Grandparents, and parents visiting their families in Manitoba are in for a fun and fulfilling experience. If they are staying for several months, they will never run out of things to do. Aside from the usual touristic experience, visitors can also avail of activities for language/educational enrichment, or social and recreational engagement. Most of these can be found in and around your neighbourhood and are free or for a minimal fee.
Places to see, events to experience
I’m sure you are raring to show off the beauty of your new home to your loved ones. If you want a guide to must-see places and events around the province, we have compiled them here: 20+ free (and almost free) things to do in Manitoba. You can also inquire from Visitor Information Centres all over the province. You can get guides and information about tours to the best places to go to for any season.
English as a Second Language classes are offered, not just for permanent residents or refugees but even for visitors and temporary residents. If your parents or grandparents want to hone their English language skills, there are many EAL programs in your neighborhood.
- You can get in touch with the Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker or immigrant serving organizations nearest you for referrals. You can even check churches near you that host informal conversation circles. For example, Fort Garry Church has one every Thursday, or Church of the Rock (interdenominational), every Wednesday.
- ACCESS English Centre also has conversation groups. These are facilitated by trained volunteers working with learners in all levels. This is held several times a week. Conversations focus on topics of interest and importance to adult newcomers to Manitoba.
- The Manitoba Public Library has many resources as well as activities to hone English skills. Non-residents can get a library card. Short-term visitors can buy membership ($58 for 3 months) or choose Visitor Internet Privilege (VIP) which allows access to library computers for 14 days for free. They can also attend lectures, film showings and other events at the library. Learn more about Manitoba Libraries from their site.
- A&O Support Services for Older Adults has the Senior Centre Without Walls program. If your parents or grandparents cannot or do not wish to go out, they can engage in educational and recreational activities at home using the telephone. SCWW offers a variety of free Telephone Group Activities such as lectures on various topics, celebrity bingo, a book club, and conversation circles.
Exercise and Recreation
- Check the latest Leisure Guide (older active adults) for various activities they can get into for minimal fee. Some of the classes offered by community centres include painting classes, line dancing, aquafitness (specialty: arthritis or chronic pain, fibromyalgia or MS), exercise program for people with arthritis, cardio fitness, 50 plus active centre, move and mingle, senior walk, tai chi, yoga, and Zumba.
- Look for your Community Centre here: General Council of Winnipeg Community Centres.
For concerns or questions on passports or visas, they can go to this directory: Winnipeg Consulates and Embassies. If you are planning to extend their stay in Canada, read this page: Extend your stay in Canada as a visitor.
For more bonding moments with their grandchildren, MOSAIC Newcomer Family Resource has many programs that are not only fun, but also build parenting skills. Some programs they can join with you and your child:
- Handle with Care – promotes mental health of families. This is for parents and caregivers with children from birth to six years old.
- Parent-Child Mother Goose – parents and children sing rhyme and tell stories together in English.
- Play to Learn – Learn to play – parents learn about the value of play and practise it with their child (or grandchild).
- Wiggle, Giggle & Munch – parents and children play games, engage in physical activities and learn about eating healthy snacks.
- Bonding with Family Bookmaking – participants share and preserve their family histories and memories by making a family book.
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