Manitoba may be known for its long winters, but that's no reason to spend the season sitting in front of the TV or playing video games. Get the family into warm clothing and out of the house to experience all that is a Manitoba winter!
Take a 'staycation' and discover the abundance of family friendly opportunities in Manitoba to enjoy fresh air, crisp snow, winter sports, and exciting festivals. Become a Voyageur, cheer at a sled dog race, skate under the stars, or simply enjoy the great outdoors.
Here's just a taste of some of Manitoba's winter faves that will be sure to warm your heart!
Become a Voyageur
Over the past 40 years, Festival du Voyageur has evolved into a 10-day province-wide winter celebration of sights, sounds, snow, and spirit rejoicing in the vitality of the fur traders. Book some family time in mid-February to take in this not-to-be-missed event. Tickle the tastebuds with maple syrup poured over snow, tap your toes to Metis fiddling, wander among the giant snow sculptures, and cheer on modern-day voyageurs as they test their fur trade skills. At the Festival du Voyageur, every member of the family will find a reason to shout "hey-ho!"
Winter 2010 marks the emergence of a new tradition… Saison Voyageur. The inaugural Saison Voyageur will be a celebration of all that is winter in Winnipeg and Manitoba. Spanning a ten-week period, starting with the winter solstice on December 21, Saison Voyageur will tie together the Arctic Glacier Winter Park, the Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail, and the Festival du Voyageur.
As the excitement for Manitoba's winter wonderland grows, so will the number of events included under the Saison Voyageur toque. Bookmark the website and check back for updates. Then put on your family's long underwear, snuggle into your ski jackets, pull on your warmest mitts, and discover one of the many fabulous Saison Voyageur events!
Find Family Fun at The Forks
If you live in Winnipeg or plan to visit in winter, the place to be when the weather's crisp is the Arctic Glacier Winter Park at The Forks. With so many cool and frosty things to see and do, your family will want to come back again and again.
Lace up the skates and go for a twirl on The Plaza skating rink with its sparkling lights and music that will keep you warm even on the coldest days. If you prefer more room, glide over to The Scotiabank skating rink and maybe join in a pick-up game of hockey. Don't have skates? Not a problem—skate rentals are available at reasonable rates.
Teenagers (and teenagers at heart) looking for a thrill will be good to go at The Snowboard Fun Park. Test your skills as you ride the rails, table tops, jumps, and fun boxes. For more thrills, take a slide down the toboggan chute next to the snowboard park.
Check out new additions to the park including an ice castle and ice obstacle course along with an ice picture frame where you can snap a pic of the kids goofing it up. Three more reasons to make a first or return visit to this chilling and thrilling Winter Park. On weekends, warm up by one of the many firepots that help keep the chill in check.
Slip, slide and away your family goes on the Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail—the world's longest naturally frozen skating trail. Start at The Forks or any of the access points along the trail where you can skate, walk, run or sled while enjoying the picturesque sights of Winnipeg from an unusual vantage point—the frozen Assiniboine River.
Special programming takes place on weekends throughout the winter, so check the River Trail website to plan your visit. Get the whole family active together with a game of curling, hockey or broomball, or mix it up with some historic interpretation.
After a fun-filled day outdoors, rejuvenate your family's flagging energy with a stay at the Inn at the Forks. This boutique hotel is the perfect place for a family winter getaway complete with a soothing spa and a chance to tantalize your taste buds at The Current restaurant.
Discover Your Family's Northern Pioneer Spirit
Experience Canada's heritage first-hand with an amazing weekend getaway to northern Manitoba in mid-February. Ride the rails in the comfort of a private bedroom roundtrip from Winnipeg to The Pas with Rail Travel Tours on their Winter Festival Escape. Spend two exciting nights in The Pas, discovering Manitoba's northern culture and winter festivities at their best. Whether you go with a group or on your own, consider a few days in Winnipeg beforehand to take in the Festival du Voyageur.
Join in the pioneer spirit and celebrate the bygone era of the fur trade at the Northern Manitoba Trappers' Festival in The Pas. Find out who will be crowned this year's King and Queen Trappers with contests like wood cutting, axe throwing, moose calling, trap setting, canoe packing, and carrying 400 pounds of flour. Pick your favourite dog team amidst the yelps and exhilaration of the World Championship Dog Sled races. Families looking for a new experience will find this festival fits the bill!
After an exciting day taking in the sights, sounds and thrills of the Trappers' Festival, settle into your room at the Evergreen Resort located on Clearwater Lake near The Pas. Add to your family's festival fun with some snowmobiling and ice-fishing expertly arranged by the resort's friendly owners.Plan your Manitoba Winter Fun Getaway:
- Festival du Voyageur: www.festivalvoyageur.mb.ca
- Saison Voyageur: www.saisonvoyageur.ca
- The Forks: www.theforks.com
- Inn at the Forks: www.innforks.com
- Riverstone The Spa at The Forks: www.riverstonespa.ca
- River Trail: www.rivertrail.ca/wp
- Northern Manitoba Trappers' Festival: www.trappersfestival.com
- Rail Travel Tours: www.trainpackages.ca/packages/Winter-Festival-Escape-in-Manitoba.html
- Evergreen Resort: www.evergreenthepas.com