A Whirlwind of Experiences in Winnipeg


Arts and Culture   Canada Diaries   Entertainment  



Winnipeg is a bustling city with lots to do and see. Insightful art galleries, high-quality theatres, modern shopping centres, sightseeing tours, and more await you in the Gateway to the West. This list is the best of the best of what I’ve discovered in Winnipeg and I know you’re going to love them too. No matter what season you’ll be visiting during, there will be plenty to do. And don’t forget to befriend some of the warm locals while you’re there too!



1. Plug In ICA Gallery


PlugIn ICA Gallery Winnipeg
Picture Credits: Plug In ICA Gallery


For almost 50 years now, the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art has been asking some rather important questions about the art world. Questions such as: “What is contemporary art, how does it function in and define community, and what is its social value?” It defines its purpose by “supporting all aspects of art-making by presenting, producing and circulating contemporary art through research, exhibitions, publications, education, outreach and advocacy.” It’s pretty clear that the work being done is not only relevant and interesting but necessary! Labour of Love: On Digital Economies in the Arts is a lecture-screening-workshop series that takes place from November until mid-December. In this, the team of artists responsible creates a dialogue about the role of the digital world. All in all, this includes a whole host of topics. Go see it to experience all the coding, circuit bending, VR, AI and AR, gaming, scanning, and 3D printing!



2. Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre


Royal Manitoba Theatre Picture Credits: Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre


If you’re looking for a dose of culture during your trip to Winnipeg then the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre should be on your list! Not only is it a nice place to visit, it’s the place for theatre in Manitoba. It’s even been recognized with a royal designation in 2010 from Queen Elizabeth II! Here the focus is on theatre with a wide appeal, with current productions including The Color Purple and Fun Home coming up soon. The ticket prices here range from about $20-30 depending on the show, which is incredible for a fully professional production. It’d be the beginning of a great date night with that someone special! The theatre runs a total of 10 productions between 2 stages meaning per year as well. So regardless of when you’re looking to visit they will always be something spectacular waiting for you!



3. La Maison Gabrielle-Roy


La Maison Gabrielle-Roy
Picture Credits: La Maison Gabrielle-Roy


A step back into history, La Maison Gabrielle-Roy is a great place for you history, literature, and francophone fans out there! Gabrielle Roy is one of the most influential writers in Canadian history. In fact, if you’ve lived or been to Canada you’re already familiar with her… One of her most famous quotes is on the back of the $20 bill! This house was her childhood home, and it’s just filled to the brim with information about her life, her work, and of course the time period she grew up in. Now a museum open to the public a few months of the year, notably April-August, as well as September for school groups. I recommend checking out La Maison Gabrielle-Roy if you’re visiting during those times. And definitely bring the kiddos too to hopefully to spark a love of literature while you’re at it!



4. Sarasvàti Dramatic Theatre


Sarasvàti Dramatic Theatre
Picture Credits: Sarasvàti Dramatic Theatre


The Sarasvàti Dramatic Theatre is a fully independent and quality theatre company that is dedicated to using theatre to promote human understanding. Originally created in 1993 it’s been bringing laughs, tears, and everything in between to captivated audiences ever since. You may notice the unusual name, in fact, the theatre is named after the Indic goddess of inspiration and great change. This is a reminder and motivation in their mission to work with artists and the community in order to address relevant social issues. Theatre is a great “mirror” for issues in our society and daily life and the Sarasvàti Dramatic Theatre does exactly that. In addition to their regular schedule, they also host the annual “FemFest”, a national festival celebrating women theatre artists. The aim is to envision a future for Canadian theatre where plays by women comprise an equal number of productions in the main stage regional theatres. Come support some fantastic local theatre!



5. Flying Squirrel


Picture Credits: Flying Squirrel


The Flying Squirrel is so much fun! It’s the world’s largest indoor trampoline park, and it’s jam-packed with all sorts of options to entertain almost anyone. While of course, the trampolines themselves are awesome (and a great workout) they also have many other facilities available too. The foam pit, climbing wall, swinging ropes, dodgeball, and battle area are just some other options you can pick from too! And even if you’re not the jumping or soaring type, they have you covered too! You can still visit the in-house bar and cafe and enjoy the free WiFi while watching the aerial acrobatics. Of course safety is the number one priority at Flying Squirrel as well. Each jumper (or soarer) gets a safety overview before beginning to make sure they can spend more time perfecting their flips and spins. Their well-trained staff are attentive at making sure everyone is having a safe and fun jumping experience!



6. Manitoba Theatre for Young People


Manitoba Theatre for Young People
Picture Credits: Manitoba Theatre for Young People


Probably one of the cutest theatres in Manitoba, the Manitoba Theatre for Young People is one of the only (if not the only) theatre solely dedicated to young audiences. The performances are highly creative and energetic and can hold the attention (and respect) for audiences of any age. The theatre also doubles as a classroom with theatre school available for people aged 3 to teen! Not only does this theatre host fun and interesting productions, but their messages are so necessary in today’s world. Messages like compassion, fairness, kindness, and friendship are so important for people (of any age) to hear. They offer classic family favorites like Peter Pan as well as some new discoveries like Tiny Treasures. It’s the story of a 13 year old boy with some heavy responsibilities to his family members. Eventually he has to decide how and when to take care of himself as well as those around him.



7. Outlet Collection Winnipeg


Winnipeg Outlet Collection
Picture Credits: Outlet Collection Winnipeg


We all have some shopaholic tendencies, don’t we? Well then, fortunately for us the Outlet Collection Winnipeg is closeby! I guarantee you can spend hours wandering through some of your favourite stores like Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Banana Republic, and a whole lot more. And especially if you’re visiting in the winter months (like before the Holidays) it’s the perfect place to beat the chilly weather as well. With 103 different stores available I promise there’s something for everyone on your shopping list, just don’t forget about yourself! Even if you’re not in the shopping mood per se, there’s a really good selection of restaurants for you to choose from too. Take the family and enjoy! Pro tip: If you live more than 60km outside of the city limits you can pick up your Free “VIP Shopping Experience” card at guest services. This card gives you special discounts and offers from a good number of stores!



8. Teddy Bears’ Picnic


Picture Credits: Teddy Bears’ Picnic


A Winnipeg institution for more than 30 years now, the Teddy Bear’s Picnic is a yearly event that can’t be missed. It has been drawing crowds with fun and educational activities for the kiddos ever since. The 34th Annual Picnic is scheduled for May 31st in Assiniboine Park so add it to your calendar! Although it’s not a fundraiser, it is meant to raise public awareness of the importance of well-being.

Over the years it’s been running it’s steadily grown in popularity and now regularly brings out crowds of 30,000-60,000 people! From activities, face painting, entertainment as well as the Dr. Goodbear Clinic – where you can take your teddy bear for its annual check-up plus a pancake breakfast and food trucks, it’s a fantastic event for families.. The event takes place rain or shine so be sure to bring an umbrella just in case (fingers crossed for no snow!). Be sure to bring the kids and have a great day supporting a worthy cause.



9. Platform Centre


Picture Credits: PLATFORM Centre


Who’s better than an artist to showcase art and other local, national, and international artists? Well at the PLATFORM Centre that’s exactly what you’ll find! A completely artist-run centre, they are dedicated to promoting the expanded role of photography in contemporary art. In addition, their mission is to foster and sustain a critically engaged community of artists, and they take that very seriously. The space itself is interdisciplinary, with exhibitions, lectures, workshops, production facilities and publications all being coordinated and curated for the public. Even better is that the centre is free to visit and is open from Tuesday-Saturday from 11-4! They have a yearly rotation of 8 different exhibits available so there’s always something new to check out when you’re in Winnipeg. So whether you’re an admirer or an artist you’ll have a great time checking out the inspiring and important work they do at PLATFORM.



10. Enigma Escapes


Enigma Escapes
Picture Credits: Enigma Escapes


If you’re never tried an escape room, Enigma Escapes is your chance! An escape room is a room-sized puzzle that you and your team must work through within the given time limit. At Enigma you’ll have an hour to solve a series of themed puzzles that will test you on various things. Mental flexibility, math skills, logic, and an ability to work in a team will all be needed! And the puzzle rooms themselves are very well designed, all with their own theme and game master to explain them. They’ve been open since 2015 and just recently opened their third location! With a total of 12 game rooms you can choose a room that matches the difficulty you think you can handle. One of the newest rooms opening is called Posiedon’s Promise, which is ocean themed with an ecological focus. A portion of the game fees for this room will even go to environmental causes! Now that’s a win-win.



11. Bee2Gether Tandem


Bee2Gether Tandem
Picture Credits: Bee2Gether Tandem


Seeing is a new city is great, but walking around all day can be beyond exhausting. Bike tours are very popular but how many times have you seen a tandem bike tour, or even in a sidecar? Well thanks to Bee2Gether Tandem Excursions, you finally have your chance to experience one! They operate out of three super popular tourist attraction parks (Assiniboine Park, The Forks, and Birds Hill Park) so you can choose where you want to cruise. Their goal is to provide friends, families, and tourists an opportunity to explore Winnipeg in a fun, healthy, and sociable way. And if you ask me I’d say they’re doing a great job! Their tours are informative yet fun and they have about 10 different routes to choose from. Each one differs in its location but also in the duration of your trip so you can choose which one is right for you!




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About the Author: Keith Perrotta

Keith is a freelance writer, English teacher, baker, and travel junkie currently based in Madrid, Spain. When not creating content or teaching ESL he enjoys going to the beach, researching bread recipes, looking through bookstores, and relaxing with a glass of wine. Having lived in the USA, France, Ghana, Kenya, and now Spain, his main goal in life is to visit every continent once (including Antarctica). You can usually catch him eating ice cream in the park or stopping someone in the street to ask to pet their dog.

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