Downtown Winnipeg: things to do on a wintery day
With the weather getting chillier, it’s tempting to stay indoors as much as possible. But you don’t necessarily need to stay at home when you have the joys of downtown Winnipeg at your fingertips! If you’re feeling restless sitting on the couch but you’re reluctant to expose yourself to the freezing temperatures, explore downtown Winnipeg to see what indoor activities the city has to offer.
Here’s how you can spend an entire day in downtown Winnipeg in the winter:
For breakfast, visit Deseo, the new restaurant at the Royal Albert Arms. Rather than focusing on traditional fare, this tastefully-decorated, glass-walled bistro features Spanish-inspired meals such as scrambled eggs with chorizo and cornbread.
After lingering over breakfast, take a wander to downtown Winnipeg’s Red River Book Shop. It boasts an impressive collection of second-hand books from which you can find some real gems. Music lovers can walk down a block from the bookstore to check out Into the Music – not only does it have a number of great records, but the store also has information about upcoming shows and you can buy tickets right there to see bands play at local venues (many of which are right there in downtown Winnipeg).
Art is a hidden delight in downtown Winnipeg. There are artists and art shows at many of the historical buildings that you walk past as you wander through the streets of the Exchange District. The Cre8ery has a wide variety of different styles of art to satisfy all tastes.
Take a lunch break at Mondragon or The Fyxx; from sandwiches to soups to curry, there are plenty of options. Many of the dishes are made with local ingredients and everything at Mondragon is vegan.
Browse Toad Hall Toys in the afternoon for some creative, fun ideas for Christmas presents. This downtown Winnipeg toy store is famous across Canada and adults will find the products supplied here to be just as entertaining as children will.
If your idea of shopping involves clothes, walk into any of the boutique outlets all within a few blocks of each other on McDermot Avenue in downtown Winnipeg. There are stylish New York designs, vintage options and clothes made by local designers to choose from.
Stop at BluFish for an excellent sushi dining experience; afterward, see a theatre performance at Manitoba Theatre Centre (either the main stage or the Warehouse theatre down the street) or at the Prairie Theatre Exchange at Portage Place. People interested more in cinema than theatre will enjoy the unique Cinematheque, which often showcases work by local filmmakers. Towne 8, IMAX and the Globe Cinema are other great movie theatres in downtown Winnipeg.
To complete your day, go for a drink at The Lo Pub, Yellow Dog Tavern or King’s Head Pub to rehash the theatre or film performance that you just saw. If you’re still feeling lively, extend your visit to downtown Winnipeg by putting on your dancing shoes and going out to one of several clubs in the area.
Head home at the end of your day knowing that you have put a cold, wintery day to good use: downtown Winnipeg is brimming with indoor culture for you to enjoy all winter long.
Sagan Morrow owns an open-concept condo in Winnipeg’s Exchange District and loves downtown living. By night she writes the blog Living Healthy in the Real World and is the Executive Director for The Food Label Movement; by day, she coordinates the Dig In local food campaign for Food Matters Manitoba. She enjoys taking in the theatre and art culture of downtown Winnipeg during her spare time.