From a relaxing spa day to ice-skating along the world’s longest river trail, here are the top five experiences to enjoy in Winnipeg this winter
Wintertime in Winnipeg is full of awe-inspiring, seasonal surprises.
Travellers visiting Manitoba’s capital can embrace the great outdoors and enjoy winter in the city in all its glory with seasonal activities, events and attractions. From relaxing in a hot thermal pool amidst the beautiful woodland at Thermëa Spa to climbing a 20-metre man-made ice tower along the river bank, there is plenty to do for non-skiers this festive season.
1. Thermëa Spa by Nordik Spa-Nature
Located a few minutes from downtown Winnipeg, near Crescent Drive Golf Course, Thermëa Spa by Nordik Spa-Nature takes guests through a unique relaxation experience in nature. The relaxation and healing centre focuses on thermotherapy and techniques based off the Scandinavian spa ritual of hot-cold-relax which aims to eliminate toxins, stimulate blood circulation, and increase cardiac rhythm to gain a profound feeling of well-being. The ritual alternates between hot and cold pools, saunas, and steam rooms and has stunning relaxation areas facilitated with heated hammocks and indoor heated tile loungers for the ultimate cleansing cycle for both the body and mind. Surrounded by quiet woods and greenery of a park and golf course, this is the perfect spot for a winter spa day to relax and unwind in Winnipeg. www.travelmanitoba.com/listings/thermeaba-by-nordik/7151/
2. Festival du Voyageur
Western Canada’s largest annual winter festival, Festival du Voyageur, meaning ‘Festival of the Traveller’ invites visitors to embrace winter at its finest. Held every February (14-23 2020) in St. Boniface – the city’s charming French District – the festival attracts an average of 95,000 visitors each year to experience Manitoba’s French-Canadian and Métis heritage and culture. Visitors can admire giant snow sculptures, attend live music concerts, and indulge in tasty French- Canadian foods and meet the historical characters of Fort Gibraltar. Festival du Voyageur bonds the traditions of the past with the vitality of the Manitoban community of today. www.travelmanitoba.com/event/festival-du-voyageur/61355/
3. Skate along the World’s Longest Frozen Trail
The Red River Mutual Trail at The Forks, offers visitors a unique and memorable winter ice-skating experience – the chance to skate along the world’s longest naturally frozen skating trail whilst taking in the spectacular sights of the city from both the frozen Red and Assiniboine Rivers. For those less confident on the ice, the trail offers skating lessons for all abilities or if skating doesn’t appeal, visitors can choose to walk, cycle, snowshoe or cross-country ski along the trail. www.theforks.com/events/river-trail
Additionally, Warming Huts: An Art + Architecture Competition on Ice has been melding world-class design and art with Winnipeg’s famous winters since 2009. The annual event boasts works of architecture by designers from across the globe who build quirky constructions along The Red River Mutual Trail for visitors to then skate to, interact with, and enjoy along the frozen rivers. www.warminghuts.com
4. Ice Climbing Tower
For those seeking a heart-racing experience this winter, St. Boniface welcomes visitors to climb one of the city’s most popular attractions – a free-standing ice-climbing tower. The monolith springs skyward from a river bank in Winnipeg’s French Quarter every winter for visitors to try their hand at summiting the 20-metre structure. As the only major city in Canada with a major prop for ice climbing, this is a winter adventure for those brave enough not to be missed. www.cesb.net/escalade-sur-glace/?lang=en
5. The World’s Largest Snow Maze
Winnipeg’s winter snow maze located 15 km south of Winnipeg near the town of St. Adolphe is the perfect place for a family day out this wintertime. Officially the World’s Largest Snow Maze according to the Guinness World Records, the puzzle covers 2,789 square feet and is 4,200 feet long. The maze has attracted visitors from around the world and this year, the maze is expected to be even bigger with exciting artistic add-ons for a more thrilling experience. www.cornmaze.ca/pages/snowmaze