AAA Travel Tips / The 6 Best Free Things to Do in Winnipeg, Canada

The 6 Best Free Things to Do in Winnipeg, Canada

AAA/Katie McPhee
By AAA Travel Editor Katie McPhee
June 13, 2019
Save money on your next trip to Winnipeg, Manitoba, by including a few of these popular Winnipeg attractions on your itinerary—all completely free (and still fun). From free admission nights at a Winnipeg museum to outdoor spaces with no entrance fees, here are the best free things to do in Winnipeg, Canada.
Closeup of the Lyric Theatre outdoor stage at Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
AAA/Katie McPhee

Assiniboine Park

2355 Corydon Ave.
(204) 927-6000
Free things to do in Winnipeg abound at Assiniboine Park, where you can tour an English Garden, explore the imaginative Nature Playground, see bronze works by a master sculptor in the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden and check out artwork by Manitoba artists in the Pavilion Gallery Museum. In July and August, a free entertainment series brings music performances and movies to the Lyric Theatre outdoor stage, while a free trolley service provides daily transportation between the park’s top attractions and The Forks Market downtown.
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Exterior of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights with a statue of Gandhi in the foreground in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
AAA/Katie McPhee

Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR)

85 Israel Asper Way
(204) 289-2000
Budget travelers should plan to visit the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) on the first Wednesday of the month when admission is free from 5 to 9 p.m. (a savings of about $20). While traveling exhibits on the first floor aren’t included in the free admission deal, there are 10 other permanent galleries that house interactive exhibits relating to human rights and equality issues. On every other Wednesday of the month, admission is just $5 after 5 p.m., and admission is always free for children under age 7, indigenous peoples and those accompanying anyone with a disability.
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Historic buildings in the Exchange District in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
AAA/Katie McPhee

First Fridays in the Exchange District

Centered around Old Market Square (Bannatyne Avenue and King Street)
(204) 942-6716
Art galleries, studios and shops stay open late during First Fridays in the Exchange District, one of the best free things to do in Winnipeg on the first Friday of every month. During the event, the streets in the 20-block historic district come alive with art gallery openings, pop-up shops, art studio demonstrations and live DJs from 5 to 9 p.m. (or later).
Red slides and tall trees at the Variety Heritage Adventure Park playground at The Forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
AAA/Katie McPhee

The Forks

1 Forks Market Rd.
(204) 947-9236
Of all the popular Winnipeg attractions, The Forks offers the most bang for your buck. You’ll find dozens of free things to do in every season at The Forks, from ice-skating on the Red River Mutual Trail in winter to strolling the River Walk in summer. It’s a great place to visit for families—the Variety Heritage Adventure Park has plenty of play zones for kids of all ages, and wide-open grassy areas welcome little tykes who need to run off excess energy. When skies are clear, head up to the tower on top of The Forks Market for photo-worthy views, especially at sunset.
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The ornate interior of the rotunda at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
AAA/Katie McPhee

Manitoba Legislative Building

450 Broadway Ave.
(204) 945-5813
Take a tour of the Manitoba Legislative Building, one of the top things to do in Winnipeg, Canada, for those interested in architecture, history and the inner workings of government. Self-guiding tours are always free, and you can explore the building and grounds at your leisure and even watch proceedings from a viewing gallery when the Legislative Assembly is in session. For more insight into the building’s symbolism and architecture, join a free guided tour, offered daily on the hour 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in July and August.
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The limestone facade of the 1905 St. Boniface Cathedral in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
AAA/Katie McPhee

St. Boniface Cathedral

180 Avenue de la Cathedrale
(204) 233-7304
Pack your camera and head to St. Boniface, Winnipeg’s French quarter located just across the Esplanade Riel footbridge from downtown. You can’t miss the limestone façade of the St. Boniface Cathedral, a historic landmark in the city. While the cathedral was damaged by fire in 1968, a few walls and the impressive stone façade still remain, with a modern structure built inside the original footprint. The surrounding churchyard includes the grave of Louis Riel, the Métis leader celebrated as Manitoba’s founder. Visiting the cathedral and grounds is free, but keep in mind that this is a working Catholic church with daily mass services (all conducted in French).
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