People passionate about nature

Winter Nature Indoors & Outdoors

Nature Indoors

There are all kinds of reasons why people may not be able to get outside on a good day, but with the freezing temperatures and current public health situation, it can seem almost impossible to get motivated to leave home.

While we definitely advocate for getting out and experiencing the natural world first-hand, we also want to acknowledge that the ability to get outside is a privilege. So for all those who are struggling to get outside (for whatever reason), or those who want to supplement their outside time, we’ve compiled a list of just a few of the great ways you can experience and learn about the natural world from home.

Pink, blue, purple streaks in a starry sky above a row of evergreen trees

Northern lights at home:

The northern lights are such a wonderful sight to experience. If you’re lucky enough to be away from light pollution or in the northern part of our province, you can probably see them in your own back yard. But for many people making a long drive for a small chance you might see the aurora borealis is not an option.

Luckily, you can actually view a live cam feed of the sky in Churchill from Polar Bears International. Be sure to check the feed when it’s dark and hope to find a clear sky.

Polar Bears International is an interpretive centre focused on polar bear conservation. They also have other live cams of the station here.

You can learn more about northern lights, polar bears, and arctic research (and find live visual imaging of the auroral oval) on Churchill Northern Studies Centre’s website here

Above: Bald Eagle captured on one of Raptor Resource Project's 14 birdcams (from

Live nature cams:

If you want to get really into the live nature feeds, has live cameras on just about everything you can think of. You often have to tune in at the right time and be patient, but you can see some really great moments.

Find the Bald Eagle nest here, a live Great Grey Owl nest here, and everything from Cornell Lab’s fruit feeder cam to a flying fox cam.

Above: Fruit out for the birds via Cornell Lab (from

Above: some afternoon naps on the flying fox cam (from

Online learning & Sustainable Living:

If you’re more interested in research, learning about the natural world from a scientific point of view, or considering your impact on the natural world, the Winnipeg Public Library has a great online resource called GreenFILE.

You need a library card to access GreenFILE, but it is full of publications and images on pretty much every environmental topic. The database is searchable and you can even save publications, images and searches in your own online folders. 

Above: Screen shot of the Winnipeg Public Library's Green Choices section

For a less scholarly and more practical approach to sustainable living, the WPL also has a Green Choices section. Here you can find recommendations for great nature books to curl up with, as well as loads of resources for making eco-conscious changes in your life. They even have a section for kids and teens, and an ecological footprint calculator. 


If you are able to get outside during the winter months, there are some new tools to help you explore the great outdoors locally.

Woman in purple ski jacket cross-country skiing in a bright forest path lined with evergreen trees.

Ski Library:

If cross-country skiing is something you’ve always wanted to try (or you have old ski equipment collecting dust) you might want to check out WinterPeg. They started a new ski library program that collects ski equipment and allows people to use it free of charge. 

WinterPeg has pop-up ski libraries at various locations/dates across the city. They also host ski trips for indigenous youth and Women/2-Spirit individuals. WinterPeg has other ideas for winter fun, and also offers rentals for ski equipment, snowshoes and kicksleds.

Trail Condition Map:

If you are looking to enjoy the trails in Manitoba’s Provincial Parks they now have an interactive trail condition map. So you can check the status of any of the Province’s trails before you head out. 

Above: Screen shot of Manitoba Park's interactive map

Winter Activity Map:

If you’re in Winnipeg (or visiting this winter) and you are looking for winter activities, there is now a map of winter activities made by Carol Cassell (Mapping Winnipeg). You can select the type of activity you’re looking for, like skating or sledding, and find all the locations for that activity across the city in one click. Maybe you can find a new place to skate, or try a new winter activity nearby. Find the winter activity map here

Above: Skiiers on an afternoon trip from the Mantario Cabin (photo by Brian Hydesmith)

Of course if you are looking for something to do this winter, Nature Manitoba also has options for you!

Our Discovery Evenings are running and Nature Workshops begin February 14th, 2022. You can also see our current outdoor trips here, and learn more about our Mantario Wilderness Cabin here.

Happy discovering!