Here in Winnipeg we don’t just embrace winter, we hug it tight with two gloved hands then shape it up to make one of the most creative cities you’ve ever seen. When our rivers freeze, they become one of the world’s longest skating trails, boasting works of architecture from some of the world’s best designers. We provide the opportunity to get (nearly) nose-to-nose with swimming polar bears, play host to one of the best winter festivals, and have attractions that epitomize the phrase, “winter wonderland.”
Awe-inspiring Winter Experiences
Manitoba’s number one tourist attraction, The Forks has it all. Rent skates and glide down the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, take selfies in Warming Huts that have been celebrated in countless publications including New York Times and LA Times, then head inside to The Forks Market featuring Canada’s only fully licensed wine, beer and food hall, along with countless shops brimming with local designs like moccasins, candles, art and more.
Western Canada’s largest winter festival brings 10 days of live music, French food, dancing, ice sculptures, and plenty of family fun with costumed interpreters who are living life like it was in the 19th century within the walls of Fort Gibraltar. This celebration of the fur trade era takes place in St. Boniface – the city’s charming French District – from February 16-25, 2018.
This stunning nature reserve – located right inside the city – offers endless winter fun, from snowshoeing, to ice fishing, to horse-drawn carriage rides, birding, hiking, and countless guided programs that will show you how the region’s Indigenous peoples survived and thrived during the winter months. Plus, it’s home to the world’s largest urban bison herd and an excellent restaurant where many of the ingredients are grown directly on FortWhyte Farms (which you can also visit onsite).
Celebrated by locals and visitors alike, this Scandinavian spa brings new meaning to total relaxation. Situated in the forests of Fort Garry – just a ten-minute drive from downtown – Thermea is an open-air spa featuring thermal pools, Finnish saunas, luxurious steam rooms, and several relaxation chambers. The onsite restaurant – where dining in your robes is mandatory – specializes in delicious, holistic, locally sourced fare.
Whether it’s visiting the polar bears, Arctic foxes, muskox, wolves, snowy owls and seals at the multi-award winning, Journey to Churchill at Assiniboine Park Zoo, or exploring the sprawling setting of the park proper – which features skating on the duck pond, the Qualico Family Centre for breakfast and brunch, countless tree-lined paths, the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, and the Conservatory where plant and animal species provide a balmy respite from the cold – Assiniboine Park truly has a little something for everyone.
New to Winnipeg for 2017-18, Ice Castles is a winter attraction on a mammoth scale. This one-acre frozen world is contained within 10-foot-thick walls of ice which tower overhead, while all around, thousands of icicles are melded together to create a jaw-dropping environment illuminated by LED lights that also features slides, and other fun elements your family will love.
Manitoba’s “first and only fashion outlet” features more than 100 brands spread across over 400,000 square feet of stylish indoor space. They have everything under one roof like coat check, an excellent food court, free WiFi, phone charging stations and a nursing lounge for moms, while brands include Michael Kors, Nike, Under Armour, Saks Off 5th and DSW.
This multiple-award winning pop-up restaurant and design experience has been celebrated in the New York Times, LA Times, and countless travel publications for being one of the most unique culinary events in the world. One ticket gets you a multi-course meal by some of North America’s best chefs (there are new chefs every night), all served inside a temporary structure located right on the frozen Assiniboine River in downtown Winnipeg. Jan. 19 – Feb. 13, 2018
It's an embarrassment of riches this winter for Winnipeg's celebrated performance groups. Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet winter season includes Anastasia, Feb. 2, and Sleeping Beauty, Feb. 28-Mar 4); the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra celebrated New Music Festival (Jan. 27 - Feb. 2) is being headlined by Philip Glass (while there are dozens of other concerts to choose from this winter); and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Prairie Theatre Exchange have plays being staged seemingly every night. Plus, institutions like the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Manitoba Museum offer can’t-miss experiences.
Casinos of Winnipeg
McPhillips Station Casino offers excellent gaming and dining, while Club Regent's state of the art event centre also plays host to excellent touring groups, legendary rock bands, and some of the biggest names in comedy.