Wonderful Winnipeg winter weekend getaway

Posted December 16, 2021

A visit to Manitoba means travelling through Treaty 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Territory and through communities who are signatories to Treaties 6 and 10. It encompasses the original lands of the Anishinaabeg, Anish-Ininiwak, Dakota, Dene, Ininiwak and Nehethowuk and the homeland of the Métis. To learn more about Manitoba's Treaty areas, click here.

Who doesn't love a city getaway in one of the best winter cities in the world? In Winnipeg, we welcome winter with open arms because as the temperature drops, things heat up. Stay in a chic hotel, go skating on the river and then fill your belly with world-class cuisine. While you're at it, take in the cultural sites including the world's only Inuit art gallery and the only museum in the world dedicated to human rights. Spending a weekend in Winnipeg? Here is our list to ensure it's truly wonderful.

Mere Winnipeg

Located in the heart of downtown, this boutique hotel is an ideal spot to rest your head for your winter weekend getaway. This waterfront spot not only offers up snowy views of the frozen river, it's in walking distance to The Forks and some of the best restaurants in the city. A stone's throw from the Exchange District, you can take in a show in the theatre district before indulging in the chic contemporary rooms of the Mere.

The Forks

The Forks turns into a veritable wonderland come winter, and if you’ve never experienced its magic, it’s time. Where else in the world can you skate or walk down one of the longest natural skating rinks on the planet, while stopping for a rest inside an artfully designed warming hut conceptualized by design masterminds? Nowhere. That’s where. You can also skate across the frozen pathways throughout The Forks and over top the rail bridge with its canopy of lights. Once you’ve had your fill, head to The Forks Market where you can sip on a craft beer flight from The Common or chow down on a pork belly Heroshima from Kyu Bistro. And trust me when I say those are the best in the world too.

Festival du Voyageur

Are you ready for a rollicking good time? Because Festival du Voyageur is ready to knock your ceinture fléchée off. Western Canada’s largest winter festival, FDV is 10 days of music, food and culture. Celebrating Manitoba’s Metis heritage, you can dance a jig at a traditional Franco Manitobain kitchen party and satisfy your sugar tooth at the cabane à sucre where maple syrup poured over snow becomes a gooey treat. Feast on dishes like bannock and pea soup and then take a swig of potent Caribou from the ice bar before parking yourself in front of a bonfire to savour the night sky. With historic reenactments, top-notch music acts, and snow sculptures that defy physics, this festival celebrates winter as it was meant to be.

Thermea Spa-Nordik

So basically, you haven’t lived until you’ve experienced Thermea, an outdoor nordic spa, in the winter. This is not an exaggeration. Imagine sitting in a pool of swirling foamy water as the steam rises off the top and snowflakes fall gently around you. Picture the sparkle of snow-covered evergreen trees shielding you in their embrace as you make your way into a smouldering aromatherapy infused sauna and the invigorating rush you feel as you step back outside and slip into the bubbling waters. Feel the warmth of a bonfire gently tickling your skin as you sip on a piping mug of herbal tea. And finally, fantasize about the gourmet meal and glass of champagne you’ll enjoy as moonlight reflects off the snow. Tell me that you can resist that. Just try.

Canadian Museum of Human Rights

Built on ancestral land--First Nations’ Treaty One territory and the heartland of the Métis people--the Canadian Museum for Human Rights stands as a significant presence on Winnipeg’s skyline. The glass ‘cloud’ shape mimics the wings of a dove as 1,300 glass panes wrap around the building. The soaring Tower of Hope rises 100 m into the air providing a 360-degree view of the entire city. Featuring 12 interactive galleries, this is a museum that is far less about artifacts and far more about ideas presented through stories and technology. An often life-changing experience, visitors who come here will find themselves immersed in the stories of struggle and triumph that abound throughout the 4,300 sq. ft. of exhibit space.

Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq

Winnipeg Art Gallery's new addition, Qaumajuq (pronounced kow-ma-yourk), houses more than 14,000 pieces of contemporary Inuit art that includes carvings, drawing, prints, textiles, and new media, each with its own story to tell. The first thing you'll notice is the multi-story, glass vault that displays many of these carvings on a rotating basis. The 185,000 sq. ft. campus houses the largest collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world and is an engaging and accessible space, designed to experience art in new ways that combine technology with direct connections to the land, people and cultures of the North.

Dining about town

Winnipeg is home to so many amazing restaurants, many of which are located in the Exchange District near Mere Winnipeg. The James Avenue Pumphouse is a recent addition to the local food scene. This former industrial site still houses the original pump equipment where you can dine on trendy, gourmet eats while you overlook the machinery through the large glass wall. A staple of the Winnipeg food scene is Deer + Almond where Chef Mandel Hitzer has been serving up regional fare with a modern twist. Try the Manitoba pickerel with wild earth farms kohlrabi and hollandaise for a treat. For hearty cuisine in an elegant setting, check out Peasant Cookery for its French-inspired cuisine combined with a few local surprises. Dine on house made charcuterie, tourtiere and traditional tarte flambe.

For more guidance on planning your ultimate Winnipeg weekend getaway, visit our website.