With 169 shows across 32 venues, the Winnipeg Fringe Festival can be a daunting adventure, especially if you want to bring your little ones along to take part in the fun.
But there are a lot of activities just for kids at the festival, like face painting, carnival games and crafts, and a dedicated venue with shows just for the little ones.
The Kids Fringe Area is conveniently located in the courtyard beside Red River College, in the same space as the merchant market. It features an outdoor stage which hosts free concerts and street performers all day and a "hands on fun" activity center where children can play music, make crafts and brush up on their performance skills. Each of the 11 days has a specific theme, brought to you by the letter "F".
Here are some of our top picks:
July 22 - Facing Front
Kids get in on the Fringe Festival fun (Leif Norman)
Fringe performers are graciously giving of their time in workshops to help kids develop stage skills. Children can learn Taiko drumming, improv, mime, or circus skills, step on stage with a script or write their own.July 24 - Fascinating & Freaky
For kids who love animals, a special guest from Prairie Exotic Reptiles will be on site with some slippery friends from 1 - 5 pm.July 27 - FANtastic Fun
The perfect fit for every Superhero fan. With local comic book authors A.P. Fuchs and Roxanne Fuchs, and a mystery superguest appearance.July 28 - Fearless First Responders
With activities sure to delight children who dream of becoming police officers, firefighters or paramedics.
Kid's Fringe co-coordinator, and mom, Xiam Webster has a few tips for families heading to the festival. First and foremost is to bring water bottles and sun protection.
"There's so much to do and see, I often have to stop them long enough to get water and a quick snack into them," Webster says. Beyond that, she finds it helpful to prepare kids for their first "live theater experience" by discussing how the theatre compares to the movies.
"If you say something during their show that's distracting, or discouraging it can hurt someone's feelings," Webster explains. On the flip side, if you love the show kids can usually thank the performers and are encouraged to ask questions or share what they enjoyed after the show.