50 Things to Do This Summer in Manitoba

Posted June 17, 2024 | Author Brenna Holeman

Lively festivals and town fairs. Roadside drive-ins and quiet camping spots. U-pick farms, rodeos and food trucks. Hiking and biking and swimming, oh my! It’s impossible to list all of the fun things happening in Manitoba this summer. Here are 50 things to get you started on your best Manitoba summer yet.

Stephanie Woltman

1. We can’t mention “Manitoba” and “summer” in the same sentence without talking about the Winnipeg Folk Festival, held July 11 to 14. This world-renowned festival is celebrating 50 years in 2024 and the lineup includes huge names like Lucinda Williams, Mt. Joy, Band of Horses, Joy Oladokun and Orville Peck.

2. Summer is one of the most magical times to visit Churchill as thousands of beluga whales make their way to the Churchill River estuary to feed, mate, and give birth. Just as curious of us as we are of them, don’t be surprised if they come right up to your boat or kayak!

3. Campgrounds are officially open! And with so many options - in designated campgrounds, private campgrounds and in backcountry spots - there’s something for every camper in Manitoba. You name it: waterfalls, lakes, forests, beaches, we have it all. Iconic spots for camping include Bakers Narrows, Tulabi Falls, Wekusko Falls, Lundar Beach, Blue Lakes, and Adam Lake, among others.

4. ’Tis the season for local drive-ins. Feast on burgers and fries for a tasty meal in the sunshine (and don’t forget the ice cream, too). Try Cedar and Main Eatery in Oakbank, Dutch Drive In in The Pas, or Half Moon Drive In in Lockport.

5. Theatre buffs, rejoice! Summer means Rainbow Stage is back for another fantastic season of productions. This year, catch Ma Buhay from June 27th to July 14th or Mary Poppins from August 15th until September 1st.

6. The Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq has multiple events and exhibits throughout the summer, starting with a full day of Indigenous art education on National Indigenous People’s Day (June 21st). Keep your eyes peeled for concerts, rooftop dance parties, workshops, talks, and movie screenings in the summer months.

7. It’s finally time to hit the beach! Pack your sunscreen and towels and check out some of the province’s finest beaches. Don’t know where to start? Grand Beach, Patricia Beach, Falcon Lake Main Beach, Colert Beach, Birds Hill Beach and Winnipeg Beach are all popular options for swimming and relaxing.

8. Country music fans know that summer equals Dauphin's Countryfest. From June 28-30th, enjoy musical acts such as Alabama, Clint Black, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jo Dee Messina and Diamond Rio.

9. Are you a fan of beer? This is the prime time for beer gardens, so grab a pint and enjoy the outdoors at one of the local breweries around the province. Hit up The Beer Can or the outdoor seating at The Common in Winnipeg to sample some of Manitoba’s finest beers. Don't forget to grab our Brew Pass to save on your craft brewery crawl!

10. Head to Stardust Drive-In Theatre, just west of Morden, for all the latest movies under the stars. As one of only three operating drive-in theatres in the province, it makes for a great summer evening out.

11. Did you know that Little Limestone Lake is the largest marl lake in the world? Its unique properties means that it can change colour in a matter of minutes. Photos don’t do this spot justice…you have to see its beautiful turquoise colour for yourself!

12. There are dozens of summer fairs and midways around Manitoba, including the West Hawk Lake Meteor Fest, Nickel Days in Thompson, the Carman Country Fair and Boardwalk Days in Winnipeg Beach. Most have midway rides, live music, food stalls, and plenty to keep the whole family busy.

13. Celebrate Canada Day in style. Keep an eye out for celebrations at The Forks, Assiniboine Park, and Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg, the Selkirk Waterfront, or Brandon Riverbank, to name just a few.

14. Ai-Kon, a Japanese anime and pop culture convention, will be at RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg from July 12-14th. Enjoy a cosplay contest, 24-hour anime screenings, video game tournaments, interactive fan-hosted panels and a huge marketplace for vendors and artists.

15. Bring on the summer music festivals! There are numerous music festivals that take place around Manitoba every summer, including the Salamander Summer Music Festival (Brandon), Real Love Summer Fest (Teulon), Fire and Water Music Festival (Lac du Bonnet), Rockin’ the Fields of Minnedosa (Minnedosa), Rainbow Trout Music Festival (St. Malo), Whoop and Hollar Folk Festival (Portage la Prairie) and Blueberry Jam (Flin Flon).

16. Head to Spruce Woods Provincial Park to explore Spirit Sands and Devils Punch Bowl. While it’s not technically a desert, it is home to Manitoba’s only sand dunes. Keep your eyes peeled for prairie skinks, the only lizard that lives in Manitoba!

17. Feel like splurging? Shop at one of Winnipeg’s many Indigenous boutiques, including Anishinaabe Girl Designs, Teekca’s Boutique and Dene Cree Designs.

18. The St. Labre 200 requires participants to build a go-kart from scratch on day one…and then race on day two! This adrenaline-packed event is fun for the whole family.

19. Assiniboine Park is brimming with activity every summer. Visit the Assiniboine Park Zoo, The Leaf, the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden and events such as the Great Outdoors Comedy Festival and Ballet in the Park. Don’t forget to cool down with a drink from Cargo Bar!

20. Manitoba is home to many swinging and suspension bridges and summer is a great time to check them out. Try the Pinawa Heritage Suspension Bridge, the Wekusko Falls Provincial Park Bridge or the Souris Swinging Bridge, which is actually Canada’s longest swinging pedestrian bridge.

21. Float your worries away as you go tubing down the Pinawa Channel. Check out Pinawa Channel Float and Paddle or Pinawa Unplugged for all your rental needs.

22. July means the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival is back! Check out the dynamic indoor and outdoor shows that showcase the best of both local and international performers.

23. With over 100 golf courses in Manitoba, summer is the time for days on the green. Try the Poplar Ridge Golf Course in Onanole, the Oak Island Resort and Golf, or the Swan River Golf and Country Club, which is the most northernly 18-hole golf course in the province.

24. Create lasting memories (and camp in style) with one of many unique stays around the province, including yurts, oTENTiks or a MicrOcube.

25. How fun are u-pick farms? Visit a flower u-pick flower farm like Miss Millie’s Flower Farm in Marquette or Lily Stone Gardens in Rosenort to pick your dream bouquet. For strawberries, head to a u-pick berry farm such as Cormier’s Berry Patch in La Salle, Boonstra Farms in Stonewall or Hicks Berry Farm in Souris. Visit the Prairie Fruit Growers Association for more fruit farms, including Saskatoon berries and sour cherries!

26. Paint Lake Provincial Park is home to countless islands that highlight the rugged beauty of the Precambrian Shield. Explore this northern playground by boating, fishing, hiking and checking out the largest marina in Manitoba.

27. It’s rodeo season! There’s the Manitoba Stampede in Morris, the Triple S Fair and Rodeo in Selkirk or the Virden Indoor Rodeo.

28. Even amateur anglers know that there’s incredible fishing in Manitoba. Why not book the trip of a lifetime this summer? Visit one of the numerous fly-in fishing spots around the province for an amazing outdoor adventure.

29. Take advantage of the warm days by exploring the hundreds of hiking trails around Manitoba. The Brokenhead Wetland Interpretive Trail is perfect for beginners (and has accessible paths for wheelchairs and strollers throughout) while the Pine Point Trail in Whiteshell Provincial Park is rated moderate. Want something even more challenging? The Bald Hill Lookout via Reeve’s Ravine in Riding Mountain National Park or the Elk Island Loop in Elk Island Provincial Park are calling your name!

30. Love film? Make your way to the Gimli International Film Festival from July 24-28th. The sunset beach screenings are especially magical.

31. Whether it’s somewhere brand new to you or a familiar favourite, a holiday is always good for the soul! Try one of the many cabin or cottage rentals around the province for a memorable summer vacation.

32. Super-Spike is Western Canada’s largest outdoor volleyball tournament but it’s also a music festival and beach party. Head to Winnipeg’s Maple Grove Rugby Park July 19-20th for an action-packed weekend.

33. There’s no better time to get out on the water. Explore Manitoba’s thousands of lakes and rivers by canoe, kayak or paddle board. The Caddy Lake Rock Tunnels are a must-visit for any avid paddlers!

34. “No more yielding but a dream…” Shakespeare in the Ruins in Winnipeg is back with A Midsummer Night’s Dream until July 6th, while Iago Speaks runs until July 7th.

35. Summer days call for road trips… roll down the windows, crank your favourite music, and set out on the open road. Why not drive to as many of Manitoba’s road trip attractions as possible? There’s Arborg’s giant curling rock, Lundar’s Canada goose, Gladstone’s Happy Rock, and many more.

36. Cool down with the kiddos (and have a blast) at one of the province’s water parks. Visit Splash Island Water Park in Portage la Prairie, one of the Splish Splash Water Park locations in Minnedosa or Morden and Hoopla Island in Pinawa.

37. We’ve packed away the winter tires - for a few months, at least - and can finally take the classic cars out for a spin. Attend the Car Show at the Hills in Carberry, the Heritage Classic Car Show in Steinbach or one of Winnipeg’s Sunday Night Cruises to see all the classic cars in their glory.

38. Get ready to cheer on your favourite sports team this summer! See the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Winnipeg Goldeyes, Winnipeg Sea Bears or Valour FC play for the win.

39. Love a food so much you think there should be a festival dedicated to it? You’re in luck! Visit the Morden Corn and Apple Festival, the Portage la Prairie Potato Festival, or Manitou’s Honey, Garlic, and Maple Syrup Festival for live music, markets, and, of course, all the delicious snacks you can eat.

40. FortWhyte Alive is kind of like a one-stop shop when it comes to summer activities. Hike, bike, canoe, fish and observe the wildlife that lives in this urban green space, including the world’s largest urban bison herd. There’s also tons of gear for rent if you don’t have your own, including binoculars, fishing tackle, cruiser bikes and walking poles.

41. Check out Voyageur Houseboats, Manitoba’s first “floating micro-cabin” experience. Spend a few nights on the water in Whiteshell Provincial Park to reconnect with nature and try something new.

42. St. Adolphe is home to A Maze in Corn, open in August. Perfect for a family day out, you can try to find your way through the maze, visit the petting zoo and wander through eight acres of sunflowers.

43. With hundreds of biking trails throughout the province, you’re never far from your next cycling adventure. Try one of the many biking trails in Birds Hill Provincial Park, Riding Mountain National Park, or the Millennium Trail loop in Thompson.

44. Folklorama is held from August 4 to 17 in Winnipeg, and is an incredible display of Manitoba’s multiculturalism. The world’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival in the world is an excellent way to learn more about the diversity that makes us all proud to call Manitoba home.

45. History buffs will love exploring open-air heritage museums such as Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site in St. Andrews, the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach, the Swan Valley Historical Museum Swan Valley Historical Museum in Swan River, the Fort la Reine Museum in Portage la Prairie, and Selo Ukraina in Dauphin, among others.

46. It’s the perfect time to sample food trucks and street food. Head to StrEAT Feast Festival in Winnipeg and Food Truck Warz in Brandon to try the best of the best.

47. Make your way to Gimli on August 2 to 5 for the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba. With live music, craft and food vendors, midway rides, games, contests, fireworks, and even a viking battle, these jam-packed days celebrate all things Iceland.

48. For a prairie province, we sure have some spectacular cliff and rock formations! Visit Steep Rock Beach Park on Lake Manitoba for camping, swimming, paddling, hiking and taking in some of the most impressive scenery in the province.

49. Head to Winnipeg’s Exchange District for Alleyways in the Exchange on the third Friday of every summer month. Discover local markets, live performances and numerous hidden gems that really highlight the diverse and creative culture of Manitoba.

50. Have the need for speed? Go-kart tracks are open once again! Race to your heart’s content at Grand Prix Amusements in Springfield, Kart Now in Gimli and Thunder Rapids in Headingley.

About The Author

I'm Brenna, a travel writer who proudly calls Winnipeg home. After years of living & travelling abroad, I moved back to Manitoba only to fall in love with it even more than before. My favourite things are prairie sunsets, breweries & my son’s laugh.