The Winnipeg Jets, the town’s NHL franchise, are well-known internationally, but the city is also well-known nationally for its exceptional arts and culture scene.
A very lively cultural life is enjoyed by the locals, also referred to as Peggers, with everything from play and opera on offer and ballet to concerts.
The spectacular Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the city’s newest main attraction, has recently received prominence.
The center of central Canada is Winnipeg, which is situated at the junction of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers, halfway between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. These two rivers converge in The Forks, one of Winnipeg’s best-known attractions.
How to Reach Winnipeg?
Winnipeg, which sits just off the Trans-Canada Highway, is almost in the center of Canada.
The Centre of Canada sign, where everyone wants to take a picture for Instagram, is actually approximately 20 minutes away. Additionally, Minnesota and North Dakota borders with the US are not too far away.
You’ll either arrive at Winnipeg via the west, arriving through Saskatchewan or via the east, arriving from Ontario, if you’re on a road trip across Canada.
The variety of things to do in Winnipeg differs by season owing to the harsh environment of the city, which features scorching summers and freezing winters. There is always a lot to love here, though.
To experience something unique to the winter season or to claim survival in one of the world’s coldest cities would be good reasons to travel during the winter.
The best time to travel would be in the summer, from June to July. There are numerous festivals, two stunning rivers, a wide range of diverse eateries, delectable ice cream parlours, and perhaps Canada’s finest museum.
Numerous lakes surround it as well, including the enormous Lake Winnipeg, which has one of the biggest white-sand beaches in the nation. Explore the top things to do in Winnipeg for suggestions on where to begin your trip.
Here Are the 12 Best Things to Do in Winnipeg:
1. Visit Canadian Museum for Human Rights
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, one of Canada’s finest museums and a prominent Winnipeg destination, is situated just next to the Forks.
This Manitoba museum transports tourists on an inspirational journey within the most stunningly gorgeous building in the city.
The most modern landmark in Winnipeg, symbolizing human rights in Canada and all over the world, is this latest change to the city’s cultural landscape. The structure has been thoughtfully designed, with the entry partially beneath and up into a relatively dark area before reaching the Tower of Hope with expansive views of the city.
Due to its unique exterior, which showcases the four main Canadian landscapes, it is currently the main subject of the majority of the photos of Winnipeg that you’ll come across.
Featuring floating ramps ascending and through levels, a reference to the basalt pillars of the Giant’s Causeway, and upbeat designs to balance the depressing theme, the interior structure of the building continues to astound visitors.
The museum is renowned for both its magnificent physical design and its original approach to telling tales about human rights. You simply enter the gallery on the ground floor and work your way up via six levels, stopping by 11 exhibitions.
Despite being contentious in many respects, it is without a doubt a significant part of Canadian culture. The Israel Asper Tower of Hope, which offers stunning panoramas of the city, is in complements the museum.
It encourages people from all over the world as the sole museum in a world completely committed to human rights education and awareness. Multisensory displays examine worldwide human rights ideas via a distinctively Canadian viewpoint.
Whilst emphasis is on Canada including its struggles with human rights over the years, there have been exhibits describing some of the greatest human rights abuses worldwide in addition to the inspiring individuals who’ve made an impact.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is unquestionably one of the top things to do in Winnipeg.
2. Explore The Forks
The Forks is an all-year vacation spot for residents and visitors, offering both outdoor and indoor events. It is an entertainment and shopping district housed in a variety of historic structures, situated where the Assiniboine and Red Rivers merge.
Originally a railway repair plant, the location has undergone thorough restoration to host a variety of intriguing stores, eateries, and galleries.
The primary structure is The Forks Market, wherein food vendors prepare a range of delectable delicacies and fruit, as well as vegetable traders, set up shop in the main hall. There are two levels of stores.
Additionally, you can climb the lookout tower to acquire a vantage point over the river as well as the cityscape. Another historical structure with a wide range of stores is the Johnston Terminal Building.
The indigenous people have utilized it as a gathering spot for more than 6,000 years. You can even use the water taxi service to board a boat and be driven down the river to various well-known city locations. An excellent venue to experience the spirit of the city is here.
People visit The Forks in the summer to partake in outdoor and indoor dining establishments and to relax on the river.
A nice riverfront walking path called the Riverwalk connects you to the Legislative Building, another popular destination in Winnipeg. Skating on The Forks Ice Rink or a frozen river is among the most well-liked winter activities, making it one of the best things to do in Winnipeg.
This is essentially Winnipeg’s center, where people go shopping at the weekly market, dine at the city’s many eateries, take in street performers and musical performances, and relax by the river.
And over 4 million visitors every year visit Winnipeg’s largest tourist attraction, the Forks market.
3. Enjoy the Assiniboine Park and Zoo
Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg’s oldest park, spans 445 hectares of lush lawns, historic trees, cultural amenities, as well as an English garden.
The Leo Mol Sculpture Garden is another point of interest in the park. You may browse through a sizable selection of his brass sculptures made using the lost-wax technique right here. His exquisite creations are shown in a gorgeous, colourful garden with waterways and old trees.
The Leo Mol Gallery, a renovated schoolhouse in which the artist produced several of his works, is situated nearby. Several pieces can be found inside the structure, as well as a demonstration of the lost-wax technique.
Within its premises is the Assiniboine Park Zoo, which is filled with a diverse range of fauna, flora, and animals.
The Assiniboine Park Zoo offers the opportunity for visitors to engage with wildlife from around the world and is situated right within Winnipeg’s most picturesque park. The Zoo is among the most popular tourist destinations in Winnipeg and is open all year.
There is a focus on northern-adapted animals, including a large concentration of polar bears, but there are also several exotic species like red kangaroos and Siberian tigers.
The most well-known animal to observe hails from an identical region. Polar bears, Arctic foxes, muskoxen, wolves, as well as other north species that are observed in Northern Manitoba are housed in the acclaimed Journey to Churchill exhibit.
It is the largest exhibit of its sort featuring northern species anywhere in the world. Polar bears swimming alongside you peer over the glass have indeed become a symbol of the Winnipeg Zoo.
Riding the 4-8-2 miniature steam train in Assiniboine Park is entertaining if you’re travelling with kids.
The train departs from a location to the west of the Pavilion structure and travels across a small gauge track. In addition to running on a weekend in October and September, the train travels every day all through the summer. It costs minimal to ride.
Tourists in the Zoo get the chance to go on barn tours and discover more about Manitoba’s early history, where heavy horse force was used in sectors including agriculture, mining, forestry, and road building.
4. Explore Legislative Building
In 1919, the majestic Neoclassical Legislative Building located at Broadway was constructed. It was constructed from native Italian marble and Tyndall stone.
There are mysterious numerical codes, Freemason symbols, and concealed hieroglyphics throughout the structure. Weekly tours are available, and they are led by an expert in architectural history.
The opulent grounds are decorated with statues, sculptures, and well-kept gardens.
The Golden Boy statue, a four-meter-tall bronze statue that weighs 5 tons and is covered in 23.5 carats of gold, sits atop the 72-meter-diameter dome. The bushel of wheat on the left arm and a torch in the right hand represents Manitoba’s eternal agricultural success.
Anyone who has a feeling of wonder and curiosity should take the Hermetic Code Tour, which will bring you on a fascinating trip to Canada’s best legislature building.
One of the most interesting adult attractions in Winnipeg as well as one of the top things to do in Winnipeg.
5. Visit the Manitoba Museum
The province’s natural and human history is the main focus of the Manitoba Museum.
The Science Planetarium and Gallery, which is extremely interactive, exposes the expanse of the sky at night on the domed screen while the nine permanent museums highlight the best that the region has to provide.
A 95-million-year-old fossilized Pliosaur, an exhibit that simulates the Northern Lights, and a Hudson Bay fur trade post-recreation are among the museum’s attractions.
The Nonsuch, a model ketch sailing ship from the 17th century, is also among the most well-known exhibits.
Climb aboard and tour the entire ship to learn about the difficulties faced by the intrepid people who first sailed the Atlantic. Near the Exchange District in downtown is where you’ll find the museum.
This is one of the greatest indoor things in Winnipeg since you can learn about the fascinating cosmos, the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period, or the prairie plains that constitute most of Western Canada together under one cover.
6. Enjoy Festival du Voyageur
The most well-known winter celebration in Winnipeg is called Festival du Voyageur.
This festival honours the customs of the French Voyageurs or early Canadian fur traders, and it takes place in the month of February. The festival offers performances and activities in both English and French for both adults and children.
The festival, which takes place in Saint Boniface, includes buskers, music, enormous snow sculptures, and the finest selection of French Canadian cuisine.
At Voyageur Park as well as other locations across the city, sizable tents are arranged outside where live music, dancing, food, and other activities are available.
Some of the festival’s attractions are breathtaking snow and ice sculptures, so ensure that you do not skip them. The beard-growing competition is another festival custom.
Before the festival, competitors had ten weeks to grow the best beard in one of four categories. Since its inception in 1970, this event has drawn an estimated 95000 visitors from around the world each year.
7. Learn at the Winnipeg Art Gallery
The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) is a Canadian institution that has an approximately 24,000-piece collection of highly regarded world art.
The Gallery, located in a cutting-edge structure resembling a ship’s bow, is home to 25,000 works of contemporary and classic art created mostly by Canadian, European, American and Inuit artists.
The previous Inuit Art Gallery has indeed been renamed Quamajuq and will be brand-new in 2021. Over 14,000 works of Inuit art are housed in this brand-new, 40,000-square-foot structure with breathtaking architecture.
The entire gallery features Inuit artistry, but the three-story-high Visible Vault, which houses 7,500 items, is the most spectacular section.
The Winnipeg Art Gallery, the oldest gallery in Western Canada, regularly presents events and a variety of artists, including poets & jazz performers, making it one of the best things to do in Winnipeg.
For panoramic views of the city, don’t forget to visit the incredibly distinctive triangular rooftop sculpture garden. The Forks is close to the gallery, which is downtown.
Also included are critically renowned travelling exhibits that cover a range of topics, including the Renaissance, Dadaism, Ancient Greece, and the finest in modern photography.
The Winnipeg Art Gallery offers a wide variety of ongoing and changing exhibitions, as well as adult activities and art workshops that you may explore.
8. Visit St. Boniface Cathedral
With its founding in 1818, St. Boniface Cathedral is western Canada’s oldest cathedral.
The structure was once regarded as Manitoba’s best piece of French Romanesque architecture, although fires forced multiple reconstructions, even though the current cathedral keeps the original façade.
The stone remains of a 1905–1908 basilica were transplanted with a smaller church in 1972 to form St. Boniface Cathedral, which is situated in the center of Winnipeg’s French neighbourhood of St. Boniface.
The cathedral is located in a lovely park. It contains numerous ancient grave markers for early settlers and significant historical individuals, including Louis Riel’s grave.
The Grey Nuns built the neighbouring St. Boniface Museum in 1846. It was the region’s first convent, girls’ school, hospital, and orphanage.
It was restored in 1967 and turned into a museum that chronicled the past of Manitoba’s French minority and is one of the best things to do in Winnipeg.
9. Walk the Exchange District National Historic Site
Being one of Winnipeg’s most recognizable and lively neighbourhoods, the Exchange District is host to a number of Canada’s finest historical structures and is therefore a terrific place to go sightseeing in Winnipeg.
With its lovely pillars and brick facades, this region will transport you back in time by hundred years.
Winnipeg’s Exchange District is characterized by commercial Edwardian and Victorian architecture; the name is a representation of the numerous financial organizations that sprang up in Winnipeg during the 1880s and 1920s.
The Exchange District has recently experienced a renaissance as former warehouses, banks, and commercial spaces have been transformed into upscale stores, restaurants, fashion boutiques, and art galleries.
Old Market Square, which hosts numerous festivals and events in the summer, serves as the neighbourhood’s unofficial center.
With an astonishing array of venues like the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Pantages Playhouse Theatre, and Manitoba Centennial Centre, the Exchange District also serves as a focal point for the city’s cultural landscape.
With a wide variety of eateries, cafés, museums, and lifestyle retailers, this is also Winnipeg’s center of culture, making it one of the best things to do in Winnipeg.
This is a neighbourhood you cannot afford to overlook, whether you’re wanting to shop, take in the magnificent architecture, or are simply searching for top things to do in Winnipeg this weekend.
If you are interested in history and would like to discover more about the lovely neighbourhood, you can even join a tour guide of the historic area.
10. Rejuvenate at Fort Whyte Alive
FortWhyte Alive, one of the nicest parks in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is the place to go if you’re seeking a sizable piece of nature inside the city. Its 640 acres of picturesque prairie land are home to a variety of wildlife.
Fort Whyte Alive, a 259-hectare property, is renowned for five lakes, lush parkland, and beautiful bog boardwalks. A burrowing owl display and an aquarium can be seen at the interpretative center.
Visitors can observe the bison herd outside, go to bird feed stations, watch the prairie dogs at the prairie dog village while they play or see the sod house, making it one of the best things to do in Winnipeg.
On the several lakes nearby, you may enjoy sailing, kayaking, or canoeing, observe the bison, the largest in North America or perhaps even relax on the restaurant terrace while drinking a locally produced beer.
Seven kilometres of hiking and biking routes can be found at Fort Whyte Alive, and courses in paddling and sailing are offered during the summertime on the lakes.
For those who want to venture outside in the winter and take advantage of the crisper air, there are a sizable ice rink, cross-country ski paths and a toboggan run.
FortWhyte Alive is a terrific destination whether you are searching for a brief getaway into the wilderness or a full-on exciting excursion.
11. Take your kids to Manitoba Children’s Museum
The Manitoba Children’s Museum is located in The Forks in a cutting-edge building. There are 12 engaging permanent galleries inside this unusual structure that will interest kids of all ages.
The galleries include the Milk Machine, which has a large cow cube you can really enter, and the Engine House, which has a ton of gears and levers for youngsters to operate.
They can test creative perceptions inside the enormous Illusion Tunnel, experiment with water in the Splash Lab, and more. The Lasagna Lookout, wherein your children are permitted to mess with their food, is another interesting location.
The museum provides visiting exhibits in complement to its permanent galleries as well as hosts special festivities during holidays like Christmas and Halloween.
Visitors can board the vintage 1920 Pullman passenger coach and 1952 diesel locomotive. Visit Eaton’s Fairytale Vignettes over the Christmas season to wander around the kingdom of fairy narratives.
You should visit and experience this museum if you’ve got kids or are simply a kid at heart.
12. Explore Living Prairie Museum
One of the last remaining patches of tall grass prairie is preserved on the grounds of the Living Prairie Museum. It includes a fantastic interpretive center and 150 different native grass as well as wildflower types.
Visitors can view the preserved grassland from a platform on the second floor; this ecosystem, which originally encompassed one million sq. kilometres of North America, has significantly shrunk.
There are 12 hectares of remaining tallgrass prairie, along with the birds, animals, insects, and a variety of environmentally, historically, and culturally significant plant species.
16.3 hectares make up the museum’s grounds and a self-guided walk around the entire thing. Grab a booklet and stop at the designated posts along the walk to know details about the plants and animals in the area.
Learn more about this distinctive landmark and the tale of settlement, loss of habitat, and protection by taking a visit to the interpretive center. It’s undoubtedly one of Winnipeg’s most distinctive tourist destinations.
These were the 12 best things to do in Winnipeg. Winnipeg is a worthwhile destination and has frequently appeared on rankings of the world’s top tourism destinations.
Visits to Assiniboine Park, The Forks, various museums, and art galleries are just a few of the entertaining things to do in Winnipeg for visitors of all ages.