Summer - Attractions

Winnipeg’s all-star attractions are back at it this summer, offering you a world-class experience in the centre of the continent.

From spots that celebrate nature, to exhibits that will inspire awe and tours that showcase the city’s best, this season we have a little something for everyone.  

Marquee attractions  
When you look up at Assiniboine Park Zoo, you can see polar bears polar bears swimming, goats crossing bridges and dinosaurs calling out over the treetops. There is literally that much happening over your head! 

Along with scene-stealing polar bears, snow leopards, Amur tigers, gibbons, kangaroos and a merry band of domesticated animals—including tiny donkeys—at Aunt Sally’s Farm, the zoo is also home to the stars of CBC Television’s Arctic Vets.   

Assiniboine Park has no shortage of attractions from the Gardens at the Leaf—where you can roam nearly 30 acres of thematic greenspace, to the Leo Mol Sculpture Gardens, to endless paths to explore by walking or renting novelty pedal-powered vehicles from Bee-2-Gether Bikes. There’s also the whimsical Children’s Playground with its awesome entrance, plenty of spots to sit in the sun to watch the birds or deer go by (or perhaps even a game of cricket...), along with WAG@ThePark, where stunning works from local master painters like Ivan Eyre are always a wonderful choice on a rainy day.   

The city’s other central draw for both tourists and locals—The Forks—also has countless ways to keep you entertained. Plus, it’s connected to Assiniboine Park courtesy of the free Domo Trolley.  

From The Forks Historic Port, you can take a river tour with Splash Dash River Tours, where saucy captains paint a historic picture as you watch the city slide past. The port is surrounded by one of Western Canada’s largest patios, providing a spot to sip on interesting beer and wine from The Common under the shade of the trees as you watch boats go by.   

In front of the market, you can hop aboard a tour from the Winnipeg Trolley Company, or simply do some local shopping inside. Cross the Historic Rail Bridge and enter Niizhoziibean where you’ll behold awe-inspiring works of public art like the 30-foot tall sculpture Niimamaa created by KC Adams, Jaimie Isaac, and Val Vint. The Forks grounds are also home to the Children’s MuseumManitoba Theatre for Young People and Parks Canada.

Our marvelous museums  

Of course, there is also the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the iconic institution at The Forks that now graces the Canadian $10 bill. Within its towering stone and glass façade (which looks like the wings of a dove), you can climb from darkness to light throughout interactive galleries, sparking dialogue, reflection and ideas to take action. Two guided tours are on offer this summer, including the Explore the Galleries tour, which presents a general overview and the Discover the Building Tour that examines how architect Antonie Predock’s bold design is a metaphor for human rights.  

From the Museum’s Tower of Hope you will find sweeping views of Saint-Boniface, an area that is a must-visit in the summer. Its charming streets feature no shortage of cafés, patios, galleries, locally owned shops, bakeries and so much history. A fantastic way to experience the area is through Tourisme Riel, which holds events, hosts tours and provides info all from one easy-to-find spot at its offices in the old City Hall at 219 Provencher Blvd.  

Within this visitor centre you can watch the film At the Heart of Manitoba’s Francophone Community before heading out to explore sites like Saint-Boniface Cathedral and Cemetery—home to Louis Riel’s grave and remarkable architecture that combines old and new; Fort Gibraltar—a replica fur-trading fort that often plays host to costumed interpreters and Saint-Boniface Museum—where Metis and francophone history is presented in Winnipeg’s oldest building, which is also the largest oak structure in North America.   

To dive into more history, set your sights on the Manitoba Museum, located downtown just two blocks up from Portage and Main. The museum offers a little something for everyone, from life-sized retro dioramas, to out-of-this-world Planetarium shows to show-stopping galleries like the recently revamped Prairies Gallery—where everywhere you look the region’s wonders meet—and the Nonsuch Gallery—featuring the iconic replica 17th century ship you can board. Plus, there’s no shortage of incredible specimens and fossils, including a 90-million-year-old intact juvenile pliosaur that once swam where you now stand.   

The biggest draw to the Manitoba Museum this summer will be Ultimate Dinosaurs (runs until September). Located in the new Alloway Hall, this blockbuster exhibit features massive, full-scale skeletons like Giganotosaurus, interactive stations and augmented reality technology to highlight the evolution of lesser-known dinosaurs that were found throughout the southern hemisphere.   

Touring events that are here for the summer

A couple big touring exhibits will also be in the city this summer.

You can start yourself up at Expo Live! at Portage Place with Unzipped, the world’s largest Rolling Stones exhibit, which is kicking off the centre’s new "Expo Live!" location. The exhibit (June 11-July 31) features original works that celebrate The Stones from Andy Warhol, Alexander McQueen and Martin Scorsese, along with more than 300 original objects from the band’s personal collection. There’s a replica studio, memorabilia, guitars, costumes that the band wore and of course, plenty of music to ensure your satisfaction.

Just a few blocks away, another touring exhibit is sure to leave an impression. Beyond Van Gogh Winnipeg: The Immersive Experience combines a striking symphonic score with massive projections of 300 of the Dutch painter’s greatest works to create an environment that will leave you in awe. Spread out over 30,000 sq. ft., Beyond Van Gogh takes advantage of the RBC Exhibition Centre Winnipeg’s ample space and is on from July 14 to September 5.

Tourism Winnipeg

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