What’s open in Winnipeg now that restrictions have lessened
With the city slowly moving towards what will be our new normal during COVID-19, a few attractions and tourist sites have begun to reopen while following strict safety guidelines.
Here’s what’s now open and what you can expect:
Winnipeg Art Gallery
As we’ve stated before in regards to their WAG@Home virtual experiences, the WAG has been doing an excellent job adapting their offerings during the pandemic. When it was first announced that some restrictions were being lifted, the WAG was able to open its doors to frontline workers and their families (for free!) from May 5-6.
As of May 7, the WAG is now open to the public, with social distancing protocols in place throughout the spacious galleries. Now, amongst its storied collection, which includes paintings spanning the late Renaissance to modern Indigenous works, along with the world's largest collection of contemporary Inuit art, you’ll find new signage, floor markers, hand-sanitation stations, and limits on floor and exhibition capacity. You can find all the new reopening protocols here.
The WAG is open Tuesday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, and until 9 p.m. on Fridays.
Winnipeg’s gorgeous urban nature reserve/education centre reopened to the public on May 11. Physical distancing and new cleaning measures include hand sanitization stations at all building entrances, new signage throughout the trails and grounds, along with limited access to the Alloway Reception Centre (just the front desk and washrooms are open, along with limited access to the gift shop). The Buffalo Stone Café is only offering takeout right now too (no word yet on their lakefront patio).
The walking and cycling trails are all open, which is great news for all us birders and bison enthusiasts (FWA is home to North America’s largest urban bison herd), while don’ts include bringing pets (sorry doggies) and you are not able to visit FortWhyte Alive Farms at present. Here's the full lowdown.
FortWhyte Alive is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Assiniboine Park Zoo & Conservancy
The zoo officially reopened on Wednesday, May 13, which is great news for all you parents out there. You can now roam all the outdoor areas of the zoo, where many of its most-fascinating animals can be found, including the snow leopards, Amur tigers, polar bears, muskox and cougars. On top of this, some indoor areas are open too, including Stingray Beach - although you can’t touch the stingrays right now, the Gateway to the Arctic - where polar bears swim over your head, and the Gibbon Pavilion - where you can see cute one-year-old Salju swinging about. #socute
Closed is the is the heavy horse wagon rides, Aurora Borealis theatre, zoo tram, and several other experiences that would normally involve visitors being in close quarters.
You can still get takeout food from the Tundra Grill, but water bottle refill stations are currently closed.
Here’s the full details about the reopening.
As well, most of Assiniboine Park is open to explore too (we’ve done a number of walks there, and the trails are never too busy), although the Nature Playground and Leo Mol Sculpture Garden are currently closed. Bee2Gether Tandem Bike Rentals and Sales is also now open in the park for bike rentals.
Thunder Rapids Fun Park
As of May 8, go karts, bumper boats, batting cages and mini golf are all par for the course at Thunder Rapids, located just west of the city.
For batting cages and mini golf, Thunder Rapids is asking visitors to bring their own putter or bat if possible, while throughout the facilities stringent cleaning processes are all in place for the go karts, boats, helmets and equipment.
They have several go kart options, ranging from ‘lil Kiddie Karts (ages 3-5, 40” tall) all the way up to Thunder Karts, which have 9 horsepower and are ages 14+. You can even bring your own helmet, provided it is approved for use with motor vehicles.
The concession is open for takeout, but the arcade and jungle gym are currently closed.
Open daily, noon to 8 p.m. (weather permitting). Full COVID-19 details here.
Given its built-in social distancing protocols (outside of sharing a cart, you can literally play golf without going any where near your mates – just be sure to elbow bump instead of shaking hands after the last ball goes in on 18), along with the tranquil setting in nature, golf will surely increase even more in popularity due to COVID-19.
To practice up in the city and surrounding area, you can now book a tee time at a number of public and semi-private courses, including Assiniboine Golf Club, Bel Acres, Breezy Bend, Bridges, John Blumberg, Kildonan Park, Windsor Park, The Players Course, Tuxedo and Wildewood.
For malls, CF Polo Park, Outlet Collection Winnipeg, Grant Park Shopping Centre, Kildonan Place, St. Vital Centre, Cityplace and Garden City Shopping Centre are now all open again, along with McNally Robinson Booksellers at Grant Park.
Quite a number of places are now offering social distanced al fresco dining. Here's a full article on that from our culinary website, Peg City Grub.