Winnipeg Tourist Activities
Winnipeg International Airport is located very close by to the city centre of Winnipeg, in the Canadian province of Manitoba. It is an airport of reasonable size, handling approximately 3.39 million passengers per annum, and receives many tourists from local and international destinations. Winnipeg attractions are popular in summer and winter, as various different activities are enjoyed throughout the year, and the city enjoys a particularly lovely setting along the Red River and the Assiniboine River. The city has many interesting museums to explore, a number of large parks that are peaceful when the weather is warm and a variety of places where children are more than welcome.
The Downtown District of Winnipeg is one of the most lively and important of all the areas, and is characterized by some remarkable high-rise buildings and skyscrapers. It is an important commercial area, and where many of the top restaurants can be found. Shopping opportunities are particularly plentiful around Portage Avenue and Winnipeg Square. The downtown area also features some historical sights that are well preserved. Further historical sights can be found in the Exchange District, as it is filled with 20th century buildings, and the Winnipeg Fringe Festival is held here, which is noted as the second largest festival in the entire country. The Forks Market District is one of the best areas for tourists, as is contains the Manitoba Children’s Museum, the Assiniboine River Walk and offers lovely views of the historic port, while further museums can be found in the Tanscona District, which is a short distance from downtown Winnipeg. The Winnipeg Arena and Bomber Stadium are found in the Charleswood/Unicity District, the Royal Canadian Mint is located in the South West District and the Waterfront District along the western banks of the Red River has some popular hotels and condos.
Further districts of note include the North District, the South District, the North West District and the Old Saint Boniface District, or the ‘Old Saint B’.
River cruises in Winnipeg are a very popular attraction, and are a lovely way to travel around the city. There are regular trips that leave the main docks, and take their passengers along the scenic Red River and Assiniboine River. Inexpensive round trips are also available. Visitors who prefer to be on dry land will enjoy the guided walking tours of Winnipeg, that give plenty of information regarding the city’s rich heritage. The tours include some of the most prominent landmarks, attractions and commercial areas, and are available during the summer months from Old Market Square.
One of the most popular of Winnipeg attractions is the Assiniboine Park Zoo, found at 2355 Corydon Avenue. It is the ideal place for families, as it includes a children’s petting zoo, an educational indoor area and the Discover Centre. There are over 1,000 animals to be seen, which makes it one of the largest zoos in the country. Besides from the usual zoo animals to be expected, it also has a number of endangered creatures that are interesting to see. The Manitoba Children’s Museum is another favourite for families, as it is filled with interactive exhibits and hands-on-fun for all ages. It features the Creation Station and a popular gift shop. The Museum can be found at 45 Forks Market Road in the Kinsmen Building. There is an entrance free for this museum, but children under two may visit free of charge.
Further Winnipeg Museums include the Manitoba Museum (Museum of Man and Nature), the Air Force Heritage Park and Museum and the Western Canada Aviation Museum, which is the second biggest of its kind in the country. Its highlights are a number of historic aircraft, the ‘Spaceways’ attraction and many aviation-related items. The museum also stands alongside the Winnipeg International Airport, and therefore offers excellent views of the runways and aircraft activities. Additional interesting features include Canada’s first helicopter, a number of military jets and the famous Vickers Vedette Flying Boat. The Air Force Heritage Park and Museum is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Manitoba Museum features an interactive science centre and a planetarium. It is also one of the premier attractions of the city.
More favourite places to visit in Winnipeg are the Centennial Concert Hall, the Royal Canadian Mint and the Winnipeg Convention Centre. The Winnipeg Centennial Concert Hall is found at 555 Main Street, in Downtown Winnipeg, and hosts many of the city’s events and performances, including music concerts, ballets and operas. The Royal Canadian Mint is at 520 Lagimodiere Boulevard and produces a large amount of coins on a yearly basis. Interesting guided tours of the attraction are available. Just a short distance from the airport, the Winnipeg Convention Centre hosts many premier seasonal events and festivals, but also includes the Woodlands Gallery on floor two that can be browsed free of charge by the public.
Beautiful parks and gardens can be found throughout Winnipeg, and are places where locals and tourists can enjoy large areas of water, landscaped gardens and various sporting events. The Kil-Cona Park is one of the favourites for water activities such as pedal boating, and in winter, becomes an ice-skating park. It also features tennis courts, a golf course and opportunities for cross-country skiing. Kildonan Park has many areas for picnics and barbeques, a large outdoor swimming pool and the Rainbow Stage, which is one of its main attractions. Additional parks and gardens in Winnipeg include King’s Park, the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, the Fort Whyte Centre, the Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre, La Barriere Park, St. Vital Park and Whittier Park.
Although Winnipeg attractions are plentiful, tourists may like to visit nearby areas of interest as well. Grand Beach is a major attraction during the summer, and the Birds Hill Provincial Park has lovely walking trails. The restored Lower Fort Garry is about 20 miles north of Winnipeg, and the exceptional Costume Museum of Canada can be found in the small town of Dugald. The small city of Selkirk is also well known for its museums and other attractions.