Fort Gibraltar during the Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg, Manitoba

10 things you need to know about: winter adventures in Manitoba

December 17, 2013 Travel

By Shel Zolkewich

They don’t hibernate in these parts–they celebrate! There’s nothing like a crisp Manitoba winter day to enjoy the great outdoors or soak up pure luxury in a world-class spa.

  1. Start practising the familiar chant “he-ho” before immersing yourself in the French Canadian culture at Festival du Voyageur (February 14 to 23, 2014), Western Canada’s largest winter celebration. There’s foot-stomping music, sparkling snow carvings and, of course, poutine.
  2. While winter is still young and fresh, board a plane from Winnipeg and take a day trip to Churchill, polar bear capital of the world. Jump on a Tundra Buggy to get up close and personal with the wildlife, enjoy dinner in the north then head home to sleep in your own bed that night.
  3. Lace up and go for a glide on the longest, naturally frozen outdoor skating trail in the world. Check out the architecturally cool warming huts along The River Trail at The Forks, a gathering spot in Winnipeg.
  4. Stroll out onto a frozen lake, drop a line and hope a big one comes to bite. There’s a $10,000 prize for the heaviest fish at the Falcon Lake Winter Fish-Off, one of Manitoba’s many ice-fishing derbies.
  5. Find a big fur hat and bring a hearty appetite when you make your way up north to The Pas for the Northern Manitoba Trappers’ Festival. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet the King Trapper and the Fur Queen.
  6. Drift away under the twinkling lights in the steamy, sultry Ten Spa in the posh Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg. Mint tea, Turkish delight and an olive-oil hair wash are just the beginning of your exotic journey in the hamam.
  7. You’ve never seen a drive-thru quite like this. The Canad Inns Winter Wonderland meanders through Red River Exhibition Park, with more than a million holiday lights twinkling for your viewing pleasure.
  8. They race along age-old fur trade routes over some of the most remote and unforgiving terrain in the province. Follow the Hudson Bay Quest as dog-sled teams battle the elements.
  9. If you call them, they will answer. Settle in to a clear, dark winter’s night in Riding Mountain National Park. Call the wolves. Wait for their answers. Let chills run up your spine.
  10. Jack up your snowboarding skills with a visit to Adrenaline Adventures where you’ll be towed by an overhead cable. Do you wanna go faster?
Churchill Polar Bear

Churchill Polar Bear

Courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission.

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