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Free2Play Access Program

The Children’s Museum is committed to ensuring that children and their families, regardless of their financial circumstances, can participate in the life-enriching, creative experiences we offer. To this end, the Free2Play Access Program was created, and it has been an important component of the Children’s Museum since we first opened our doors to the community over thirty years ago.

The Free2Play Access Program brings under-supported children to the Children’s Museum for school visits, day camps, special events, and after-school clubs FREE OF CHARGE! The program is open to qualifying Winnipeg schools, registered day cares, and select social service organizations.

While the actual number of eligible participants in the Free2Play Access Program is contingent upon funding received through donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals, the Children’s Museum strives to reserve 10% of museum programming and special events attendance for Free2Play Access Program participants each year.

In 2018, we are pleased to report that 15,396 visitors began sparking their creative learning at the Children’s Museum thanks to this meaningful program.

About the Free2Play Access Program

School Programs & Explorations
The Children’s Museum offers one free visit per year to every class in qualifying* Winnipeg schools, registered day cares, and select social service organizations. If you are an instructor in a qualifying Winnipeg school and are interested in booking a free school program or general museum exploration, please contact the Sales & Bookings Coordinator at 204.924.4005 to learn more.

After-School STEAM Clubs
Open to students in Grades 3 to 5 in qualifying* Winnipeg schools, the Children’s Museum’s After-School Clubs are free programs that run in five-week sessions five times throughout the year. With the guided support of guest instructors, our After-School Clubs teach kids new skills and provide them with fun and exciting ways to express their creativity! After-School Club participants are also provided with free family passes to ensure that the student and his/her family are able to continue enjoying the Children’s Museum long after the After-School Club experience is complete.

Special Events
At least 10% of tickets to special museum events including Halloween Howl and Spaghetti Breakfast With Santa are provided to children in our Free2Play Access Program and their families to attend free of charge.

Museum Passes & Memberships
The Children’s Museum routinely donates free daily admission passes and annual memberships to partner organizations for distribution to their clients in an effort to promote positive family relationships.

Day Camps ***NEW***
The Children’s Museum provides over 25 children a year a week-long experience in one of the museum’s Day Camps free of charge through Free2Play Access Program Day Camp Fee Subsidies.

Who Can Qualify?

A child is eligible for a Free2Play Access Program Day Camp spot if:

  1. The parent/guardian has a social assistance case number
  2. The parent/guardian has a refugee assistance case number
  3. The child being registered has a subsidized childcare spot through the Province of Manitoba Child Care Subsidy Program 
  4. The child’s family income is below the low income cut-off (LICO) (amounts listed below)

Spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

# of People in Household Household Income
1 $24,949
2 $31,061
3 $38,185
4 $46,362
5 $52,583
6 $59,304
7 $66,027
More than 7 For each additional person, add $6,723

(Sources: Statistics Canada; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; City of Winnipeg Leisure Guide)

Click here to learn more about our Spring & Summer Day Camps or to register today.

*Note: Qualifying schools, registered day cares, and social service organizations must serve elementary age children and are selected geographically based on the lowest income areas identified in the city of Winnipeg according to StatsCanada census information.

Free2Play Access Program Partner Organizations

Current partner organizations include:

  • Alpha House Inc.
  • Aurora Family Therapy Centre
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • Community Respite Service
  • Family Dynamics
  • Healthy Start for Mom & Me
  • Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM)
  • Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre
  • Macdonald Youth Services
  • Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council Inc. (Welcome Place)
  • N.E.E.D.S. Inc.
  • NorWest Co-op Community Health
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities Manitoba
  • Winnipeg Christmas Cheer Board
  • Winnipeg Harvest

The Need For Support

Our Free2Play Access Program is growing and constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of our community.

  • Each year, approximately 5,000 students visit the Children’s Museum with their school for free as part of the Free2Play Access Program.
  • There are over 25 qualifying Winnipeg schools, 40+ registered day cares, and 13 organizations currently eligible to participate in the Free2Play Access Program.
  • We have added transportation services to our After-School STEAM Clubs to overcome identified barriers and facilitate participation.

How You Can Help

Your gift enables us to further develop and expand our Free2Play Access Program, allowing greater numbers of children to experience all the opportunities the Children’s Museum has to offer – free of charge.

The Free2Play Access Program is funded through donations from foundations, corporations and individuals like you. By making a donation, you are directly helping to make a difference in the lives of under-supported children in Winnipeg. Please help us ensure that every child in our community has the opportunity to learn, play, and grow.

We offer the following ways to give:

  1. By Phone: Call 204.924.4010
  2. By Mail or Fax: Complete and return the Donation Form (PDF) to:
    Children’s Museum, 45 Forks Market Road, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 4T6
    Fax: 204.956.2122
  3. In Person: Visit our Admissions Desk to make your donation in person.
  4. Online: We accept all major credit cards, Interac Online, PayPal transfers, and monthly giving options through CanadaHelps. To make an online donation, please click the link below.

Free2Play Access Program Supporters

The Free2Play Access Program is funded through donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals. The 2019/20 Free2Play Access Program was made possible by the following supporters:

  • A Little Pizza Heaven*
  • Aveeve + Sam McLaughlin
  • Canada Life
  • Carolyn Sifton Foundation
  • CWB National Leasing
  • Hilary Druxman Design
  • MacDon**
  • The Asper Foundation
  • The Thomas Sill Foundation**
  • Vital Transit*
  • Winnipeg Goldeyes Field of Dreams Foundation

*Denotes in-kind product or service support
**Denotes subsidies/support directed for Rural Access Program

Program Eligibility Information

Qualifying Winnipeg schools must serve elementary age children and are selected geographically based on the lowest income areas* identified in the city of Winnipeg (*according to StatsCanada census information). Qualifying schools are contacted at the start of each school year and provided program information for the upcoming year.

The amount of support for registered day cares and organizations available through the Free2Play Access Program is limited each year, and is discretionary based upon funding received through donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals. Day cares and organizations serving elementary age children are invited to apply for the program using one of the forms below. Applications are reviewed quarterly in March, June, September, and December.

If you are interested in learning more about specific eligibility criteria for the Free2Play Access Program, please contact the Director of Education & Exhibits at 204.924.4003.

Free2Play Access Program Applications