The Urban Escape: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Manitoba’s capital has truly earned its nickname Winterpeg. Residents know how to enjoy themselves when the mercury is stuck far below freezing, and there are endless ways to warm up indoors and absorb some culture and history, too.
Start your trip with a local tradition: Skate, walk, run or sled along the Red River Mutual Trail at the famous Forks, which at 6.1 kilometres holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest naturally frozen skating trail. While there, stop in at one of the on-ice warming huts, or take in events, such as a curling bonspiel and a bike race on the ice.
In the evening, catch a Winnipeg Jets game and listen to the city’s rabid hockey fans blow the roof off the MTS Centre, or sit back and enjoy a performance by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, whose 2015–2016 calendar includes The Nutcracker and the newly commissioned Going Home Star, which tells the story of a young First Nations woman navigating urban life.
The next day, spend the morning at the Assiniboine Park Zoo with a focus on the Journey to Churchill exhibit, which lets you observe and learn about the muskoxen, Arctic foxes, wolves, snowy owls, caribou, seals and polar bears that reside in Manitoba’s northern regions. Warm up in the afternoon with hydrotherapy – moving between hot saunas, steam baths and cold plunge pools – at Thermëa, which is part of Quebec-based spa, Nordik Spa-Nature.
Finally, experience a meal at RAW: Almond, an annual pop-up dining experience (running from January 21 to February 14, 2016) that takes place right on top of the frozen river, with guests seated at tables of 20 to sample the customized creations from local, national and international chefs.