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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 Manitoba 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 2021, we are pleased to report that 224 visitors sparked their creative learning at the Children’s Museum thanks to this meaningful program.

About the Free2Play Access Program

The Free2Play Access Program is composed of several different services and events, including:

  • School Programs & Explorations (with rural Manitoba transportation subsidies)
    The Children’s Museum offers one free visit per year to every class in under-supported Manitoba schools, registered day cares, and select social service organizations on a first-come, first served basis. Recognizing the costs of transportation for rural schools coming to Winnipeg, a transportation subsidy for Manitoba schools in rural communities 40 km or further from Winnipeg may also be available through this program.
  • After-School STEAM Clubs
    Open to students in Grades 3 to 5 in under-supported 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 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
    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.

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
  • Harvest Manitoba
  • Healthy Start for Mom & Me
  • Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM)
  • Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre
  • Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council Inc. (Welcome Place)
  • N.E.E.D.S. Inc.
  • NorWest Co-op Community Health
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities Manitoba
  • The Link (formerly Macdonald Youth Services)
  • Winnipeg Christmas Cheer Board

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.
  • Transportation fees were identified as a barrier for rural Manitoba schools, and transportation subsidies are now available to support rural visitation.
  • We have added transportation services to our After-School STEAM Clubs to overcome identified barriers and facilitate participation.

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 2022/2023 Free2Play Access Program was made possible by the following supporters:

  • Barbara (Mitchell) McNeil
  • Jenna Rae Cakes
  • Mad Science of Manitoba
  • TD
  • The Asper Foundation
  • The B.A. Goodman, M.E.M. Goodman, and Dorothy Jean Goodman Foundation
  • The Trottier Family Foundation
  • Vital Transit Service Ltd.
  • WISE Kid-Netic Energy

Program Eligibility Information

The amount of support for Manitoba schools, registered day cares, and organizations available through the Free2Play Access Program is limited each year, and is dependent upon funding received through donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals. All support is available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.

If you are an instructor in a Manitoba 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, or complete and submit the School Program Booking Request Form found here.

Day cares and organizations serving elementary age children are invited to apply for the program using one of the forms below. (Note: Application deadlines are March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31.)

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