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20 Free Things To Do in Winnipeg

By BETHANY ZACHARIAS

Things to Do in Winnipeg—Exchange District

Free things to do in Winnipeg: take in the art in the Exchange District (Photo: Travel Manitoba)

#1 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Get acquainted with Winnipeg’s art scene
On the initial Friday of every month, galleries in the Exchange District—Winnipeg’s hub for local art—hold their “First Fridays” event, at which visitors view the exhibits for free and learn about the vibrant Winnipeg cultural scene.
• First Fridays Winnipeg, 505-63 Albert St., firstfridayswinnipeg.org

#2 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Learn how to brew a beer
Half Pints Brewing Company offers a behind-the-scenes look at how it cooks up its best beer. Sneak a peek at the process for free every Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
• Half Pints Brewing Co., 550 Roseberry St., 204-832-PINT, halfpintsbrewing.com

See the rest of our picks for the best 20 free things to do in Winnipeg »

#3 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Skate down the Assiniboine River
Starting in early January, the city creates a network of frozen pathways known as The River Trail. It’s one of the longest skating routes in Canada, and allows for skating, walking and skiing. Access the trail at one of the docks located in Norwood, St. Boniface, the Exchange District, The Forks or Corydon. There’s also a dock located near the Legislature Building.
• The River Trail, access points throughout downtown Winnipeg, website

#4 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Go off to the races
Visit Winnipeg’s horse racing track, the Assiniboia Downs, for free from May until the end of September.  Sit amongst the excited crowd and cheer on jockeys as they ride their horses through the finish line.
• Assiniboia Downs, 3975 Portage Ave., 204-885-3330, assiniboiadowns.com
• Map and reviews

Things to Do in Winnipeg—Assiniboia Downs

Free things to do in Winnipeg: see the horses race at Assiniboia Downs (Photo: AJ Batac)

#5 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Discover the dark history of the city
Take a walk through Winnipeg’s criminal history at the always-free Police Museum. See what a jail cell looked like in 1911, discover what kind of weapons were used on inmates in the 1880s, and pore over memorabilia from the famous Winnipeg General Strike of 1919.
• Winnipeg Police Museum, 130 Allard Ave., 204-986-3969, website
• Map and reviews

#6 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Electrify your senses
The perpetually free Manitoba Electrical Museum exhibits the history of Manitoba’s electricity dating back to the 1800s. Walk through the discovery area to learn safety tips and the very nature of electrical energy. For an interactive experience, hop inside a replica turn-of-the-century tram car.
• Manitoba Electrical Museum, 680 Harrow St., 204-360-7905, website
Map and reviews

#7 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Soar high at the Air Force Heritage Park & Museum

History buffs can peruse 13 different aircrafts tracing the story of military flight in Canada. Aircraft on display range from Second World War fighter planes to modern day CF-5 fighters.
• Air Force Heritage Park & Museum, Bldg. 25 Air Command Air Force Way, 204-833-2500, website
• Map and reviews

Things to Do in Winnipeg—Osborne Village

Free things to do in Winnipeg: visit the enchanting Osborne Village (Image: Oggie Dog)

#8 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Stroll through Corydon and Osborne Village
Take a walk down two of Winnipeg’s most bustling streets and absorb all the action. Benches along both strips offer perfect people-watching spots. Local boutiques scattered in between restaurants and patios provide a great chance to browse (and shop, of course).
• Corydon neighbourhood guide: corydonbiz.com
• Osborne Village guide: osbornevillage.com

#9 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Spend the day at Assiniboine Park
Walk, run, rollerblade, bike or cross-country ski this 283-acre park. Catch an impromptu game of ultimate or a league cricket match in the summer. In the winter, head down the toboggan slide or zip around the skating rink. We highly recommend the renowned Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, which features almost 300 works by the famed sculptor.
• Assiniboine Park, 2355 Corydon Ave., 204-927-6000, assiniboinepark.ca
• Map and reviews

#10 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Tour the political heart of Manitoba
Crafted from Tyndall stone and Carrara marble, the Manitoba Legislative Building is more than just a house of parliament—it is the province’s most prized architectural gem, with nods to Masonic and ancient temple design. The Leg, as locals call it, is home to the famous Golden Boy, a 17.2-foot statue that sits on top of the building, as well as the impressive Rotunda, a circular domed room. Free self-guided tours run daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Manitoba Legislative Building, Broadway St. and Osborne St., 204-945-5813, website
• Map and reviews

#11 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Visit Canada’s most fascinating rebel
What remains of the St. Boniface Cathedral-Basilica after a fire destroyed it in 1968 is breathtaking, but what draws most people here is who is buried nearby. The church’s cemetery includes the gravesite of Louis Riel, one of Manitoba’s founding fathers and political and spiritual leader of the Métis people.
• St. Boniface Basilica, 190 av. de la Cathédrale, 204-233-7304, cathedralestboniface.ca
• Map and reviews

Things to Do in Winnipeg—Union Station

Free things to do in Winnipeg: explore the city’s oldest train station (Photo: quinet)

#12 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Visit Winnipeg’s oldest train station
Winnipeg’s Union Station was built in 1911 and was designed by Warren and Wetmore, the masterminds behind New York’s Grand Central Station. Be mesmerized by the giant dome ceiling that looms overhead as people bustle through the station.
• Union Station, 123 Main St., website
Map and reviews

#13 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Walk through the gate of a Hudson Bay Company trading fort
Hidden amongst buildings and trees of Broadway Street is the Upper Fort Garry Gate. The stone gate is all that remains of the Hudson Bay Company fort that was once on this site, and represents a large part of Manitoba’s fur trade history.  Check out the plaques adjacent to the site that help explain the gate’s significance.
• Upper Fort Garry Gate, Broadway St. and Main St., upperfortgarry.com
• Map and reviews

#14 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Sample French culture

Winnipeg’s French-Canadian and Métis heritage is rich. In fact, St. Boniface is the largest francophone community west of the province of Quebec. Visit the CCFM’s art gallery and performance area to get a taste of the city’s French-Canadian culture.
• Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain, 340 Provencher Blvd., 204-233-4888, ccfm.mb.ca
• Map and reviews

#15 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Take in the beauty of The Forks
The Forks—a downtown spot where the Assiniboine and Red Rivers meet—maintains its trading-post roots today. Here, you can browse the local artisan creations at Johnston Terminal, sample regional cuisine at the Forks Market, relax with a book by the riverside or catch a live show at Scotiabank stage. There’s an endless list of stuff to do at The Forks throughout the year, making it one of Winnipeg’s most popular tourist destinations.
• The Forks National Historic Site and Port, 1 Forks Market Rd., 204-983-6757theforks.com
• Map and reviews

Things to Do in Winnipeg—The Forks

Free things to do in Winnipeg: check out the sights and sounds of The Forks (Photo: AJ Batac)

#16 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Take a trip under the sea
Club Regent Casino offers plenty of sights and sounds unrelated to gaming, and one of them is a fascinating walk-through aquarium, complete with cascading waterfall, coral reef and hundreds of tropical fish.
• Club Regent, 1425 Regent Ave, 204-957-2700, clubregent.com
Map and reviews

#17 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Bear witness to history
Winnipeg is home to a large and vibrant Jewish community that has left an indelible impression on the identity of the city. At the Jewish Heritage Centre, visitors pay no admission fee to see photographs, original documents and artifacts donated by Manitoba Holocaust survivors and their families.
• Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, 123 Doncaster St., 204-477-7460, jhcwc.org
• Map and reviews

#18 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Gaze upon the striking emptyful
At the newly redesigned Millennium Library Park, take a seat on an outdoor chair and look up at one of the city’s most remarkable pieces of public art, emptyful. The 22,000 kilogram stainless steel fountain is illuminated by LED lights at night, and uses both water and fog to make a statement about the abundance of space on the Canadian Prairies.
• Millennium Library, 251 Donald St., 204-986-6450, website

#19 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Discover Manitoba’s Ukrainian heritage
Winnipeggers come by their love of perogies honestly—Manitoba is home to over 160,000 Ukrainians. This museum celebrates their culture, and is the largest Ukrainian cultural centre of its kind. There’s also a library, art gallery, archives and a boutique to browse.
• Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre, 184 Alexander Ave E, 204-942-0218, oseredok.org
• Map and reviews

#20 of 20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG:
Hunt down the public murals
Winnipeg has a story to tell on almost every street corner.  There are over 400 outdoor murals in the city that have been painted by local artists on stores, community centres, schools and stadiums. Visit the West Broadway, Wolseley or West End areas to find some of Winnipeg’s finest murals.
• The Murals of Winnipeg, located throughout Winnipeg, themuralsofwinnipeg.com