Recreation and Community
Many organizations are happy to make accommodations for children on the autism spectrum, or have recreational programs that facilitate social and emotional development. Here are a few that we have found helpful:
Inclusive Recreation in Manitoba
This website offers a snapshot of the recreation opportunities that are available for children and teens with additional needs in Manitoba. Links on the website will allow you to explore each of the participating agencies and find out more about what they offer.
Leisure in Fun Environments (L.I.F.E. Program at the Rehabilitation Centre for Children)
- After-School and Saturday Cooking Clubs
- Saturday Night For Teens
- Fall Festival
- Bowling Days
- Swim Days
For more information about these programs, please contact:
Carol Kehler at (204) 258-6538 or by email at email@example.com
Maya Kirstein at (204) 258-6538
To register, or to be added to the notification list, please contact Yvonne at (204) 258-6500.
Autism Learning Centre
3525 Roblin Boulevard, Winnipeg
In addition to therapeutic services, Autism Learning Centre offers programs such as group respite, summer camps, and recreational drama groups. It’s best to call to find out what’s coming up.
City of Winnipeg Leisure Programs
The city offers a variety of leisure activities in Winnipeg, some of which are specifically for children and adults with disabilities, and many that are of general interest.
PACE (Parents of Autistic Children Everywhere)
PACE is a Facebook-based group that offers a variety of recreational activities for families of children with autism. They also host a yearly autism walk.
Friending (Winnipeg): Meetups For Children To Practice Social Skills
This is a Facebook group in which parents can connect and find playdate partners for their kids.
OHEYS Autism Programs
OHEYS supports recreation, health and social skill development for kids and teens on the autism spectrum. They have a very popular summer camp program, as well as other programs through the year such as swimming and a games club.
Swimmingly Winnipeg is a not-for-profit student initiative providing affordable and accessible one-on-one swimming instruction to children with special needs.
Swim For The Stars provides one-on-one instruction and group classes for all ages. They also offer fun and engaging private lessons for individuals who have physical or mental disabilities, taking all necessary steps to ensure a safe and productive environment. All lessons are one-on-one and tailored to fit their specific needs.
City of Winnipeg Red Cross Learn to Swim Programs
People with disabilities classes are available for individuals with developmental, cognitive and/ or physical disabilities. These classes focus on developing sound water safety skills. They are designed to follow Red Cross Swim programs and provide an opportunity for supervised water activities.
Special Olympics Manitoba
Enriching the lives of Manitobans with an intellectual disability through active participation in sport.
Flying Squirrel Trampoline Park
Guests with special needs jump for $8/hour any time, with an aide/parent/caregiver able to jump with them for free. Trampoline grip socks are still required for both jumpers for $3.50/pair and are yours to keep. Every Tuesday the musicis turned down for a more sensory-friendly experience (all day).
Rady Jewish Community Centre
B100 – 123 Doncaster St. Winnipeg
Phone: (204) 477-7510
A variety of sports, recreation and fitness programs. A special needs coordinator supports inclusion of children with special needs in all programs. They also offer a gym night for kids with ASD.
Calm ‘n Sense Yoga for Kids
Phone: (204) 284-0250
Classes for children, newborns to teens.
The instructor is also a speech-language pathologist who works with children with autism.
Gymkids Gymnastics Centre
This business runs a “Flippin for Autism” program in the summer for children of any age.
Able Sail Manitoba
Able Sail Manitoba operates at Fort Whyte Alive, providing sailing opportunities to Manitobans regardless of ability, age or economic means. They have run three main programs – the opportunity to book sailing sessions (companion provided for support), a Learn-to-Sail accredited course for those who would like to develop their capabilities, and a race night for those interested in competitive sailing.
As of July 2021:
If you are interested in sailing this year simply call our direct line at 204-599-3630 to book your sail and pay by logging onto the ILRC website at www.ilrc.mb.ca, scroll the left hand tool bar to Able Sail and complete the fees and membership fields to complete your payment. PLEASE NOTE: phone messages cannot be left at this number and the message is outdated. Please try the call again if un-answered or leave a text to call back.
Any questions can be first addressed by calling the direct line 204-599-3630. All COVID protocols will be followed, sailors must wear a mask, sanitize, social distance and pre-screen for symptoms prior to attending the program. Waivers must be completed before sailing which can also be accessed on our ILRC website.
I Can Shine Bike Camp
Phone: (204) 471-3569
For children at least 8 years old and with a disability, this 5-day bike program offers to help your family member learn to ride a two-wheel bicycle independently. It has run in early July for the last two years at the East End Arena in Winnipeg.
Crescent Arts Centre Winnipeg
Creative expression art and drama classes are open to people of all abilities. Check the website for more information and a registration link.
This inclusive organization’s acting classes for kids provide a safe environment where children thrive because they are allowed to be themselves. Contact the organizers for more information.
ArtsJunktion MB is a community-based, charitable organization committed to redistributing reusable materials.
They rescue quality materials from businesses and private donors that would otherwise be sent to the landfill. These materials (including a variety of paper, end rolls, buttons, tools…) are sorted and displayed at their depot for all to browse and take at no charge. Worth taking a look.
They also offer an interesting assortment of workshops for teens and adults…pictures from previous workshops are displayed on the website.
Explore-Abilities at the Manitoba Children’s Museum
The Explore-Abilities Access Program aims to provide adapted museum experiences and a range of visitor services designed for children of all abilities to have fun and enjoy interactive, hands-on learning in a safe and accessible facility. You can register for regularly occurring events on Saturdays for kids needing a sensory-reduced experience. More information on the website.
Access 2 Entertainment
The Access 2 Entertainment Card provides persons with a disability to receive either free admission or a significant discount for their support person at member movie theatres and attractions across Canada.
Red River Exhibition
Get free passes for you and your child with ASD for a special day with fewer crowds. Ask Autism Society of Manitoba for further information.
Hope Centre Ministries works to build inclusive church communities that see all people who live with a disability, together with their families and their friends, fully incorporated in the worship and life of Christ’s Church where all employ their gifts for the benefit of local congregations and their ministry.
They offer programs for individuals and their families to meet, learn and have fun together, and worship, and resources for churches to help them consider how they might make diverse people welcome and comfortable in their home congregations.