At the longitudinal heart of the continent and just over an hour north of the US border, Winnipeg might be known for its particularly cold winters, but the locals rarely hibernate. Here are the top things to do in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Manitoba’s capital has embraced its climate and the winter months provide limitless opportunities to experience local culture. While locals have found numerous ways to entertain themselves during the colder months, there’s also a ton of events and activities for you to experience lined up throughout the rest of the year.
From taking in a Winnipeg Jets NHL hockey game to skating down the Red River Mutual Trail – one of the longest naturally frozen skating trails in the world – to The Forks, one of Winnipeg’s best shopping, dining, and entertainment spots for tourists and locals alike, which draws more than four million visitors annually. No visit to Winnipeg is complete without a trip to the stunning Exchange District, a National Historic Site with one of the continent’s largest and best-preserved collections of heritage buildings. The 20 city blocks that make up the Exchange District house dozens of unique boutiques, entertainment venues, restaurants, and pubs (and Winnipeg’s City Hall), making it a popular meeting place both day and night.
Enjoy the Outdoors!
Spend the day at Arctic Glacier Winter Park for a day of fun in the snow. Head to FortWhye Alive to see some bison and experience tons of outdoor activities unique to Winnipeg. If you don’t want to stray too far from the city centre, there are a number of large parks near the downtown core. Kildonan Park in particular is a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike. The park features the oldest trees in all of Manitoba, as well as Canada’s longest running outdoor theatre and a charming “Witch Hut” inspired by Hansel and Gretel. The Leo Mol Sculpture Park located in Assiniboine Park is also a must-see even for those who don’t enjoy the outdoors.
Festivals, Food, and Fun!
If you think winter sounds busy, just wait until temperatures warm up and festival season kicks off. June welcomes the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, July hosts the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. Also held in July is the Winnipeg Folk Festival, one of the biggest draws to the city. Attendees can choose to camp or kick back on the grass while enjoying amazing acoustic performances. August brings Folklorama – Canada’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival, which takes over the city for two full weeks. During winter, Winnipeg hosts the biggest winter festival in western Canada, Festival du Voyageur.
Things to Do with Kids
Take your kids to the A Maze in Corn Amusement Farm for a wide range of fun outdoor activities. Stay active and take a walk, hike, or bike ride through one of the many trails available. Head to Assiniboine Park for a day out in nature no matter the season. This park also includes the Assiniboine Park Zoo where kids can enjoy a day with animals and exotic plants. If you really want to be up close with the animals, families can partake in the Bison Safari offered by FortWhyte Alive. You can spend a day at The Forks where you can explore the shops, enjoy some food and drinks or hit up the water park. And for the curious-minded, the Manitoba Children’s Museum is a great place to exercise the brain.