Free summer outdoor activities in Winnipeg, Manitoba – parks and more
After living through a long, cold winter, Manitobans love their summers and flock outdoors. In Winnipeg, its capital city, there are many places and ways to enjoy the summer weather.
Assiniboine Park, a 1,110 acre park initially created in 1904, offers a variety of attractions and plenty of green space in which to picnic or toss a ball around. Stroll through the Formal Gardens or along the winding paths and free-form beds of the English Gardens. Visit the ever-changing floral displays at the Conservatory. Take your children or grandchildren to the Nature Playground, which includes a sand and water play area, willow tree tunnels, basket swings, rubber mountains, and more.
Walk through some of Manitoba’s largest trees, visit a formal garden, and see Hansel and Gretel’s “Witch Hut” at Kildonan Park. The park also has a play structure, picnic areas, and barbecue pits.
Visit the rock garden, walk around the duck pond, play, or picnic at St. Vital Park.
Walk the Carol Shields Memorial Labyrinth at King’s Park.
The Forks, where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meet, has been a meeting place for 6,000 years. It remains a meeting place today with dining, shopping, and a variety of activities and attractions. Visit the Forks and take in some of the activities. Take your children or grandchildren to its Variety Heritage Adventure Playground, a playground designed to encourage imaginative play while presenting historic stories. It also has a water park, open from mid-June to Labour Day.
Walk along the Assiniboine Riverwalk, a winding path along the riverbank running from Esplanade Riel, the bridge into the Saint Boniface area, to the Manitoba Legislature Building. Watch passing boats and enjoy the scenery. Rises in water levels make parts of the path impassable at times, so check the web site for current conditions before planning your walk.
Walk through Assiniboine Forest. Feel as if you’ve left the city far behind you as you walk through aspen-oak vegetation, hear the birds, and spot wildlife. The forest is home to white-tail deer.
Explore the city by walking trails mapped out by the Winnipeg Trails Association. Over 30 detailed trail maps are available on the web site. Each map contains a few facts about the area and identifies points of interest, including availability of washroom facilities. Trails range in length from .4 kilometres to 10 kilometres.
Spend a Sunday afternoon cycling on one of the designated bike route streets closed to vehicle traffic that day. Streets include Scotia Street, Wolseley Avenue, Wellington Crescent, and Lyndale Drive. Check the city website for exact locations.
If you are looking for more organized exercise, try the free, outdoor, noon-hour yoga and zumba classes in downtown Winnipeg. Starting June 22, 2014 and running until August 29, 2014, Memorial Park is host to yoga on Mondays and zumba on Fridays. The Millennium Library Park is host to zumba on Tuesdays and yoga on Thursdays.
For other free summer activities in Winnipeg, read my posts Free Winnipeg Museums, Art, and History and Free Summer Concerts and Festivals in Winnipeg.
Do you know of a park or other free outdoor activity in Winnipeg to add to this list? Do you have a favourite free summer outdoor activity in another city?