A Weekend in Winnipeg - Winter
When the weather is cold, the city heats up with an incredible array of things to do and see. Here are our top picks for what to do in Winnipeg — the 48-hour itinerary edition.
A hearty breakfast is the best way to start your day, and a must-try Winnipeg favourite that serves it up right is Stella’s. With multiple locations across the city serving all-day breakfast, you’ll find something to get you moving (try their homemade jam). For breakfast with a view, Promenade Café is just beside the foot of the scenic Esplanade Riel, your gateway between French St. Boniface and the downtown area.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is a must-experience destination, where you’ll learn about the history and impact of oppression, struggle, and liberty throughout human history. Pack a comfortable pair of shoes and get ready to update your Instagram. In addition to the stunning exhibits, the unique architecture of the museum and its galleries is sure to impress.
A quick lunch stop in Winnipeg could include any number of cuisines, and comfort foods are some of the city’s best gems. Grab a traditional Winnipeg-style burger at VJ’s Drive-In (order the special with fries), or stop by Kevin’s Bistro for a restaurant that specializes in mac and cheese. If you’re looking for lighter fare, Miss Browns makes an excellent sandwich, while Chosabi’s sushi burritos are a new twist on your favourite rolls.
Winnipeg in the winter is best lived outdoors, and there’s no better place to experience the cold weather than The Forks. Rent a pair of ice skates, head to the Red River Mutual Trail and skate by the internationally-renowned warming huts. On your way back you’ll notice RAW: almond, the world’s only pop-up restaurant located on a frozen river. Some of the country’s best chefs showcase their talents there. Make a reservation and prepare for a culinary revolution!
During the winter, St. Boniface comes alive with the Festival du Voyageur (February 15–24). This celebration of francophone culture features traditional food, drink, and entertainment. Stop by the historic Fort Gibraltar to see how life was in the 19th century, and wander through the international snow sculpture competition.
When it’s time to head indoors, test your mental prowess with your friends at some of the city’s escape rooms. Solve challenging puzzles to find your way to the exit in one of the many themed rooms available from The Real Escape, Enigma Escapes, or Codebreakers Escape Rooms, just to name a few.
For the more action-oriented, LaserTopia’s labyrinth stands ready for an epic laser tag battle.
After a long day, unwind in a cozy neighbourhood restaurant. Máquè specializes in Asian-inspired contemporary food, while Close Co. focuses on quality shared plates. The Grove is a great destination for upscale pub food, while Sous Sol’s ever-rotating menu will make you want to come back again and again.
For some of the city’s best early-morning comfort food, head to Marion Street Eatery. Their ever-rotating selection of breakfast specials are sure to satisfy any craving. If you prefer a Mediterranean-style breakfast try Falafel Place, whose Middle Eastern dishes are so popular you won’t have time to linger before someone else claims your table. An early sweet tooth means Oh Doughnuts, with their daily selection of baked treats making them a Winnipeg favourite.
Take in some of the city’s star cultural attractions starting with the Winnipeg Art Gallery, home to the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art. The Manitoba Museum is another history-filled destination, including a full-scale replica of the Nonsuch, a 17th century merchant ship linked to the founding of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Retail therapy is always near at hand at the Outlet Collection Winnipeg, which is home to designer shops like Torrid, Saks off Fifth, Portia Ella and more. The Exchange District has multiple boutique shops including Lennard Taylor, Tiny Feast, and works by dozens of local creators. CF Polo Park is Winnipeg’s largest shopping centre with dozens of high-end stores, while The Forks is a one-stop shop for finding the best of Winnipeg’s local gems.
When it’s time to get off your feet, relaxation is never far away. Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature is a Scandinavian-style spa replete with thermal pools, saunas, and steam rooms. You can book an authentic Turkish hamam at Ten Spa, where your skin will tingle in no time.
Working up an appetite means discovering more of the city’s best eateries, where you can taste dishes from all over the world. Sample East India Company’s traditional Indian meals in their gigantic buffet, while you can try authentic Argentinian pizza and empanadas at Corrientes. Top-tier homemade pasta is always available at The Mitchell Block, while Pho Hoang offers incredible Vietnamese soup and noodle dishes.
Performing arts light up the winter nights, with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra performing a variety of classics, pops, and movie soundtracks. The internationally acclaimed Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet will leave you in awe with their choreography, while the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s season is chock-full of dramas and comedies that are sure to delight.
Sports fans know Winnipeg is the place to be in the winter, with the high-octane Winnipeg Jets lighting the lamp at Bell MTS Place. The NHL team’s affiliate club, the Manitoba Moose, also call Winnipeg home meaning there’s no chance of hockey shortage. Grab a ticket and get ready to yell yourself hoarse alongside the best fans in hockey — a uniquely Winnipeg experience.