Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Arctic Glacier Winter Park Programming

Many believe that not much happens around here in the winter months. What kind of events and activities could you possibly do in the winter time?

Image by Travel Manitoba
Well the answer to that is lots! June used to be our busiest event month of the year, and now February rivals that on weekends with multiple third party winter events taking place along with a full seven weeks of regular programming that The Forks hosts. Here’s a little taste of what we do…..

It takes many hands to build it, some sponsorship dollars to support it and a pot full of talented people to help put the programming, crafts, stories, and fun together.

Scotiabank Stage, most commonly known for our Canada Day celebrations, becomes an Olympic-sized skating rink, the perfect location for a pick up game of hockey.

Festival Park, the big field in front of the stage,  becomes host to the only urban snowboard hill in the city with great trick rails thanks to help from Two Zero Four.  The other berm is our toboggan hill which is a great place for the little ones to climb up and slide down, over and over again.

Image by Carla Dyck
The big white tent or what we refer to as The Canopy, the host to many events over the summer months, is typically the first location to get flooded and converted into a skate surface for the winter. This is also the location for a DJ dance party for four weeks throughout January where you can come down, skate and request your favourite dance music on Sunday afternoons.

Connecting all of these great places together is 1.2km of skate trails, right on The Forks site. There are some interesting spots along the trail including Snowman Lane over the historical rail bridge. These trails can take you to many of the activities and features on the site without ever leaving the ice!

Just down from the Canopy and overlooking the River Trail in Buskers Lookout are two authentic teepees. The teepees host programming on Sunday afternoons which include traditional storytelling from two of Winnipeg’s respected elders. A warm fire, bannock sampling and historical stories of The Forks site are what you’ll get to enjoy if you stick your head into say hi. The other teepee allows young and old the opportunity to create a “to-scale” teepee just like the ones on the site under the direction of ‘outside the lines’ art.

Once you've made your rounds to all of these activities you can top off your day with a horse drawn wagon ride around The Forks and take in the view from the comfort of a hay bale and hot chocolate in hand in the back of the wagon.

Put on your snow pants, bundle up the kids and come down to The Forks and recognize there is as much to do here in the winter as there is on any beautiful summer day! 

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