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Best Free Things To Do In Winnipeg

Located in the heart of Manitoba, Canada, the busy city of Winnipeg will charm you with its friendly and welcoming spirit. This cosmopolitan city is full of adventures that require no cost of admission. Experience the history of Winnipeg by visiting historical sites or wander in its beautiful gardens. Immerse yourself in the city's rich culture and create unforgettable memories.

Aerial view of Winnipeg city, river and trees

With so many options, it can be difficult to narrow down the top free things to do in Winnipeg. This is where Canadian Train Vacations comes in. Our team of travel experts know the city and can help you plan a personalized itinerary that considers your interests and budget.

Our specialists can provide you with insider information to make the most of your time in Winnipeg. For example, they may suggest visiting a local museum on a free admission day.

Here is our guide to the best things to do in Winnipeg for free.

1. Leo Mol Sculpture Garden

Famous Ukrainian-Canadian artist Dr. Leo Mol displays his talent and creativity in this stunning one-of-a-kind garden with an exceptional blend of art and nature. Take a moment to slow down and appreciate the beauty of the sculptures set against the lush greenery and peaceful ponds. VIsit the gallery and the Leo Mol School House Studio, where you can learn how a bronze statue is made.

A must-do on any itinerary of Winnipeg free activities.

A pond and water statue in a Sculpture Garden on a sunny day

2. The Forks National Historic Site

The Forks has been a meeting place for over 6,000 years. The area junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers has been redeveloped into an exciting hub, with entertainment and shopping. You can also explore the historical sites and hear stories of the Indigenous peoples, settlers, and workers who have lived there.

Enjoy shopping, dining, festivals, concerts, river walks, parks, performances at the amphitheatre, museums, art installations, and historical exhibits. No matter the season, there is something to do for everyone at The Forks.

View of river and the Forks National Historic Site in summer

3. The Forks Market

When you visit The Forks, you must spend some time at The Forks Market, a Winnipeg free things to do. It's a wonderful destination for shopping and dining, with a plethora of local offerings. From handmade items to fresh produce, you're sure to find something special. Chat with the vendors and explore the many stalls, discovering local specialties like perogies, bannock, and Manitoba honey. You can also pick up memorable souvenirs to take home with you. But that's not all - the Market also offers plenty of traditional comfort food.

Don't forget to save room for dessert—there are a variety of sweet treats like pastries, cakes, and ice cream that you don't want to miss.

View of shops and eateries across two levels inside the Forks Market

4. Manitoba Legislative Assembly Building

When you walk into the Manitoba Legislative Assembly Building, you can't help but be impressed by its marble columns, stained-glass windows, giant dome, and grand staircase.

You can take a tour to learn more about the building and its history. Built in 1883, it is still a working government building with offices for elected officials. The legislative assembly, which meets here, is open to the public, and you can view live proceedings.

The building grounds are also worth seeing, with gardens, fountains, and monuments. Take a walk, feel the fresh air and take in the views of the city.

Grand staircase, columns and bison sculptures in the Manitoba Legislative Building

5. Club Regent Casino

Looking for fun free things to do in Winnipeg? Visit Club Regent Casino. While you may spend some cash here, admission is free and the lounge has affordable eats. Enjoy the ambiance of the gaming hall — if you're feeling lucky, try your hand at the penny slots.

Interior of a casino with bright lights, slot machines and gaming tables

6. St. Boniface Cathedral-Basilica

Discover the hidden gem of Winnipeg: St. Boniface Cathedral-Basilica! This beautiful Roman Catholic church features exquisite architecture, soaring ceilings, and intricate details. Located in the heart of the Saint-Boniface district, it's a great way to get a glimpse into Winnipeg's history and culture. And it's one of the things to do in Winnipeg today for free! Don't miss the grand choir loft. Its towering oak structure and intricate design show off the skill and creativity of those who built it.

Louis Riel, one of the West’s first Catholic settlers, is buried here in Western Canada’s oldest Catholic cemetery.

View of St Boniface Cathedral on a sunny day in fall

7. CF Polo Park

Spend an afternoon browsing Winnipeg's CF Polo Park shopping centre, one of the free fun things to do in Winnipeg. This famous mall has something for everyone, from electronics and jewelry to top clothing brands like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21. In addition, hungry visitors can choose from a variety of restaurants, cafes, and options in the multiple food courts.

CF Polo Park also hosts many free events, including fashion shows, cooking demos, and musical perfomances.

Visit CF Polo Park to experience the best of Winnipeg's shopping. This free attraction is a must-see with its central location and many recreation options.

8. Old Market Square

Step into the heart of Winnipeg at the vibrant Old Market Square. Surrounded by the stunning architecture of the Exchange District, this public square offers a wealth of free experiences. Admire the well-preserved turn-of-the-century buildings and explore the city's history through art galleries, museums, and cultural institutions.

Old Market Square is always buzzing with activity. Its calendar is filled with events and activities to suit any interest. Enjoy live performances, festivals, bustling marketplaces, and breathtaking sculptures. In winter, you can ice skate here. No matter when you visit, there's something to do.

People ice skating in Old Market Square, against a backdrop of heritage buildings

9. Kings Park

Kings Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is a tranquil and peaceful spot ideal for those seeking a picturesque escape. This lovely park offers ample opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, making it one of the top free activities in Winnipeg.

Take a stroll along the trails, where you can appreciate the various species of plants and wildlife that inhabit this park. The park also boasts several serene ponds and lakes, perfect for fishing, boating, and bird-watching.

For those who appreciate history and architecture, Kings Park is home to several historic landmarks, including the Hudson Bay Company Gardens and a beautifully restored bandstand.

10. The English Garden

Visit the tranquil oasis of the English Garden in Assiniboine Park, and take a step back in time. This garden has been a major part of Winnipeg’s history for more than a century and is a wonderful reminder of the British influence that shaped the city in its early days.

The gazebo, pond, and pathways add to the garden's beauty and give it a British feel. As you walk through the lush greenery, let your imagination take you back to the city’s cultural and historical past. Everything in the garden has been carefully planned and designed to create an unforgettable experience.

From the impressive architecture to the vibrant flowers and plants, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Update your free things to do in Winnipeg this weekend to explore the English Garden and reconnect with the city's past.

Sculpture of a boy with a boot, flowers and pond in a formal English-style garden

11. Travel Manitoba Visitor Information Centre

The Visitor Information Centre for Manitoba, also known as the Manitoba Tourism Information Centre, is a great place to get info about Manitoba, Canada. If you're a tourist, you can visit the Centre to learn about the top attractions, events, and activities during your stay.

The Centre has helpful staff who can answer your questions and suggest things to do. They can also give you maps, brochures, and other materials to help plan your trip.

Suppose you're looking to explore the outdoors, learn about local culture, or experience city life. In that case, the Visitor Information Centre has what you need to make the most of your visit to Manitoba. So, come by and start planning your adventure today!

Exterior view of the Travel Manitoba Visitor Information Centre

12. Assiniboine Forest

Take a trip to Assiniboine Forest, a natural oasis in the city's heart. This sprawling parkland offers a unique and breathtaking escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. With over 1,000 acres of green space, it's a perfect spot for birdwatching, picnicking, and nature photography. The park is also a popular destination for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Enjoy Winnipeg's natural beauty and explore its trails in Assiniboine Forest.

13. Assiniboine Park

Assiniboine Park has been around since 1904 and is one of Winnipeg's top things to do. While it has paid attractions, like the zoo and the Leaf, its indoor botanical gardens, other areas like the public green space are free — and open 24 hours a day, all year.

The Assiniboine Park Pavilion, a Tudor-style building, in the middle of a large green space

14. Back Alley Arctic

Take a stroll through the back alleys of Winnipeg, and you may find a special surprise - Back Alley Arctic. This unique art installation will take you on a virtual adventure to the Arctic, surrounding you with walls and paintings of Arctic wildlife. Each mural features intricate detail, capturing the captivating beauty of the Arctic fauna.

A polar bear art mural on a garage door

15. Kildonan Park

Kildonan Park is a sprawling park, located in the city's heart. It is a true gem, offering a range of experiences for visitors of all ages. Explore the park's vast lawns and gardens to find recreational opportunities such as tennis and volleyball courts, picnic areas, and playgrounds. You can also take advantage of the walking and cycling paths to appreciate the natural beauty of the park and its surroundings.

Located beside the Red River, in Kildonan Park, stands Rainbow Stage, Canada's biggest open-air theatre. With its charming setting and beautiful surroundings, the theatre is an ideal spot to spend a summer evening. Enjoy a play (tickets can be purchased online in advance), listen to music, or simply take in the sights and sounds of the park. 

Sun shining over a small lake, walking trail and fall colours in Kildonan Park

Frequently Asked Questions

What is free in Winnipeg?

Visits to certain museums, art galleries, parks, libraries, and events are free. Nature hikes and bike rides along rivers are some adventurous activities you can do for free.

Are the park and rides in Winnipeg free?

The Winnipeg transit Park and Rides are free to use and operate on a first-come-first-served basis.

Are museums free in Winnipeg?

Some museums are free to enter, while others charge admission. Check individual websites for info.

What is there to do in Winnipeg for free?

There are numerous free things to do in Winnipeg, like visiting parks, hiking and bike routes, museums, and historical sites.

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