Come celebrate and experience the best of what winter has to offer in Winnipeg both indoors and outdoors. Walk in the steps of voyageurs, decode Masonic symbols, learn how coins are made and skate along a river trail that holds the record for the world's longest naturally frozen trail.
Arrive in Winnipeg
Discover Winnipeg's rich historic past on a guided city tour. Departing from Union Station, a professional guide takes your group to various areas of the city, providing commentary along the way. Learn about The Forks; St. Boniface, Winnipeg's French Quarter that is home to a thriving Franco-Manitoban community and the St. Boniface Basilica; The Exchange District, a National Historic Site home to one of North America's finest collections of turn-of-the-last century architecture; and the Manitoba Legislative Building, built in the Beaux-Arts style using fossil-rich Manitoba Tyndall limestone.
Stop for lunch at The Forks, Winnipeg's oldest meeting place with more than 6,000 years of history, and unique shopping and dining.
Cross the Red River into St. Boniface to learn about the area's storied history. Le Musée de Saint-Boniface ( Saint-Boniface Museum) is housed in Winnipeg's oldest building, which was built for the Grey Nuns who arrived in the Red River Colony in 1844. Check out an impressive collection of artifacts that reveal the lives and culture of Manitoba's Francophone and Metis communities, including a special exhibit about Louis Riel, the "father" of Manitoba.
Next, your group visits the grand stone cathedral and grounds of Saint-Boniface Cathedral. The original 1906 cathedral burned to the ground in the late 60s. A new cathedral and basillica rose from the ashes but the original stone facade still stands today.
Lace up a pair of rented skates and enjoy Winnipeg's beautiful snow-capped scenery while gliding along The River Trail at The Forks. This trail holds the record for the world's longest naturally frozen trail. Along the way, your group warms up from the cold inside visually stunning warming huts designed by architects.
Savour traditional French cuisine for dinner in Saint Boniface, Winnipeg's charming French Quarter.
Festival du Voyageur: Celebrate the culture and "joie de vivre" of the fur traders, who established the Red River Colony and ever-growing French-Canadian community in Western Canada. This 10-day celebration is Western Canada's largest winter festival. Take in breathtaking snow sculptures entered into the international snow sculpting competition, sample sticky-sweet maple taffy that your group rolls in snow and enjoy live music entertainment that gets toes tapping.
Hermetic Code Tour (Canadian Tourism Commission Signature Experience): Winnipeg's own "Da Vinci Code" can be found at the Manitoba Legislative Building. Enjoy a tour of mystery and intrigue as you unlock Masonic symbols and numerological codes cleverly masked in the building's fascinating architecture. Break for lunch in the architecturally stunning Exchange District National Historic Site, filled with unique boutiques, independent restaurants and galleries.
The Manitoba Museum: Spend the afternoon at this award-winning museum and set sail on a thrilling voyage of excitement and discovery. Learn about the province's connection to the voyageurs and the fur trade, travel through time to the roaring '20s, explore a 17th-century ship, and view treasures from around the world. An ever-changing variety of touring and specialty exhibits are a fantastic compliment to The Manitoba Museum's nine permanent galleries.
Continue the journey into the fur-trade era with a second night at Festival du Voyageur exploring Fort Gibraltar. This reconstructed 19th-century fort is the heart of the festival and features colourful costumed interpreters living to the "beat" of 1815. Once a North West Company fur trade post, Fort Gibraltar reflects the lifestyle of the settlement and the roles played by the Métis, settlers, explorers, aboriginal people and the adventuresome voyageurs. Tour this reconstructed 19th century fort, participate in axe-throwing, eat bannock, play voyageur games and discover the diverse cast of characters that call it home. Cap off the evening with a fun group activity—a kitchen party filled with authentic French-Canadian cuisine, dancing, jigging and playing the wooden spoons.
Royal Canadian Mint: They say that money makes the world go 'round and here's your chance to see first-hand where it all begins. Established in 1976, the Winnipeg royal Canadian Mint is a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. Year-round guided tours through the renovated tour area feature interactive coin displays and explain how the mint has made more than 55 billion coins for more than 75 countries.