A version of this post was originally published on the Travel Manitoba blog.
Here's a radical idea: Instead of hiding away all season long, why not get out and make the most of winter? The snowy season can be fun (and not to mention dazzlingly beautiful) when you finally start to embrace all the great experiences that come with it. If you're ready to finally starting enjoying winter, here are seven festivals happening this year in Manitoba that you simply can't miss...
Festival du Voyageur
February 14 to 23, 2020
Festival du Voyageur is the largest winter festival in Western Canada and by far the most popular in Winnipeg. It celebrates the liveliness and excitement of Manitoba's Francophone culture. Grab a ceinture fléchée (arrowhead sash) and head to Voyageur Park for live music, food, snow sculptures and so much more.
Must-try experience: Taste a French winter tradition by rolling your own snow taffy (la tire) and taking an shot of caribou from a glass made of ice.
January 17 to 19, 2020
The Snowdance Festival in Falcon Lake combines everything to love about winter with an amazing array of concerts. Play hockey, curl with a frozen turkey, go for a polar bear swim and rock out to an assortment of music throughout the weekend.
Must-try experience: Turkey shoot and skijoring
Gimli Ice Festival
March 6 to 8, 2020
Experience the one-of-a-kind Gimli winter at the Gimli Ice Festival, where you can see everything from car racing on the frozen lake to a Sons of Lugh Viking re-enactment. Experience the beauty of the community and discover why it’s called the Heart of New Iceland.
Must-try experience: Bombardier rides on the lake and the frozen fish toss
Winter Adventure Weekend in Riding Mountain National Park
February 7 to 9, 2020
Join locals and visitors in Riding Mountain National Park to celebrate all of the incredible opportunities for adventure that winter brings! Winter Adventure Weekend gives you the opportunity to head out on the skating trails, go snowshoeing, try cross-country skiing, ride fat bikes, jam to live music and taste great local food and drink, all at one amazing winter festival!
Must-try experience: Winter camping in an oTENTik
Vita & Area Winter Festival
January 18 and 19, 2020
This community event will draw you in with a mix of winter activities: from a fiercely competitive borscht competition to dogsled rides across the Manitoban prairies.
Must-try experience: Eating borscht and going dogsledding
Asessippi Family Weekend
February 15 and 16, 2020
Hit the slopes for a super weekend at Asessippi Ski Area & Resort and take part in some highly entertaining races (including the AMAZING race) and more outdoor wintry fun. Stay till the end to catch the fireworks that finish it all off.
Must-try experience: Fly down the hill on a snow tube
Northern Manitoba Trapper's Festival
February 12 to 16, 2020
The Northern Manitoba Trappers' Festival in The Pas is a celebration of the traditions and strong heritage in Manitoba’s northern region. Watch the crowning of the fur queen, partake in lively competitions and don’t worry about dress code because this year’s slogan is “Plaid is Plenty in 2020.”
Must-try experience: Warm up by the GIANT bonfire and the World Championship Dogsled Race