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Things to do in Winnipeg, Manitoba at Assiniboine Park

Things to do at Assiniboine Park – Winnipeg’s Urban Park

Assiniboine Park is the 11th largest urban park in Canada and 150th largest urban park in the world.

This outstanding park has endless tree-lined trails along the river for hiking or biking and large fields for playing football, soccer, ultimate Frisbee or even cricket.

The largest grass field is between the Pavilion and the Assiniboine River.  In the summer, you will see hundreds of people socializing, having picnics, suntanning, and playing sports in this field.

Lyric Stage

On some evenings, you can sit in this field and watch a movie in the park or watch a free concert on the Lyric Stage, which is beside the Pavilion.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet even offers free ballet performances on the Lyric Stage for several nights a year usually in July.

Assiniboine Park Zoo

Assiniboine Park has a large and impressive zoo called the Assiniboine Park Zoo (or the Winnipeg Zoo) that has over 200 species of animals over 80 acres.

The Zoo was recently renovated to add a butterfly garden as well as enclosures and viewing areas for Polar Bears and other animals native to Northern Manitoba in an exhibit called Journey to Churchill. You can even go below the water and watch the Polar Bears swim above you. They are very surprisingly comfortable under water.  If you can’t travel to Churchill, Manitoba, then this is a good way to get a sample of what you would see.

English Garden

One of my favourite places to decompress is English Garden at Assiniboine Park, which has many walking paths winding through beautiful flower gardens and large trees.

The English Garden is located between the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden and the Duck Pond.

Leo Mol Sculpture Garden

The Leo Mol Sculpture Garden offers a quiet retreat to walk through a lovely nature path and enjoy the magnificent life-sized bronze statues of master sculptor, Dr. Leo Mol.

The garden is also home to the Leo Mol Gallery, a building featuring more works by the gifted artist and a second building that explains how he makes his amazing sculptures.

The Duck Pond

The Riley Family Duck Pond is a nice place for a walk where you can see many birds such as ducks, geese, seagulls, and even swans, especially during the Spring and Fall migration.

In Winter months, the Duck Pond becomes a lovely ice skating rink with music and hanging lights in the trees.

Beside the Duck Pond, you will find a building with washrooms, a water fountain, and tables for having a picnic indoors when it is raining or too sunny. That building transforms into a skating change room in Winter (closed during code red pandemic lockdowns).

A unique and new concept for the park called Cargo Bar is located behind this building. It’s basically a bar in a renovated shipping container that serves liquor to be consumed nearby in the park or on their rooftop patio during the summer months.

On the other side of the Duck Pond, there is a restaurant called the Park Cafe at Assiniboine Park. You can order things like coffee, hot chocolate, soft drinks, burgers, wraps, salads, and ice cream at their take out window.  Inside, you can sit in comfort and enjoy items off their unique menu.

The Pavilion

One of Winnipeg’s most recognizable and beloved landmarks is The Assiniboine Park Pavilion, which was built in 1930 and looks a bit like a Bavarian chalet.

The Pavilion is home to the largest collections of works by renowned Manitoba artists Ivan Eyre, Walter J. Phillips, and Clarence Tillenius.

For tourists and kids, the best thing about The Pavilion is the gallery called “The Best Bear in All the World”: The Many Sides of Winnie-the-Pooh, which showcases objects, archives, and works of art to help understand the creation of the beloved Disney Character Winnie-the-Pooh from a small bear that was brought to England by a Winnipeg veterinarian during the First World War.

Assiniboine Park Conservatory

During the long, cold Winters, Winnipeg residents used to escape to a warm tropical paradise with exotic trees and flowers at the Assiniboine Park Conservatory.

Due to its age, the old Conservatory was torn down and a new larger indoor greenhouse facility called The Leaf is currently under construction that will be the first and only garden attraction in North America to tell Canadians’ cultural stories through the world of plants. The Leaf will be surrounded by the spectacular outdoor Canada’s Diversity Gardens.

For Families With Kids

Next to the Pavilion, your kids will be happy to find Nature Playground and its sand and water play area, slithering slides, a sky-high crow’s nest, willow tree tunnels, basket swings, giant robin’s nest, colourful rubber mountains with slides, and net bridges.

In the Winter, this area has a large hill for toboggan/sled slides.

Children will also enjoy riding the nearby miniature steam train that winds through the forest. They might even spot some wild deer.

Getting Around

To get around this big park, you can walk or use their free shuttle bus.

If you want to get more creative and adventurous, rent a bicycle built for 1, 2, 4 or more from Bee2gether Bikes near the Duck Pond.

The Perfect Ending

Usually, at the end of a visit to Assiniboine Park, we cross the footbridge over the scenic Assiniboine River to buy some ice cream at Sargent Sundae and then consume it while we walk back to the car.

 

If you have any stories or suggestions about Assiniboine Park, please comment below for all of us to enjoy.

 

Happy Travels,

Kevin & Tina

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16 Comments

  • Baby Boomer Super Saver

    What a beautiful park! I love the way you’ve included the slide show of photos – I’ve never seen that on a blog before. The Assiniboine Park Conservatory is something I’d be very interested in visiting. Especially once the new “The Leaf” greenhouse is completed. It is sure to be amazing for any herbalist, botanist, or plant lover!

    • Kevin Strong

      We just figured out how to do a carousel of images. It allows for several large photos relating to one topic in one place without making the blog super long. The new Assiniboine Park Conservatory will be an amazing sight and experience, so you should book your trip once it is safe. There are many other things to do in Winnipeg too (please see our other blog posts).

      • Kevin Strong

        Thanks. We usually do many things at Assiniboine Park in one trip. We will walk from The Pavilion (and go in if we have time and it is open), past the duck pond, through the English Garden, around the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, across the footbridge, and finally back to the car. It takes less than 1 hour.

  • Sue Berk Koch

    This looks like a great park, lots of fun for the family. From sledding in winter to walking the grounds, it’s a four season destination, too! Love your new banner pic! Thanks for bringing Assiniboine to our attention.

    • Kevin Strong

      Thanks for noticing the new blog layout. We re-did the whole blog and moved to a new hosting service. There are many things to do in Assiniboine Park, which is one thing that makes it great (in addition to all of the natural beauty and green space).

    • Kevin Strong

      Winnipeg, Manitoba is a great city to visit and explore. There are many things to do at Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, but please read my other posts about things to do in Winnipeg. I recently posted one about things to do at The Forks in Winnipeg, which is Winnipeg’s biggest tourist attraction.

  • Sarah

    I knew there was quite a bit to do in Winnepeg but seeing this list makes me want to visit there even more. I drove through Winnepeg once, but we were only there for a night before continuing Westward so we didn’t get to enjoy any of the city. I hope to go back there one day so we can properly enjoy what the city has to offer.

    • Kevin Strong

      I will be posting many more articles to give you travel ideas and inspiration for your future travel to Winnipeg. I hope the information about things to do in Winnipeg and specifically at Assiniboine Park is useful and interesting to read.

  • Britt K

    My husband and I have been talking about taking a big road trip out west (we live in Ontario), so I’ll have to add Assiniboine Park to our list of places to visit. I’ve been to Winnipeg once before, but I was a child, so there isn’t much that I remember about the area. That being said, I’m looking forward to visiting it again as an adult!

    • Kevin Strong

      If you are driving to Banff from Ontario, Winnipeg is a perfect spot to spend a few days along the way. There are so many things to do in Winnipeg and Manitoba. I hope I can give you some ideas through my posts. We welcome you to visit once it is safe again (and there are no quarantine requirements).

    • Graham Crosby

      Not a part of Canada I’ve visited, but it looks amazing. I love parks like this where you can spend just ages enjoying yourself. Great post. Thanks for sharing!

      • Kevin Strong

        It’s right in the middle of Canada and is not one of the biggest cities, but its beautiful and interesting to visit, especially if you use my Winnipeg travel guides to find things to do in Winnipeg.

    • Kevin Strong

      You are very kind. We are trying to improve each post and provide useful information and travel inspiration through the pictures (or just a virtual vacation). We hope you found some things to do at Assiniboine Park that you would enjoy.

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