We miss traveling SO much, but the next best option is a staycation in our own city. We did this last summer and the girls still talk about it. I've realized kids only care about the hotel, the food and the activities, they don't care where they are. We stayed on the opposite side of the city from where we live so it almost felt like we were in a different city. We got to visit restaurants and areas of the city we don't regularly see. I highly recommend doing this with your family! Book a hotel, make an itinerary of a few activities, and then just relax and enjoy. It's so much fun and guaranteed your kids will love it!
We had never stayed at the Hyatt House before and we were so impressed. It is brand new and the staff were so nice. Breakfast was included and you could eat in the restaurant or take it to go. We chose to stay in the restaurant which was easier with the girls. The first day they offered bacon, eggs and hashbrowns and the second day was French toast. They also had cereal, oatmeal, muffins and fruit each day as well. We stayed in a king suite with a separate bedroom which made sleeping with the girls so much easier, and the beds were SO soft and comfy. They provided a pack n play for Zara, the girls slept on the pull out couch and Jason and I got the king bed. There's also a little kitchenette in the room with a fridge which was nice to keep snacks for if the girls got hungry.
They have a pool and a hot tub, and the pool isn't freezing which was so nice for swimming with the girls!! Because of the current rules, you have to book in a swim time. The slots are 45 minutes long and you can book one a day. We booked ours in ahead of time which made things easy. It was plenty of time for the girls to swim and play! The max capacity is 7 people, but it was only ever our family in the pool. It's also located right next to IKEA, tons of shopping, restaurants and other attractions. We would definitely stay here again!
For dinner the first night we went to Frankie's Italian Kitchen. We had never been before, and I'm so glad we went. We all loved our meals and the decor was beautiful. They had coloring for the girls too which they loved, and they start you with fresh bread and olive oil and vinegar. I highly recommend the Spinach & Artichoke dip and the Cobb Salad! The best kids meal was the Alfredo, which Rosie got. Trust me when I say you won't leave hungry.
Saturday morning we headed to St Norbert Farmers Market to pick up some snacks and local treats. The line was super long at 10:30am so we opted to go back around 12:30pm and there was no line! The girls each got a cake pop treat, I got spicy pickled asparagus (don't knock it til you try it), and then we got crepes for lunch. It's so fun to go see a bunch of local makers in the city!
We did this last spring and the girls had so much fun. They were so excited to go back. It was a bit different this time of year because most of the ponds are still frozen, but they still had fun exploring with sticks and walking the boardwalk trails and seeing the Bison. It's a great way to get some fresh air and burn some energy. They also have the cutest gift shop full of local products from clothes, to toys to food.
We spent the afternoon at the Zoo and it was such a beautiful day! The girls loved seeing the animals and running around. The highlight was definitely getting to see the Tiger pacing and growling. Zara thought it was the best thing ever. A family highlight was going through the Polar Bear exhibit through the tunnel and seeing the polar bear swim above us. It's so cool how close you can get! I would definitely love to take them to Churchill one day to see them in the wild! They also have the Zoo lights on right now in the evenings which I heard is great too!
After the zoo we headed back to the hotel and ordered in Fat Burger to have a low key evening at the hotel. The rooms have a kitchenette so it was easy to eat dinner there. After dinner we went for a swim and then got snacks and watched a movie before putting the girls to bed. We were all exhausted from a long day.
Sunday morning we woke up and went for our last swim before checking out. It was a rainy day so we headed to The Park Cafe in Assiniboine Park for brunch. It's such a beautiful location, plus the menu is incredible! We got the eggs benedict, yogurt parfait, cinnamon bun and bacon and eggs to share and it was all amazing. My fave was the cinnamon bun though.
We ended the staycation with a quick shopping trip to the Outlet mall. We often go shopping when we go on vacation, so we thought it would be fun to hit the mall in our own city! The girls each got to pick out something small as a souvenir from our "trip". They both got umbrellas, which they love and have been using every day. Also, if you live further than 60km from Winnipeg, visit the customer service desk to get a discount card to save even more! The mall was busy but didn't feel too crowded. Only a few stores had line ups and they have so many stores to visit and the food court was open too.
Overall our weekend was amazing. We obviously had to wear masks whenever we were indoors, but because the girls are all under 5 they didn't have to which was nice. Seeing the girls excitement for everything made it all worth it. They didn't sleep perfect and there were still meltdowns, but we made so many fun memories that I know we'll talk about until the next one! It's honestly so nice for me too because I don't have to cook or clean or pick up after anyone. It really is a vacation. Jason and I are already talking about the next one. Jason loves these staycations because he doesn't get to see the girls as much obviously because he works, so this dedicated time with them helps them form a special bond. Also one piece of advice, invest in a tripod! This is the one we brought, it's small and easy to take around. It's nice being able to get a few pictures of your whole family to look back on.