WASAGAMING — Winter is part of what makes Canada special and getting outside to enjoy winter activities is the best cure for cabin fever.
That’s the message that Friends of Riding Mountain National Park is sharing during Winter Adventure Weekend being held Friday through Sunday at Clear Lake.
"Hibernation is for bears. We like to face winter with enthusiasm and a sense of adventure," said George Hartlen, CAO of Friends of RMNP, a not-for-profit organization promoting the enjoyment and protection of southern Manitoba’s only national park.
"‘Getting outside together’ is our theme this year. There are so many ways to enjoy our longest season, and it adds to the fun when you get out there and take part with friends and family."
Whatever your interest, young or old, new to winter or seasoned veteran, there are lots of activities and challenges to choose from this year. Local businesses and not-for-profit organizations are pitching in to make this year’s event the best one yet.
A few new elements have been added this year. On Friday night, the Foxtail Cafe will be hosting a concert and dinner, while kids can enjoy themselves at the Onanole Hall where a supervised evening of age-appropriate activities is planned.
Saturday will feature everybody’s favourite treat, Beaver Tails, horse-drawn wagon rides, a boot hockey tournament, Clear Lake Winter Olympics, maple syrup rolling, a photography workshop, snowshoeing, scavenger hunts, tobogganing and the ever popular Valentine’s skate at the Elkhorn Resort’s skating rink.
"Winter isn’t something we just have to suffer through," said Scot Shellborn, president of the Onanole and District Recreation Centre. "Fresh air and physical activity are the secret to enjoying the season. Winter Adventure Weekend gives visitors and locals alike the chance to try out a lot of new activities to see which they like best."
Winter Adventure Weekend also coincides with the annual Onanole Men’s Hockey Tournament at the Onanole Rec Centre. On Saturday, there is a family friendly pizza parlour, and a beer garden. There will be lots of great hockey and even some not-so-great-but-hilarious-nonetheless hockey.
The annual Cabin Fever Reliever Social will round out the day. The playbill will feature a reunion of the Smokey Hollow Band, as well as Better Than so the dance floor will be packed as usual.
One of the more out-of-the-ordinary activities is the Snow Hotel located at the Friends of RMNP Learning Centre.
Visitors are invited to book a room (space is limited) for a night of winter camping. No experience is necessary. Guests will be able to learn from experts as several skilled winter campers will be on hand to guide you. There will also be handy warm up facilities and an indoor washroom available throughout the night if needed.
During the day, there will be demonstrations about how to build your own snow shelter or quinzee. Advance booking is encouraged but if you want to build or bring your own shelter, you can just drop in.
Sunday’s activities will include activities such as snow painting and sculpting, a s’mores making clinic around the campfire and snowshoeing.
For more information, visit friendsofridingmountain.ca or call 204-848-4037.