Winter is coming and if you’re like me, your immediate thought is to hibernate 'til spring. It doesn't help that as a student, you're probably pretty broke (we all know those chicken fingers at the U of W cafeteria ain't cheap).
But Winnipeg is a city that prides itself on celebrating winter and fighting through the bitter cold. An empty wallet and a bone-chilling wind can't stop us from enjoying ourselves—that's why we've rounded up a few fun (and cheap) things to do in Winnipeg this winter. Oh, and the money you save can buy an extra round of beers at Kingshead for the gang. Cheers!

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Wander through the St. Norbert Farmer's Market // 3514 Pembina

Cost: Free

The outdoor market is over for the season, but during winter you can still stock up on fruits and veggies from the indoor market across the street. How sweet is that? You can eat local all year around. While you're there, pick up some carrots, sniff some handmade soaps, and shop around from more than thirty local vendors. The market runs bi-weekly from November to Victoria Day.


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Tour the Manitoba Legislative Building

Cost: Free
It's a beautiful building that's bursting with history—but did you know that some conspiracy theorists believe it has deep religious undertones, hidden numerological symbols (the number 666 is recurring throughout), and special powers? Self-guided and free guided tours happen at The Leg all year round.

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Go for a winter stroll through Assiniboine Park // 55 Pavilion Crescent

Cost: Free

It's just as beautiful as it is in the summer (if not more, actually) and way more secluded at this time of year. Whether you wanna walk, run, or snowshoe through the park, there are trails and paths to follow all year long. Plus, you can stop in the always-blooming conservatory if you desperately need a little green in your life.

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Skate the Red River Mutual Trail // 1 Forks Market Rd.

Cost: Free

No other city has a giant outdoor skating trail running directly through it—in fact, it's one of the longest outdoor skating rinks in the world. This is the perfect activity to do with a large group of people, and my friends and I usually play a pick-up game of ice hockey or take our time hanging out at the warming huts along the trail. At night, hundreds of lights are strung around the area. And I promise no one will notice if you fall one, two, or twelve times.

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Skate the Norberry-Glenlee Outdoor Rink // 26 Molgat Ave

Cost: Free
Winnipeg has more than 60 ODR's around the city that are free for anyone to use (as long as they aren't reserved for a hockey practice). Grab a few friends and head to Norberry-Glenlee for a friendly match—it's one of the nicer rinks in the city with wooden boards and well-maintained ice.

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Tobogganing at Crescent Drive Park // 781 Crescent Dr

Cost: Free (plus crazy carpet cost)

I came here often as a kid for birthday parties, and I still get a thrill today from riding down a frozen slide on my butt. If you don't feel like sharing a slide with the kids, just make your own down the side of a hill and race your friends on super cheap crazy carpets. Bonus: tobogganing is also an insanely good workout that doesn't even feel like a workout!

You can also try the hills at Westview Park and Civic Park, or the slides at St. Vital Park.

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 Visit the CMHR // 85 Israel Asper Way

Cost: Free admission on the first Wednesday of every month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Although I find that you need more than 4 hours to explore the entire national museum, free Wednesdays at CMHR are an awesome way to check out the space (the building's architecture alone is fascinating). Exhibits here are constantly changing so even if you've already been, definitely think about visiting again. There's no other place with such extensive history around, and it's actually a good idea to come alone to fully absorb the experience.


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Watch a Film @ Forth // 171 McDermot Ave

Cost: Free (and free popcorn too!)
Every Wednesday at 7 p.m. grab your Snuggie and check out a movie at Forth—the films are usually a classic, sometimes obscure, and always entertaining. Plus, Forth makes some of the best coffee and craft cocktails in town.


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Window shop in Osborne Village

Cost: Free

Besides the colourful crowd of people it draws, Osborne has some really, really cool shops that everyone seems to forget about. Stare into Rooster for shoes you probably can't afford, admire the well-dressed mannequins in front of Out of the Blue, and browse for records in Music Trader. Afterward, listen to the buskers on the corner of River Ave. When you're done, people-watching in the Village will keep you entertained for hours.


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Grab lunch at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute // 504 Main St.

Cost: $5-$10
This is the city's best kept secret for an affordable-yet-healthy lunch. The cafeteria charges practically nothing for your meal because the chefs making it are still students. Culinary experience for them, a cheap lunch for you— it's a win-win for everyone. Plus, the building is an old bank and is full of beautiful, thick columns and huge windows.

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 Visit the Cathédrale de Saint-Boniface // 190 Avenue de la Cathédrale

Cost: Free

There's so much Manitoba history here, it would seem ridiculous not to walk around the area at least once. Although parts of the building burned down years ago, what's left is still breathtaking—the bishops' crypt is located in the walls of the 1905 cathedral, and you can also visit Louis Riel's gravesite here.

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Explore Club Regent Casino // 1425 Regent Ave W

Cost: Free

You don't have to gamble—just walking around, exploring and scoring free coffee is fun. There's also a super neat aquarium you can walk through in the middle of the casino, and a McDonald's and ice cream shop inside.


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Explore the city's antique shops // 324 Young St, 52 St Anne's Rd, 1 Forks Market Rd

Cost: Free

Play Nancy Drew for the day and hunt around for hidden treasures—you never know what kind of goodies people are selling in the city's dozens of antique shops. Mike's General Store, The Old House Revival Company, and the Antique Mall in the Johnson Terminal are some of the most popular in the city.


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Watch a Manitoba Moose Game // MTS Centre

Cost: $20

If you wanna go to the good 'ole hockey game, but you don't exactly wanna take out a second mortgage for Jets tickets, try a Manitoba Moose Game. The atmosphere is just as crazy and the games are pretty interesting, too (and by that I mean: the players are pretty hot, too).


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Take a Half Pints Brewery Tour // 550 Roseberry St

Cost: Free every Saturday at 1 p.m.

A handful of new breweries are opening in Winnipeg this year, but for now, you can tour the local fav who brews your much-loved St. James Pale Ale and Bulldog Amber. Besides checking out the huge facilities, I bet you'll learn lots about what exactly goes into your favourite beers. Hopefully, soon you'll be able to explore Barn Hammer, Torque, Little Brown Jug, and Peg Beer Co too.


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Wander around First Fridays in the Exchange // Exchange District

Cost: Free

If you're more the artsy type, you can colour at King + Bannatyne, take an art talk/art walk, wander into otherwise-private artist's studios, and explore dozens of other things in the Exchange District on the first Friday of each month. While you're in the area, bring your camera to snap some pics of the historical architecture surrounding you—it's one of the largest collections of heritage buildings in North America.

The last event of the year is on December 2nd from 5 - 9 p.m.

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