10 fun things to do in Manitoba this winter that are NOT in Winnipeg

Posted January 18, 2022 | Author Breanne Sewards

Don't let winter skate by without a little adventure throughout the province. From picturesque trails to thrilling downhill ski hills, it's time to add these destinations to your list -- all of which are outside of Winnipeg.

A visit to Manitoba means travelling through Treaty 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Territory and through communities who are signatories to Treaties 6 and 10. It encompasses the original lands of the Anishinaabeg, Anish-Ininiwak, Dakota, Dene, Ininiwak and Nehethowuk and the homeland of the Métis. To learn more about Manitoba's Treaty areas, click here.

1. Spend the day in a small town


While the town of Carman is a popular day trip in the summer months, there's plenty to do in winter, too. Start with grabbing something sweet at the Carman Bakery & Pastry Stop, a local favourite, before heading to the Boyne River for skating or a leisurely walk. The peaceful river trail gives you time and space to clear your mind, exactly what you might need this winter. Before you depart, grab lunch at another popular spot in town: Crazy Lady's Cafeteria, and browse some of the local shops along main street.

2. Have a cross-country ski getaway

Flin Flon and Bakers Narrows

There's no winter quite like a northern winter! Take your outdoor adventure to the next level by booking a stay in Flin Flon, at Bakers Narrows Lodge for example, which is open year-round. From there, you can explore the town or breathe in the crisp air as you ski along 28 km of groomed trails. The Flin Flon Ski Club maintains one of the most impressive trail systems in the province, some of which is lit for night skiing until 10 p.m.

3. Go downhill at Thunderhill Ski Area

Swan River Valley

Expand your skiing horizons and venture into an area of Manitoba you (may) have not been to before. Located in Swan River Valley, the Thunderhill Ski Area had its start back in 1967 when the Benito Elks Club first used a rope tow to transport skiers up the hill.

Today, the ski hill features over 24 groomed downhill ski runs as well as cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. After a day on the hill, skiers and snowboarders can enjoy a hot lunch in the cozy chalet. Don't leave the region without a visit to Magnet Hill, a nearby attraction and clever optical illusion that you can experience from your car.

4. Have a romantic staycation

Whiteshell Provincial Park

It's been a tough year for any kind of international travel - so why not treat yourself and your significant other to a romantic staycation? Adults-only lodges open during the winter months include Tallpine Lodges and Barrier Bay Resort - both of which are located in the gorgeous Whiteshell Provincial Park.

5. Explore the trails of Manitoba Parks


Want to get active this winter but don't know where to start? Manitoba Parks recently launched a new interactive map which features trail updates and conditions in parks across the province. The map also indicates which trails are designated for certain activities (example: cross-country skiing vs hiking) so be sure to check before you head out.

6. Rent a winter wagon of fun

St. Malo

Have the fun, family-focused winter day of your dreams by renting the Winter Rec Wagon from Sayzoons. Pick a spot in St. Malo Provincial Park and book your wagon experience on any Sunday from 10:00 to 2:00 pm. The wagon includes a fire pit, snowshoes, kick sleds, broom ball, fat bikes, Métis Trapper Bingo, snow tubes, bannock on a stick and more.

7. Embark on a snowshoeing tour

Wild Harmony
Wild Harmony


Explore the still and pristine forests of the Whiteshell, Agassiz Forest, Whitemouth Falls, Brightstone Sandhills and Pinawa's backcountry on a snowshoeing tour with Wild Harmony Canoe Adventures. This is your chance to witness all the beauty of winter - like frozen streams and ice formations - with snowshoes supplied for you.

8. Dine in the Spruce Hut

Riding Mountain National Park

Clear Lake Country in Riding Mountain National Park is a hub for winter fun in Manitoba. Book a stay at one of the park's year-round accommodations and then get ready to explore the park. By day, hit the trails via snowshoe or cross-country ski. In the evening, book a meal in the beautiful Spruce Hut at Lakehouse - where you can enjoy handcrafted cocktails and a menu full of delicious comfort foods.

9. Go on a guided ice fishing excursion

Prairie Gal FIshing
Prairie Gal FIshing

Lake Winnipeg

Break into the sport of ice fishing without having to invest in your own equipment just yet. Book an excursion with operators like City Cats and Prairie Gal Ice Fishing for an all-inclusive experience that gets you onto the ice fishing hub of frozen Lake Winnipeg, off the shores of Gimli.

10. Go on a winter horseback ride

Falcon Beach Ranch, Whiteshell Provincial Park

Make your way through the snow-covered trails of Whiteshell Provincial Park on horseback with Falcon Beach Ranch. The hour-long trek is available for those 12 years old and up (sleigh rides are available for families with younger kids) and runs throughout the winter as long as temperature stays below -20°C. There are still openings for overnight stays at the cozy Falcon Beach Ranch for many weekdays throughout the winter.

About The Author

Hey! I'm Breanne, Editorial Content Specialist for Travel Manitoba. First to jump in the lake and last to make it down the River Trail. Lover of croissants, cats, and croissant-shaped cats. Got a story idea? Email me at bsewards@travelmanitoba.com.

Editorial Content Specialist