We looked at our calendar for the next few months and because of the busy schedule, we are deciding to do a staycation. It’s a term used when you are looking at events and tourist attractions in your own back yard. When going on a holiday you plan out your days with sightseeing, eating local cuisine, and visiting unique attractions. It is the same for a staycation, you plan to see, eat and visit things in your local area.
Too often we spend the vacation visiting other places, but never really get to know the town or city we live in. Touring your own town or city can be fun, educational and inexpensive. There are lots of local attractions or public places in most cities to take your kids for fun activities and learn some history yourself.
I started my search online, visiting tourism sites for Brandon and area. I was amazed at how many attractions, events, entertainment and activities that where available to me.
Here are just of the few attractions I found on Brandon’s Tourism website:
Brandon Hills – This area is home to a variety of plant and animal species and offers the perfect setting for recreational activities such as hiking, cross-country skiing, cycling and bird watching.
Keystone Centre – Western Canada’s premier facility for all your recreation, entertainment, convention and agricultural events.
Riverbank Discovery Centre – Brandon’s Tourism information centre
Riverbank Trail System – The trail system ranges from natural river bottom forest to paved, lit walkways and links sports venues to downtown shopping and dining. Enjoy an afternoon stroll along the riverbank or a picnic in one of the many parks of shelters along the way.
The Sportsplex – This multipurpose facility is home to an arena, swimming pool with waterslide, three racquetball courts, track and field facilities and playground.
Westman Reptile Gardens – Canada’s largest variety of reptiles under one roof. You can view over 300 reptiles including snakes, turtles, lizards and crocodiles, as well as spiders and much more.
Brandon General Museum – dedicated to the preservation of the City’s history. The Museum is home to the original mayor and council chamber furniture and various other items.
B.J. Hails Museum of Natural History – a large collection of over 800 specimens (mostly birds) native to Manitoba.
Brandon Hills Model Railway Club – come down and check out the model railway systems.
Carousels & Dolls Museum – largest collection of modern and re-production dolls in the prairie region as well as a large collection of 20th century dolls and early “Barbie®” favourites. Commission dolls as well as restoration and costuming for your own precious doll is also available.
Commonwealth Air Museum – Canada’s only Air Museum dedicated solely to those who trained and fought for the British Commonwealth during the 1939-1945 War.
Daly House Museum – a guided tour through the municipal heritage site and original home of Brandon’s first mayor, Thomas Mayne Daly. This upper middle-class home displays furnishings from the 1880s to the 1890s. The museum also contains a turn of the century grocery store and the magnacca research Centre.
MB Dragoon’s Museum – this military museum exhibits a variety of military artifacts, memorabilia and archives.
The RCA Museum – The award-winning RCA museum is Canada’s national Artillery museum, a manitoba star Attraction and one the largest military museums in the country. Get face to face with Canadian military technology, art, culture and heritage while exploring five galleries in a 24,000 square foot building.
Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba – exhibits located in the Town Centre above the Library
Glen P. Sutherland Gallery of Art – exhibits located at the Brandon university campus information was found at brandontourism.ca. Please visit their website for addresses, admission and hours of operation.
Eat out! Search for restaurants in your area and be a little rebellious. Trying a new international cuisine, it may be outside your comfort zone, but may become your new favourite place to go. To make it feel like a true vacation, we may look into renting a hotel room that has a pool and other amenities. This will give the whole family something to enjoy from fun in the pool, to maybe a relaxing massage.
Remember to turn off your phone, and that having a little get away with the family doesn’t mean you have to get on a plane or pack up the car and drive far, why not check out your own back yard!