150 Things to do in Winnipeg this year during Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation
Events, attractions, parks and parties across Canada are now celebrating 150 years of Canadian Confederation.
It's grabbing the world's attention, including The New York Times, which has chosen our country as the number one spot (of 52 listed) of places to go in 2017.
Here in Winnipeg the party has already begun, so we've come up with a list of 150 things to do so you can keep celebrating all year long.
1. Have an unforgettable nose-to-nose experience with polar bears, seals and other Arctic species at the Journey to Churchill exhibit at Assiniboine Park Zoo.
2. Be inspired to make a difference when you journey from darkness to light inside the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg’s architectural marvel.
3. Experience the thrill of 16 sports, over 250 events and a major cultural festival at the Canada Summer Games. (July 28 – August 13)
4. Admire the many warming huts designed by some of the world’s best architects on the Red River Mutual Trail.
5. Feel the power of the “TRUE NORTH” as you cheer on the Winnipeg Jets NHL hockey team.
6. Don’t miss this season’s exciting lineup at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s including Love Lies Bleeding (March 1 – 5) and Vespers (May 10 – 14).
7. Catch a concert at the MTS Centre featuring top touring bands, pop stars and rock gods.
8. Winnipeg Art Gallery’s ART Express’d will connect Canada coast-to-coast through collaborative art making projects utilizing three shipping containers.
9. Take in sounds that are nearly as sweet as the setting during Assiniboine Park’s Summer Entertainment Series, which features free shows from famous musicians at the park’s open air Lyric Theatre.
10. Decode the mysteries and secrets hidden within the Manitoba Legislative Building’s grand architecture on a guided Hermetic Code Tour.
11. Unwind at Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature, renowned for its Scandinavian-style treatments, saunas, hot and cold pools and dining in your robes.
12. Celebrate Canada Day at The Forks, Assiniboine Park, and Osborne Village where live music, fireworks, and tons of family friendly activities are on the agenda.
13. Worldly tours of the Royal Canadian Mint are worth their weight in gold when you discover how coins from across the globe are made.
14. Savour authentic cuisine and feast your senses on cultural displays and live entertainment at 40-plus pavilions representing cultures from around the globe at Folklorama, the world’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival. (August 6-19)
15. Encounter 30 grunting bison, paddle a voyageur canoe, and explore a Plains Cree Tipi during A Prairie Legacy: The Bison and its People eco-tour at FortWhyte Alive.
16. Relive Canada’s fur trade history through authentic food, entertainment and snow sculptures at Festival du Voyageur, western Canada’s largest winter festival. (February 17 – 26)
17. Cirque du Soleil brings the big top to Winnipeg with Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities, a show about a 19th century inventor whose machine defies the laws of space and time. (June 2 – 25)
18. Tour one of Winnipeg’s most culturally diverse neighbourhoods and get the story behind its beautiful murals on a West End BIZ Mural Walking Tour.
19. Relish popular musicals including Little Shop of Horrors (June 22 – July 14) and Mama Mia (August 10 – 31) at Rainbow Stage in Kildonan Park.
21. Touch a real meteorite and view a rock collected during the Apollo 17 mission to the moon at the Manitoba Museum during NASA Moon Rock. (On until June 25)
22. Root for the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers football team as they compete for Canada’s coveted Grey Cup.
23. Stock up on fresh local produce, Manitoba meats, crafts and preserves at Le Marché St. Norbert Farmers Market. (Saturdays, May 20 to October 28, Wednesdays, May 24 to September 27)
24. Get swept up in fast-paced stock car and pro-racing excitement at Red River Co-op Speedway racetrack.
25. Hop aboard a vintage trolley and experience a humorous and engaging 95 –minute “Heart of the Nation” city tour offered by Winnipeg Trolley Company.
Skating on the Red River Mutual Trail - #4 (photo by Zac Wronski)
26. Experience a culinary experience like no other at RAW:almond, the world’s most intriguing pop-up restaurant which is situated on top of the frozen Assiniboine River. (January 20-February 13)
27. Go for a railroad adventure to Grosse Isle, MB aboard the Prairie Dog Central Railway, one of the oldest regularly scheduled vintage trains in North America.
28. Join thousands of music lovers in Birds Hill Provincial Park for the Winnipeg Folk Festival. (July 6-9)
29. Feel the gentle touch of a songbird in the palm of your hands as you release it into the wild during the Bird in the Hand Destination Canada Signature Experience at Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre.
30. Introduce your children to the performance arts by attending kid-friendly productions at Manitoba Theatre for Young People.
31. Spend a day exploring the different galleries in the culturally rich Exchange District, including Mayberry Fine Art, Graffiti Gallery, Gurevich Fine Art, Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery, cr8ery and aceartinc.
32. Have fun at contemporary art events in the Exchange District, and at the Winnipeg Art Gallery during Nuit Blanche. (September 30)
33. Slither down slides, crawl through willow tree tunnels and swing on basket swings at the Nature Playground located inside Assiniboine Park.
34. Explore the Witches Hut from Brothers Grimm fairy tale Hansel & Gretel in Kildonan Park.
35. Visit up to four Winnipeg microbreweries and one distillery with Winnipeg Tasting Tours.
36. Remember great moments in sporting history from the province’s top athletes at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.
37. Place your bet and cheer on racing thoroughbreds at Assiniboia Downs.
38. STOMP brings percussion and dance like you wouldn’t believe using literally everything on stage at the Burton Cummings Theatre. (May 6 – 7)
39. Attend popular plays at Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s Mainstage, or see something unexpected at the Warehouse Theatre.
40. Bend, stretch and pose through challenging yoga classes at Canada’s largest yoga studio, Yoga Public.
41. Take in an action-packed baseball game when the Winnipeg Goldeyes step up to the plate at Shaw Park.
42. Dance the night away during MEME, the Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition, featuring free electronic music at the Cube Stage. (August 10 – 13)
43. Feel the rush as you go snow tubing in winter and skim the water with heart-pumping cable wakeboarding in summer at Adrenaline Adventures.
44. See Winnipeg’s top sights and learn about the city’s colourful past on a Winnipeg City Tour.
45. Feel the emotion conveyed in Manitoba Opera’s powerful production of Werther. (April 29, May 2, 5)
46. View entertaining exhibits depicting the earliest uses of electricity along with its evolution at the Manitoba Electrical Museum and Education Centre.
47. Take in Remembering the Real Winnie exhibition at the Pooh Gallery in Assiniboine Park's Pavilion Gallery Museum.
48. Leap to new heights at indoor trampoline park Sky Zone, which features an all-trampoline walled playing court.
49. Learn about the city’s storied rock ‘n’ roll history from a local music historian on a Magical Musical History Tour.
50. Let the sounds of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra sweep you away with their always-diverse range of concerts.
Winnipeg Fringe Festival - #124 (photo by Brett Howe)
51. Head downtown to take in Manyfest, featuring movies in Memorial Park, Food Truck Wars, wine and beer gardens, artisanal markets and a cycling festival. (September 8 – 10)
52. Get an insider’s view to the Exchange District’s thriving culinary scene during a Feast on Foot Tour, with themes including Little South America (Mondays) and Devour the District (Tuesdays).
53. You’ll be enchanted by the marvellous mythology and Manitoba-based statues by master sculptor Leo Mol in his namesake sculpture garden in Assiniboine Park.
54. Kids play while learning about Manitoba’ history at the Variety Heritage Adventure Park at The Forks, an interactive one-of-a-kind playground that also features one the city’s largest splash pads.
55. Show your little ones a great time at Kidsfest, where they can get their face painted, enjoy hands-on activities and watch talented children’s entertainers perform at The Forks. (June 8 – 11)
56. Explore the St. Boniface Museum, which depicts the lives and colourful history of the French and Metis people that settled in the area.
57. Legendary live acts are always on the cards at the Club Regent Event Centre, including Tom Cochrane (March 13), Peking Acrobats (March 16), and Charlie Pride (May 11).
58. Sway to the sounds of smooth jazz as performed by the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra.
59. Zoom around in go-karts and race against your friends at Speedworld Indoor Kart Track.
60. Do some serious shopping on Kenaston Boulevard, Winnipeg’s home for big box retailers including IKEA, Cabela’s, HomeSense and so much more.
61. Take a stroll around St. Boniface Cathedral, a stunning Winnipeg landmark that is the resting place of Louis Riel. (Free tours run late May to Labour Day, Saturdays between 11:15 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.)
62. Immerse yourself in the work of Agatha Christie with plays, readings, film screenings and more during Royal MTC's Master Playwright Festival - ChristieFest. (February 8 – 26)
63. Don your flashiest threads for a night on the dance floor at LGBTTQ friendly nightclubs Fame and Club 200.
64. Enjoy live theatre along with a delicious four-course dinner served by characters from the show at Celebrations Dinner Theatre.
65. Skate your away along the Red River Mutual Trail, one of the world’s longest naturally frozen skating trails.
66. Retail therapy is easy when you have access to top fashion brands like H&M, Victoria’s Secret, Forever 21, and RW & Co at CF Polo Park, Winnipeg’s largest shopping mall.
67. Discover The Forks’ history and uncover what lies beneath your feet with a Parks Canada costumed interpreter during a 6,000 years in 60 Minutes walking tour of The Forks.
68. Join 12 hundred fellow epicureans for a semi-secret feast on one of the world’s longest dining tables at Table for 1200. (June 3, location TBA)
69. Chill to the sounds of some of the globe’s best jazz and blues performers during the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival. (June 15 – 25)
70. There’s always something to do at the Qualico Family Centre at Assiniboine Park, where the Riley family duck pond is transformed into an outdoor skating rink come winter.
71. Perform experiments in the Splash Lab and test your perception in the Illusion Tunnel at the Children’s Museum.
72. Purchase a piece of art at galleries found on Corydon Avenue including Gallery Lacosse, Nunavut gallery, and Stoneware Gallery.
73. Rent skates and glide along 5 km of groomed skating trails or slide down the toboggan hill at Arctic Glacier Winter Park.
74. Explore Upper Fort Garry Provincial Park, a Hudson’s Bay Company fort built between 1834 and 1837 where a fun new historical interpretation experience and corresponding app was recently created.
75. Nobody puts baby in the corner when Dirty Dancing: a live theatrical experience – hits the Centennial Concert Hall stage. (March 31 – April 2)
Aboriginal Day Live - #139 (photo by APTN)
76. Attend a recital featuring rising stars and established musicians as part of the Virtuosi Concerts, the University of Winnipeg’s premier recital and chamber music series.
77. Discover historic tales held within some of Winnipeg’s most unique and impressive architectural buildings during Doors Open Winnipeg. (May 27 – 28)
78. Shoot for a hole-in-one alongside dinosaurs and sea creatures at U-Puttz Amusement Centre, an indoor glow-in-the-dark family entertainment centre.
79. Become an astronomical explorer as you investigate the night sky during a show at the Planetarium.
80. Enjoy live entertainment, a thrilling midway of over 25 extreme rides, outrageous food vendors and countless activities for kids at the Red River Exhibition. (June 16 – 25)
81. Indulge in chocolate delicacies and edible art at Chocolatier Constance Popp, Winnipeg’s first bean-to-bar maker.
82. Slide down 10 rushing water slides, take in a round of mini golf, splash around on bumper boats or try your hand at zip-lining at Fun Mountain Waterslide Park.
83. Celebrate aboriginal culture, music and art at Manito Ahbee, which features the Indigenous Music Awards, an International Pow Wow, and an impressive marketplace. (May 17 – 21)
84. Watch history unfold before your eyes at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, where costumed staff recreate the 1850s in this restored 19th century stone fort.
85. Chuckle at comedic circus acts, magicians and various performers at The Forks Market during the Festival of Fools. (March 25 – 31)
86. Eat at buzz-worthy restaurants and shop at the unique boutiques and specialty stores that populate swanky Academy Road.
87. Enjoy new plays of Jewish interest by Manitoban and Canadian playwrights at Winnipeg Jewish Theatre.
88. Enthusiastic tour guides entertain you with tales of power, corruption and heroism while exploring the immaculate architecture of the Exchange District on an Exchange District Historical Walking Tour.
89. The dance floor is always bumping at downtown nightclubs including 441 Main and the Palomino Club.
90. Participate in workshops, events and tours taking place across the city during Culture Days, which serves as a veritable showcase for Winnipeg’s artistic community. (September 29 - October 1)
91. Blast your opponents inside LaserTopia’s vast maze.
92. Buy global gifts, souvenirs, clothing, crafts, local artwork, jewellery, food and more at The Forks Market.
93. Take part in the Pride Day parade and rally at the Manitoba Legislative Building during the Pride Winnipeg 30th Anniversary Festival. (June 4)
94. Visit the beautiful pagoda gardens and the Carol Shields Memorial Labyrinth in King’s Park.
95. Climb a massive play structure with seven slides at indoor family play centre Great Big Adventure.
96. Learn about Canada’s aviation history while viewing one-of-a-kind aircraft at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada.
97. Bring your favourite stuffed animal for a checkup and participate in family friendly fun at the Teddy Bears' Picnic in Assiniboine Park. (May 28)
98. Explore the community and railway history of the area at the Transcona Historical Museum.
99. Experience Winnipeg’s French Quarter and history at its best on an Old St. Boniface Walking Tour.
100. See the Boy with the Boot statue and the Queen Victoria Monument in Assiniboine Park’s colourful English Garden.
Brazilian performers at Folklorama - #14 (photo by Tse Li Luk)
101. Attend theatre, film, music and various cultural events and performances at the Park Theatre.
102. You’ll be spellbound by the captivating, interpretive movements of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers.
103. Meet the producers and artisans behind the fresh produce, baking, meats, crafts and other goods for sale at the Downtown Farmers’ Market, The Forks Farmers’ Market and Red River Farmers’ Market.
104. Shop at fun and funky boutiques and eat at trendy restaurants throughout Osborne Village.
105. Relax to classical music performed by the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.
106. Chow down on BBQ, watch pitmasters battle in a Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned competition, and groove to blues at the Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival. (August, specific dates TBA)
107. Play a round of mini golf, go go-karting or take a spin on water-squirting bumper boats at outdoor family entertainment centre Thunder Rapids Amusement Park.
108. Get your groove on to indie bands and legendary performers at intimate venues including Le Garage Café, West End Cultural Centre, Pyramid Cabaret and Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club.
109. No matter what the weather is like outside, it’s always balmy, lush and aromatic inside the Assiniboine Park Conservatory.
110. Open your ears to the possibilities during the WSO’s New Music Festival, featuring innovative performers and new works. (January 28 – February 3)
111. Sample more than 500 wines from 130 wineries at Winnipeg Wine Festival’s public wine tastings at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg. (May 5 – 6)
112. Use technology to discover the story behind some of Winnipeg’s best buildings on a Winnipeg Architecture Foundation designed QR Code Tour.
113. Bust out your skateboard or BMX and ride Canada’s best and largest urban skate park and bowl complex, the Skateboard Plaza at The Forks.
114. Journey back in history while viewing the Winnipeg Railway Museum’s artifacts and displays, which includes the Countess of Dufferin – the first steam locomotive on the Prairies.
115. Launch water balloons at your opponent, race go-karts on a nearly mile-long course and practice your batting skills at the batting cages at Grand Prix Amusements.
116. Catch French language theatre at Le Cercle Molière, the longest-running theatre company in North America.
117. Snowboard or ski down 10 trails that include a terrain park, halfpipe and moguls at Springhill Winter Sports Park.
118. View the city’s sites and get historical commentary while cruising down the Assiniboine and Red rivers with Splash Dash Guided River Tours.
119. Immerse yourself in all things Ukrainian at Oseredok - Ukrainian Cultural and Education Centre.
120. Track down hidden geocodes scattered throughout St. Boniface using rented GPS technology from Tourisme Riel.
121. Brush up on classical music while listening to the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.
122. Groove to the sounds of the Caribbean during the Soca Reggae Music Festival. (July 14-16)
123. Solve the sequential clues in order to master Escape Rooms such as Codebreakers, Enigma Escapes, The Real Escape, and Ultimate lockdown.
124. Take in performances of comedy, drama, improv and dance during the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. (July 19 – 30)
125. Ride the Ferris wheel, the Whacky Mouse Roller Coaster and more than a dozen other kid-sized rides at Tinkertown Family Fun Park.
One of the many stages at The Winnipeg Folk Festival - #28 (photo by Chris Douglas)
126. Join the Winnipeg Arts Council on an illuminating tour that unveils some of the city’s best public artworks.
127. Tour the stunning Dalnavert Museum, the restored 1895 home of Sir Hugh John Macdonald, the former Premier of Manitoba.
128. Get a glimpse of Old St. Nick during the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade. (November 18)
129. Zip-line through trees while getting a bird’s eye view of the corn maze at A Maze in Corn.
130. Sip, sample and stroll throughout downtown Winnipeg on your choice of five enticing Downtown Food Tours.
131. Join the lunch crowd in the centre of the city for free concerts starring local musicians during the Out to Lunch Concert Series.
132. Have a laugh with top comedians as they perform their funniest material at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. (April 3 – 9)
133. Go shopping at the Johnston Terminal, the former cold storage railway warehouse at The Forks that is now home to a variety of unique specialty boutiques and stores.
134. A truly unique theatrical experience takes shape at Shakespeare in the Ruins inside the Trappist Monastery Provincial Heritage Park, where Romeo and Juliet will be staged. (June 1 – 24)
135. Dine al fresco while people watching along Corydon Avenue’s packed patios in summertime.
136. Laugh, cry and be moved by the wide range of plays performed at Prairie Theatre Exchange.
137. Cheer on players who may be the next NHL stars at a Manitoba Moose hockey game.
138. Hear tales of drama, intrigue and precedence on any one of ten walking tours offered by SquarePeg Tours.
139. Head to the Forks for Aboriginal Day Live for a wide range of activities including live entertainment at the Festival Park and Stage. (June 21)
140. Have lunch at Mon Amis Louis – the only restaurant in North America that is situated on a bridge – while the Red River flows below.
141. Dress up as your favourite sci-fi, fantasy or comic book hero for Central Canada Comic Con. (October 27-29)
142. Take a spirited tour of Capital K Distillery, Manitoba's first craft distillery where Tall Grass Vodka and Gin are produced.
143. Run, jump and play on a massive three-story play structure at indoor children’s centre Kid City.
144. Watch history come to life (in most humorous fashion) in St. Boniface Cemetery during a Theatre in the Cemetery performance.
145. Hit the streets and shop the Exchange District where the locally owned boutiques, galleries, and stores are all très chic.
146. Learn about Transcona’s 100-year history along with the beautiful murals that bring colour and spirit to this unique neighbourhood during a Transcona Heritage Walking and Mural Tours.
147. Partake in a weekend celebration of music, wine and culinary excellence during Interstellar Rodeo. (August 18 – 20)
148. Savour beautiful views of the city’s skyline from Prairie 360, Winnipeg’s revolving restaurant atop Fort Garry Place.
149. Lay out a blanket or bring a lawn chair to watch a flick in the great outdoors during Movies on Memorial, the free weekly family-friendly movie screenings held in Memorial Park during summer.
150. Be dazzled by Manitoba’s largest drive-through light show that features more than 25 theme areas and displays during Canad Inns Winter Wonderland. (December 1 to January 6, 2018)
Canoeing at Oak Hammock Marsh - #29 (photo courtesy of Oak Hammock Marsh)