backpackers.
Have dinner in a West Hawk restaurant before calling it a night.
Start your morning learning about the formation of West Hawk Lake (hint – it involves a meteorite!) and other area facts at the West Hawk Museum.
Next, head to the Whiteshell Fish Hatchery, where interpretive exhibits showcase information about fish biology and the work being done to replenish lake stock.
Stop for lunch at in the Falcon Lake townsite before heading west down the Trans Canada Highway to Steinbach.
Once in Steinbach, visit the Mennonite Heritage Village and learn about the Mennonite history during the late 1800s. After you're done exploring, have supper at The Livery Barn Restaurant, which serves traditional and tasty traditional fare. Choose from any number of accommodations in Steinbach.
Head west on Highway 52 toward Morden. Take a short detour en route to St. Adolphe and follow a Routes on the Red self-guided tour of the town. Carry on to Morden and wrap up your family adventure at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre. Spend the entire day going back in time, participating on a fossil dig looking for the next big fossilized find.
Travel Highway 3 from Morden back to Winnipeg.
LIST OF LINKS
Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre
Narcisse Wildlife Mangement Area
||Interake Tourism Association||
Grand Beach Tourism
Thunder Mountain Waterslides
Eastern Manitoba Tourism
Whiteshell Business Listings
Mennonite Heritage Village
|Pembina Valley Tourism Association|
Routes on the Red
Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre