Winter - Winter Fun
The snow is falling and the outdoors are calling. Here’s just a few spots that make nice with ice, showcasing how creative our city gets as the temperatures drop. Plus, we highlight a few winter partners for those of you who also appreciate the great indoors too, along with hotels where you can stay and play.
Snow and tell
Now’s a great time to experience FortWhyte Alive, the city’s top spot for connecting people with nature. Winter offerings here include snowshoeing through its aspen forests and across its little lakes (once the ice is set of course), skiing over the groomed cross-country trails, learning how to ice fish and picking up some speed down the Richardson Rrrun toboggan slide. Afterward, be sure to warm up with casual, kid-friendly farm-to-table fare within its Buffalo Stone Café, located right inside the Interpretive Centre.
For more opportunities to feel the wind in your hair as you hit top speeds on a hill, check out Bunn’s Creek Park in River East, which has both winter slides and hills. Other slides include Crescent Drive Park, Fraser’s Grove Park, Kildonan Park, St. Vital Park and Whittier Park. For those looking for a hill, Civic Park, Harbourview Recreation Complex and Westview Park (aka Garbage Hill) are some local favourites too.
Assiniboine Park has a few jaunty little sliding hills too, along with the Riley Family Duck Pond where you can skate within a snow globe-like setting that includes the picturesque Pavilion and Qualico Family Centre.
Keep an eye out for the opening of the Snow Maze at Amaze in Corn. Two years ago, it was the Guinness World Record holder for largest snow maze while it has also starred as the backdrop for the Hallmark film, Amazing Winter Romance. This year, the maze will feature a snow pavilion, a snow restaurant, live entertainment and plenty of family fun too.
Find it at the Forks
The Forks, Manitoba’s most-visited tourism destination, has it all in winter.
As far as skating goes, there’s arguably no better spot in the world. From The Forks Market you can rent skates and glide over 1 km of on land trails, crossing over bridges and snaking your way to the picturesque Hockey Rink at CN Stage, which is situated right below the WINNIPEG sign.
At night, these trails are pure magic, as you glide underneath a galaxy of lights strung from trees. It's so impossibly romantic that Hallmark has, of course, filmed here too.
This area is all part of The Forks’ Arctic Glacier Winter Park, which also includes some small sliding hills and the Canopy Rink, featuring sweet tunes courtesy of Manitoba Music and occasionally live DJs providing energetic beats. On select weekends, The Forks also provides horse-drawn wagon rides, snow-sculpting sessions, and more interactive family fun.
Come January, you can expect the Nestaweya River Trail presented by The Winnipeg Foundation to open. This is the city’s most notable and globally celebrated outdoor attraction and is often the world’s longest groomed naturally frozen skating trails. The trail has access points throughout the city from both the Red and Assiniboine Rivers (here’s the conditions and details), but its central point is The Forks Harbour–and not just because it is steps from the skate rentals. If skating isn’t your thing, local outfitters are also onsite in the harbour offering fun things like kick sleds, ice bikes (including fun animal-shaped ones for kiddos) and fat tire bikes. Nearby from one of the train carts next to The Forks Market, you can also rent cross-country skis. Once you are on your rental of choice, head out on the River Trail where you’ll encounter striking and often zany Warming Huts that have been celebrated in the likes of the New York Times, LA Times and countless design publications.
An après skate is always a good idea, so head back to The Forks Market for wine or beer flights from The Common. Savour dishes from the numerous food kiosks, all run by some of the city’s top chefs and culinary companies. Shoppers will also appreciate all the stores brimming with local designs like moccasins, candles, art and more.
The great indoors
If worldly indoor attractions are more your thing, our winter partners The Canadian Museum for Human Rights and Royal Canadian Mint are sure to provide thought-provoking and inspiring experiences.
Tours of The Mint are worth every penny (a joke we’ll one day take out of currency, we swear) as they showcase how this impressive state-of-the-art facility produces millions of coins for countries around the world. Its gift shop contains countless collectables–from coins to memorabilia to jewellery and plenty of kids' items too. Head to the interactive exhibits to test your world knowledge and view medals from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics that were crafted onsite.
The awe-inspiring architecture of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights alone is worth the visit. The experience takes you literally and metaphorically from darkness to light via the building’s roots, up through its labyrinth-like alabaster ramp ways, to its pinnacle, The Tower of Hope. Interactive galleries throughout present challenging stories that span history and are still being played out today, prompting visitors to strive for a better future. The museum also does a great job creating programs and special events for kids, which you can find on its website.
Looking for a place to stay?
Our winter hotel partners all provide an ideal home base to explore the city.
The Holiday Inn Winnipeg South is your gateway to the south and west end of the city. It's just a 10-minute drive from downtown, along with five minutes from winter wonderlands like FortWhyte Alive and Assiniboine Park, along with Windsor Park Nordic Centre. It’s also a short walk to Thermëa by Nordik Spa Nature, the city’s oh-so-relaxing outdoor spa (which the hotel often offers package deals.)
Delta Hotels by Marriott Winnipeg is primetime for concert goers, hockey fans and those of you looking to be at the centre of it all. Downtown’s largest four-star is directly connected via heated skywalks to True North Square and Canada Life Centre, plus it’s a block away from Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq.
For luxury and legendary hospitality, look no further than Fairmont Winnipeg. It’s a one-block walk from both the arena and the hustle and bustle of The Forks. Right behind the hotel is the East Exchange, our Theatre District that is also brimming with fantastic eateries and nightlife.