‘Learn to Winter’ free programming now on at The Forks

Winnipeg’s favourite meeting place is declaring winter officially here and offering special free activities to celebrate its snow and ice-covered spaces.

The Forks officially opened its on-land trails for walking and skating this weekend at the Winnipeg 150 Winter Park. Marketing and communications manager Zach Peters said their special “Learn to Winter” programming will be offered every weekend from now until the end of February.

“We have some skate, ski, and snowshoe lessons every Saturday and Sunday that we’re partnering with Winnipeg Trails to run,” Peters said. “Then on Sundays from 12 till 4 we have some music happening by the canopy rink, each weekend will be different DJ or performer.”

Peters said Elder Barbara Nepinak will also be leading story time and drumming inside the teepee at The Forks, and warming hut tours will also begin later this month.

All programming is free. Guests are invited to bring their own equipment or rent on site. Peters said even with cold temperatures on the way, Winnipeggers can stay warm at The Forks.

“People come inside the Forks Market, take their winter stuff off, have a hot chocolate or some mini doughnuts, but then go back out there,” said Peters. “Enjoy the skating rink. Enjoy the new trails as part of the Winnipeg 150 Winter Park. Hopefully eventually you’ll be able to even get down onto the river trail once it’s up and running.”

Unfortunately, skaters will not be able to traverse the historic rail bridge, which takes a walking path across the Assiniboine River and has been closed since June 2023 due to structural concerns.

“We share in the disappointment of folks who use that bridge either for the skating trail that usually crosses in winter or for daily commuting, coming through The Forks into downtown or from downtown,” said Peters. “We were disappointed, we want that bridge to be up and running.”

There is currently no timeline on the bridge repair, as its condition is still being assessed.

More information on The Forks’ winter programming can be found online.

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