With the nickname of "Winterpeg", there are two things that you can assume without much doubt- the city is cold, and it is a winter activity haven! If you have a good parka and pair of boots then exploring Winnipeg in the winter is as nice if not better than during the summer. After a few days in the city, make sure to spend some time exploring the area surrounding the city!
Skate the world's longest skating trail
Stretching for upwards of 10 KMs, the skating trails along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers make it the world's longest. For several months per year, the frozen surfaces make for the perfect spot to lace up your skates and enjoy the fresh (but frigid) air. Warming huts and food stands are set up along the river showcasing some of the creative skills of Winnipegers. If you do not have your own skates, they can be rented for $6 at The Forks
Get a taste of Metis culture
As the French fur traders migrated west much quicker than the British, they established wide trading networks and relationships with the aboriginals of western Canada. With the mixing populations, a new culture of born; the Metis. The third major aboriginal segment of Canada, the metis populations continued to grow in what is now Manitoba over the centuries forming a distinct culture. The Festival du Voyageur is Western Canada's largest winter festival and is held over 10 days in February. With a primary focus on French and Metis culture in Canada, it is as unique as it is fun. Try frozen maple syrup, check out massive snow sculptures, and enjoy bannock and other tasty treats.
Try your hand at a new winter sport
Just a few years ago, a few Winnipeg outdoor enthusiasts created a new winter sport. Supersizing the popular cottage-country pastime of crokinole and adding in curling rocks, crokicurl was made. The Forks was the original site of the new sport, but it has now evolved into numerous other parks and recreation centres around Winnipeg and western Canada as a whole.
Grab a Pair of Snowshoes!
Just because there is snow on the ground doesn't mean you can't go for a hike through beautiful winter trails. Fort Whyte on the edge of the city rents out snowshoes and offers guided hikes around the former cement factory and mine. A lot has changed since its days as a factory as it now is home to massive gardens, plains for bison to roam, and several distinct environments. If flat land is not your thing, winter also brings in the amazing Richardson RRRRun an ice-covered sledding track!
Visit the arctic animals at the Winnipeg Zoo
What better place to see some of the Arctic's most famous animals than in one of the world's coldest cities. The Assiniboine Zoo has an entire section devoted to the arctic that houses everything from polar bears and arctic foxes to reindeer and seals. The polar bear exhibit even has a glass tunnel giving you a unique view of the world's largest land predator.
Ice Climb in the City Centre!
St Boniface Climbing Club creates one of the most unique attractions during the winter. Flooding a 60-foot tower with water, a massive icicle is formed. Strap on crampons and grab a few ice picks and try your hand at ice climbing. It's easy to say that few other cities have such an activity in their city centres!