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A Weekend in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada

A-Weekend-in-Winnipeg

A 3-Day Itinerary for our First Visit to Winnipeg

Things to do in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada

Ah, a weekend in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada. It may not be a lot of people's first picks for a quick weekend getaway in March when the tulips are blooming in Vancouver and the snow is falling in the Canadian Rockies. But you know what, Winnipeg is actually a great weekend escape. Being the literal geographical centre of Canada, and North America for that matter it is easy to get to. There is also so much to see and do that a Weekend in Winnipeg won't be enough. The city has a thriving arts and cultural scene, world-class attractions, interesting neighbourhoods to explore and a fantastic food scene. Don't be surprised if your first weekend to Winnipeg leaves you wanting to plan a return trip.

The Winnipeg Skyline. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

A Weekend in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada - Day One

Direct flights from Edmonton arrive in Winnipeg shortly after 1:30 p.m. Therefore, our Weekend in Winnipeg, Manitoba kicked off with a late lunch at the Forks Market. I chose a soup and sandwich combo, and Peter picked a one-piece Pickerel dish from the famous Fergie's Fish & Chips.

The Forks Market

The Forks Market is located in a historic building that was once used as horse stables and a hayloft during the height of rail travel. As such, the building has plenty of character. It is a lively place with a wide variety of local and global eateries on the main floor and boutique shops featuring local makers on the second floor making it a great introduction to the city. The sweeping city views from the six-story high Forks Market Tower provide a great lay of the land to help visitors familiarize themselves with the city. Although there is an elevator, the views are worth climbing the stairs for. 

The Forks Market. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
The Forks Market Tower. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

The Exchange District

We had some time to kill after checking into our hotel and waiting for our next family member to arrive, so we decided to go for a walk. At first, we didn't have a particular destination in mind since this was our first time to Winnipeg. As we wandered, we passed the famous Portage and Main intersection and realized that we had made it to the Exchange District.

The Exchange District is the city's arts and cultural district and is also a national historic site. This area is filled with interesting architecture, restaurants, distilleries, craft breweries and boutique shops. As the arts and cultural district, the Exchange is home to the Manitoba Theatre Warehouse, The Royal Manitoba Theatre, and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. Just outside the Exchange District is the Centennial Concert Hall where the esteemed Royal Winnipeg Ballet performs and the Manitoba Museum.

The Exchange District. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
The Manitoba Museum. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Patent 5 Distillery and Tasting Room

Unable to get into Nonsuch Brewing as it is a very popular place on a Friday evening, we continued on only to discover that just around the corner from Nonsuch is Patent 5 Distillery and Tasting Room. Luckily, we were able to get a table.

A few years back we somewhat accidentally created a Fancy Friday tradition, where we would try different cocktails on Friday nights. Fancy Fridays are more of a special treat now and since it was our first-time visiting Winnipeg and it happened to be Friday.... I think you can see where this is going. Naturally, we thought it would be fun to find a craft distillery and to try a local cocktail. I had heard that the espresso martinis here were fantastic. The recommendation was correct. Patent 5's espresso martini was smooth, well balanced, and delicious.

Patent 5 Distillery. Photo credit: Peter Guthrie
Espresso Martini at Patent 5. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

The Merchant Kitchen

For dinner we opted for The Merchant Kitchen near our hotel since we were expecting one more family member to arrive later that evening. The Merchant's focus is on serving elevated street food. We ordered the Tostones, which are twice fried and smashed plantains and the Pollo Tacos (aka chicken).

The Merchant Kitchen. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Tacos at The Merchant. Photo credit: Peter Guthrie

Fancy Friday in Manitoba

Finally, our other family member arrived so we were off in search of another Fancy Friday destination at one of Winnipeg's secret speakeasies. We chose Sous Sol in the Osborne District for its French cuisine and cocktails. Like most good speakeasies, the entrance to Sous Sol is a little hard to find, but that is part of the fun. Once inside, Sous Sol has a French countryside meets dark and moody underground bar ambiance that works. It feels like a secret place for those in the know. Not to worry though, as this is Friendly Manitoba (their licence plates don't lie) Sous Sol inviting, comfortable and the staff are amazing. I can see why every local we spoke to raved about this place. 

Sous Sol. Photo credit: Peter Guthrie
Le Jardin Cocktail. Photo credit: A. Guthrie

A Weekend in Winnipeg - Day Two

Parlour Coffee

For breakfast on day two of our Weekend in Winnipeg, we strolled over to Parlour Coffee to pick up a good cup of coffee and some freshly baked goods. Parlour serves ethically sourced coffee from several leading micro-roasters. The freshly baked goods, like my morning glory muffin are brought in daily from Tall Grass Prairie Bakery. Our next stop was The Canadian Museum of Human Rights. 

Parlour Coffee. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Parlour in the Exchange District. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Canadian Museum of Human Rights

The world's first museum dedicated human rights; the Canadian Museum of Human Rights is a fascinating place where one can easily spend several hours. As an ideas museum it will make not only educate visitors, but it will also make them think. A number of exhibits challenge visitors to think about how they would handle various human rights issues. Museum visitors will literally and figuratively make a journey through darkness and into the light during their experience at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. 

The Canadian Museum of Human Rights. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Canada's Journeys at the CMHR. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

The Forks

Having spent several hours at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights it was time to find ourselves a late lunch, so we headed back to the Forks Market. I picked chicken souvlaki wrap from Zorba Greek, the 'kids' had tacos and Peter had a Jamaican Jerk Chicken sandwich. All of our meals were delicious. 
Johnston Terminal Shopping Mall at the Forks. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Visitor Information Centre at the Forks. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

St. Boniface & Louis Riel

No visit to Winnipeg is complete without a stop at St. Boniface Cathedral and a visit to pay tribute to Louis Riel at his gravesite. The Red River Settlement, now called Winnipeg is recognized as the birthplace of the Métis nation and the heart of the Métis Homeland. It was also home to Louis Riel a Métis leader, and the founder of the province of Manitoba. Louis Riel went on to lead the North-West Resistance against the Canadian Government's encroachment on Métis lands and infringement of their rights. Ultimately, he was hanged for treason. At the time, he was considered a rebel, however nowadays he is seen as a protector of the rights and freedoms of his people. 

St. Boniface Cathedral. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Louis Riel's Gravesite. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Parcel Pizza

Parcel Pizza in Osborne is recognized among the best pizza places in Winnipeg. It is also known for a modern and cozy atmosphere that pays tribute to the pizza parlors of the past. Their customer service is attentive, and cocktails are excellent. Additionally, they are known for their creative wood fired pizzas.

Forget the age-old question, does pineapple belong on a pizza or not? Because there is a new question. Do peaches belong on a pizza? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Nervously, but feeling adventurous we ordered a spicy peach pizza from Parcel Pizza. We did not regret our choice. The spicy peach pizza was really good...honestly. 

Parcel Pizza Winnipeg. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Pizzas at Parcel Pizza. Photo credit: Peter Guthrie

A Weekend in Winnipeg - Day Three

On day three of our Weekend in Winnipeg, we decided on a heartier Sunday morning breakfast, so we wandered over to the Hargrave St. Market at True North Square. Hargrave St. Market is a European inspired food hall. This is no food court, at Hargrave St. Market there is a collection of favourite local restaurants and top chefs. Hargrave St. Market is home to one of the best breakfast places in Winnipeg, Miss Browns. We picked up a delicious and traditional breakfast from Miss Browns along with another excellent coffee, this time from Fools & Horses. 

Miss Browns. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Miss Browns Bacon & Eggs Breakfast. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

The Leaf in Assiniboine Park

As it was cool mid-March Day we decided on an indoor attraction for the final day of our Weekend in Winnipeg. The Leaf is Winnipeg's newest award-winning and world-class attraction. Known as Canada's Diversity Gardens, The Leaf is a horticultural experience that tells the story of Canada's diversity through plants. 

The Leaf at Assiniboine Park. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
The Tropical Biome at The Leaf. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Gather Craft Kitchen and Bar

Gather Craft Kitchen and Bar at The Leaf was highly recommended to us. The dishes are created using fresh, locally sourced and seasonal ingredients grown the gardens in the Lead and sourced from farmers across Manitoba. I ordered a squash soup and a Tea Thyme Mocktail. 

Gather Craft Kitchen and Bar. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Lunch at Gather Restaurant in The Leaf. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

The Pavilion Art Galleries

The Pavilion has been a centre piece of Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg Manitoba for over a century. There are four art galleries inside the Pavilion. Three of the galleries showcase the works of Manitoba artists while the gallery is a tribute to the Best Bear in the World, Winnie the Pooh. The Pavilion Art Galleries are free to visit. 

The Pavilion Art Galleries. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Community Gallery. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Winnipeg Jets NHL Hockey Game

Since I had arrived in town a few days earlier, I was able to take in a Winnipeg Jets game. The Jets are Winnipeg's NHL hockey team, and the fans are known for their enthusiasm so you know that the night will be a fun one. The Jets play in the Canada Life Centre in the heart of the Sports Hospitality and Entertainment District or SHED for short. The Canada Life Centre is connected to the Delta Winnipeg by a pedway so there is no need to go outside on a cold night. And it is mere steps away from the Alt Hotel, so both are good options when attending a game or a concert at the Canada Life Centre. 

Canada Life Centre Winnipeg. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Winnipeg Jets NHL Game. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Where to Stay on a Weekend in Winnipeg

The eco-friendly certified Delta Hotels by Marriott Winnipeg in the heart of the city is a great hotel option. It is centrally located, attached to the RBC Convention Centre, a shopping mall and the Canada Life Centre. There is an onsite restaurant, coffee shop and adjoining Elephant and Castle pub. Hotel amenities include a fitness centre, pool and club lounge. The rooms are spacious and comfortable and the staff a friendly and helpful.

Another option for where to stay on a Weekend in Winnipeg is the Alt Hotel situated in the Sports, Hospitality and Entertainment District known as SHED. It is steps away from the Canada Life Centre, home of the Winnipeg Jets' NHL Hockey Team. As such, there are many restaurants, bars, and shops nearby. The Alt Hotel makes a perfect base for a weekend in Winnipeg. 

The Delta Winnipeg. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
The Alt Hotel. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

A Weekend in Winnipeg

With so much to see and do a Weekend in Winnipeg makes for a great getaway. Its thriving arts and cultural scene, world-class attractions, interesting neighbourhoods, and a fantastic food scene ensures that visitors will never be short on great experiences. We enjoyed discovering Winnipeg, Manitoba for the first time and look forward to return trips in the future.

A Weekend in Winnipeg

Things to do in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada

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Winnipeg, MB, Canada
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Comments 2

CarolAnn Quibell on Monday, 01 April 2024 19:16

I live too far away for a weekend visit but I definitely will be adding Winnipeg to my list of places to visit here in Canada! Lots of really good, helpful information. Thanks.

I live too far away for a weekend visit but I definitely will be adding Winnipeg to my list of places to visit here in Canada! Lots of really good, helpful information. Thanks.
Janet Guthrie on Tuesday, 02 April 2024 23:43

Thank you CarolAnn. I feel like we still missed so much, a 5-6 day visit is probably a better length so that you can experience all that the city has to offer.

Thank you CarolAnn. I feel like we still missed so much, a 5-6 day visit is probably a better length so that you can experience all that the city has to offer.
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Monday, 27 May 2024