Two days before we left, Chris sent me an article that “Winnipeg was bracing for the coldest Christmas on record.” That’s great, just great. However, flights were already booked and there was no surprise trip to Hawaii waiting under the tree so off we went to Winterpeg. I’ve been to Winnipeg plenty of other times to visit my family and when Chris was going to school there (check out my other guide here), but this time I was on a mission to see and do things that I hadn’t before. Even though it was minus 42, we managed to cross off lots of the items on my list.
Winnipeg often gets underrated but when you start to look a little closer it has some pretty cool things to offer. From boutiques to coffee shops to historical places – you can fill up quite a few days with activities. We stayed at a friend’s place, but there are cool Winnipeg hotels like the Mere, Inn at the Forks, and Alt Hotel.
For my favourite places I ate at this time around, check out my 6 most Instagrammable restaurants and coffee shops in Winnipeg HERE
BAKED EXPECTATIONS You finish dinner but want something sweet to finish off the night. Baked Expectations is your place for mouth watering cake with a 50s retro chic vibe. They have over 30 desserts to choose from, plus, they’re open late so you can head there for the after party.
There are a ton of adorable boutiques scattered throughout the city and I just can’t list them all. But these are the three new ones that I checked out while I was there to add to your list.
EMT CLOTHING Designed and made in Winnipeg, supporting local has never been more comfy. Designer Erin Kembel has a large selection of styles all made with the softest materials. The best part is the prices are affordable so you don’t have to worry about overspending just to support local.
PUBLIC GENERAL STORE Another spot to support local and Canadian artisians, Public is space for local and Canadian artisans’ products to be showcased and shared with the community. It’s full of gorgeous products and art work, you’ll have a hard time only leaving with a couple things.
COAL AND CANARY They’ve been my go-to candles from the beginning so I was pumped when they opened up their first store front in The Forks. The space is everything you would imagine from this brand – pink, bright, trendy and insta-worthy.
CANADIAN MUSEUM FOR HUMAN RIGHTS Make your trip to Winnipeg meaningful and spend time thinking about the world in a bigger picture. This monumental museum is an experience every Canadian should have to really understand where our society has evolved from and how much more work we still have to do.
The building itself is gorgeous. “Human rights symbolism is embedded in every structural component, weaving shadow and sunshine over complex angles that juxtapose symmetry and chaos. Canadian elements are suggested by a craggy limestone ͞mountain͟ surrounded by mythic glass cloud, rising from Prairie tall grass and topped by an icy pinnacle.” It brings together our Canadian heritage and is a reminder of all the people that have contributed to this country and entire world. Even when you’re walking in between floors, you can’t help but be amazed at the architecture and interiors of the building.
The pop up exhibit that was there when we were there (and will be until February) is a photography exhibit capturing moments of human rights. Some showcase the positive outlook and some are negative images, but all of them are powerful in their own way. These days we are so focused on visuals and this exhibit plays into that by telling the whole story with just photos.
If you’re in Winnipeg, you have to stop at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. They have tours, knowledgeable staff and hours worth of information for you to pore over. Finish the museum with a view of the city from the Tower of Hope.
THE FORKS Just like you can’t go to Winnipeg without going to The Forks, you can’t write a Winnipeg guide without including the Forks. I know it’s in my last guide too, but it’s the hub of Winnipeg for tourists and locals.
They’re continuing to evolve the space to include cooler boutiques (check out my fave candle company Coal & Canary on the 2nd level) and the central communal area has both an amazing coffee shop (Fools & Horses) and a beer hall at the other end. It’s the perfect place to grab lunch, walk around to check out local vendors and take in the river. In the winter (when it’s not a billion below) you can skate along the river and on smaller rinks outside of the Forks. Plus the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is right there too.
Now if you are heading to Winnipeg in the winter, you know you’ll have plenty of things to see and do.
What are your fave YWG spots?