Feeling glum because of the pandemic? We can’t fly overseas yet but we can travel. How about setting your sights on local wonders instead? You can learn more about your new home and support local businesses at the same time! With a bit of caution and a lot of preparation, you can still make this season a memorable one for you and your family.
Here are our suggestions for the best staycation activities this season:
Have you seen an aurora? Hiked in the woods or gone canoeing? There are so many amazing things to see and experience in our province! You should start in your own backyard. If you’re in Winnipeg, go to the Forks, Assiniboine Park and Zoo, Fort Whyte Alive, or roam around the Exchange District to discover its many historic sites.
If you want to go out a bit further, we are now “allowed to travel directly to parks, campgrounds, cabins, lodges and resorts north of the 53rd parallel from within Manitoba” (Phase 3 of Restoring Safe Services). You can choose to go on a road trip or day camping, or visit vacation cabins, yurts and beaches. Try Clearwater Lake Provincial Park just outside of Pas, Pisew Falls and Kwasitchewan Falls in Thompson, Bakers Narrows near Flin Flon, or Grand Beach on the shore of Lake Winnipeg (about an hour and half drive from Winnipeg). Also don’t miss St. Malo Provincial Park and Sandilands Provincial Forest. Need more options? See a list of provincial campgrounds and parks here: Manitoba Park Maps and Locations. Make sure to know local restrictions before you go. If you’re looking to stay over the weekend or for more days, you can book a cottage or cabin. Remember to reserve ahead of time.
Fishing is a wonderful activity that combines relaxation and sport. It also ideal in these times because you naturally physically distance yourself from other anglers to get good results. If you’re interested, start by getting a license. You can get it online.
You should also:
- Know the proper gear to use. The video below by CBC News will show what tools you need and some basic angler moves.
- Attend fishing clinics for beginners to learn the basics: Learn-to-Fish program.
- Get the Angler’s Guide to know the regulations observed in each region of the province. The guide also contains a list of fish species that may be found in each area.
There are so many great places to fish in Manitoba. If you want to stay close by, you can go to The Forks and fish in the Assiniboine River. Outside of the city, there’s a great spot on the portion of the Red River between Lockport and Selkirk. There’s also La Barriere Park where you can catch walleye, sauger, catfish and crappie. If you like trout, consider going to Brandon near the Turtle Mountain area. Farther north you’ll see a sprawling landscape with countless lakes and rivers. Here you can catch Northern Pike, Lake Trout, Walleye, Brook Trout and Arctic Grayling.
Fishing 101: A guide for beginners, CBC News
Some safety tips:
- There is a high drowning rate in the province. Always observe safety protocols when you’re on the water. Wear a life jacket if you will be taking a boat to go into deeper waters.
- Protect your skin by wearing proper clothes (covering your arms preferably) and a hat. Always wear sunscreen.
- You will need bug spray in the summer.
- Bring enough water with you and drink often to prevent dehydration.
Try something new
Have you tried any of the following?
- Go to a drive in movie – Watch family favourites under the stars and in the comfort of your own vehicle. Check the following venues in MB: Stardust Drive-In in Morden, Big Island in Flin Flon, and Shamrock Drive-In in Killarney.
- Enroll your kids at a Virtual Summer Camp – Kids can unleash their creativity and learn computer design software for drawing, design or animation. Check Red River College’s Technology, Art and Creativity Camps.
- Join a virtual Book Club – Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading! Enhance your experience by talking about what you’ve read. Check out virtual book clubs at the Millennium Library You’re also welcome to join our Reading Club where we go short story by short story.
- Volunteer – Every little bit of help counts! Winnipeg Harvest and Red Cross Manitoba are always looking for people like you. Use the portal Help Next Door MB if you want to make a difference within your immediate community.
Have a great summer!
Sources: Hooked on the idea of fishing? Here’s what first-timers need to know in Manitoba, Rachel Bergen, CBC News and Where to staycation in Manitoba this summer during COVID-19 pandemic, Rachel Bergen, CBC News. Accessed June 25, 2020.
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