Take a deep breath. The long weekend is here, and I am by no means exaggerating when I say it is jam packed. Joie de vivre is in the air with the kick off of Festival du Voyageur and Festival des amis. And that’s not the only thing in the air. I’m talking about romance, because, in case you forgot, Valentine’s Day is happening this Sunday (please, take notes). In between all of this, you’ll also want to squeeze in a few Louis Riel Day celebrations, snowmobile trips and wildlife wanders. Good luck to you. Here’s what’s hot this week in Manitoba!
Say Hé Ho at Festival du Voyageur
Feb 12 to 21
Voyageur Park, St. Boniface
Put on your felt toque, wrap a sash around your waist, and get ready to celebrate our French-Canadian history at Festival du Voyageur, Western Canada’s largest winter festival! This 10-day event celebrates Canada’s fur trading era and combines the joie de vivre of the Voyageurs with more than 300 music performances, magnificent snow sculptures, historical interpretation of the early 19th century, traditional dishes, arts and crafts, the Torch Light Walk, and a beard growing contest.
Feb 13 to 15
Festival du Voyageur fun at the Travel Manitoba Visitor Information Centre
Drop by our visitor centre at the Forks for a Festival take over! Events include:
- Fiddler: Feb 13, noon – 1:00 p.m.; Feb 15, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
- Léo the official mascot: Feb 13, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.; Feb 14, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.; Feb 15, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
- Voyageurs officiels: Feb 13, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.; Feb 14, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.; Feb 15, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Find new friends at the Festival des amis
Feb 12 to 14
St. Malo Provincial Park
Métis and French culture are shared and celebrated with joie de vivre at the Festival des amis. Take in the culinary experiences, regional cultural entertainment and a whole slate of winter family activities during the Louis Riel long weekend.
Go on a night time photography adventure
From Here & Away is teaming up with FortWhyte Alive for a special moonlight workshop. This is the perfect opportunity to learn how to photograph in night-time lighting. Participants will take to the trails by snowshoe and will have the opportunity to experiment with astro photography and light painting. The night ends with a cozy bonfire in the forest.
Keep it Riel on Louis Riel Day
He was a prominent Métis leader, central in bringing Manitoba into Confederation and one of the great figures in our history – so it only makes sense to have a special day to celebrate Louis Riel. Here are a few events happening throughout the province on February 15.
Frozen Hill | Manitoba Agricultural Museum
Spend Louis Riel Day going back in time to a Homesteaders’ Village, or hitching a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh. Bannock, local jams and jellies will be served.
Louis Riel Day | Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada
Take the family on an aviation adventure at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada. Admission is just $2 on Louis Riel Day with a free guided tour at 2:00 pm.
Louis Riel Day Festivities | Fort Whyte Alive
Celebrate Louis Riel Day with voyageur games and a bannock roast with all the fixings. Free with general admission.
Voyageur Day | Oak Hammock Marsh
Live a day in the life of a voyageur and participate in contests, competitions and games. You will have the opportunity to make bannock and participate in “Concours des meilleurs”.
Hit the trails on a Snowmobile weekender
Manitoba has 12,000 kms of snowmobile trails and 152 warm-up shelters, and what’s more, this is the perfect weekend to get out and explore them all.
Sled without Borders | Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Free Ride Weekend | Feb 13-15
The free ride weekend is the perfect opportunity to get outside and experience our amazing trails. Be sure to register for free before heading out!
For a truly unique type of snowmobile race, take a trip to Pembina Valley Central Plains for the Vintage One Lunger Race. Snowmobiles must be a 1973 model or older to participate in this 4.2 mile race.
The annual Victoria Beach Snow Drifters derby is back! Travel down sheltered trails within the Belair Forest and warm up at numerous stops along the way.
Skate, slide and snowboard at The Forks
The Forks, Winnipeg
Head down to The Forks for the official celebration of winter at Arctic Glacier Winter Park! Skate on the many trails, slide down the toboggan run, or try your tricks in the professionally designed Snowboard Fun Park.
Learn to fish like a pro
Spruce Woods Provincial Park
So, you want to be a master angler? Learn to fish with Spruce Woods Provincial Park’s interpretive program. In this family fun activity, discover the techniques and regulations of ice fishing before heading out on the ice for a hands-on experience. All equipment will be supplied and no fishing license is required.
Talk a walk on the wild side
Forester’s Footsteps Trail, Whiteshell Provincial Park
You may know that Manitoba has its fair share of bison, moose and polar bears, but did you know that we also have a wild cat population? Head out on snowshoe on a guided expedition and discover the wild cats that call Whiteshell home. The trek ends with a roaring fire with hot chocolate and s’mores.
Feel the love on Valentine’s Day
Can you feel it? It’s the most romantic time of the year. Make this Valentine’s Day better than the last with the perfect date in Manitoba. Here’s a few ideas to add to your itinerary.
Fall deeply in love at a candlelight dinner | Oak Hammock Marsh
The beauty of Oak Hammock Marsh is the perfect backdrop for your Valentine’s Day dinner. Head to this unique venue where the chef will prepare a four-course dinner of locally grown and harvested ingredients.
Take your date to a Manitoba sweet spot
We have a few ideas for your Valentine’s Day date! Check out this post for a list of Manitoba’s sweet spots and this post for even more delicious options.
Go on a romantic sleigh ride | FortWhyte Alive
Enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride with your loved ones and warm up with hot chocolate by the fire.
Cheer your heart out for pond hockey
February 12 to 14
Portage la Prairie
Pond hockey is the quintessential Canadian experience. Register your team and strap on your skates for the 11th annual Western Canadian Pond Hockey Championships. If you prefer to stay off the ice, simply head to Portage la Prairie to cheer on your favourite team.
Get to know the cultures and traditions of Morden
Gather the whole family for an afternoon of multicultural celebration and fun at Morden’s Multicultural Winterfest. See cultural displays, entertainment and enjoy public skating and unique delicacies. The event is located next to the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre, which means you can also stop in to say hi to Bruce, the world’s largest publicly displayed mosasaur!
Visit an indoor farmers market
Manitoba Hydro Place
Long after the Farmers’ Markets of summer have packed up their goods and left for the season, the Downtown Farmers’ Market heads indoors for once a month shopping! The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s popular farmers’ market offers fresh baking, vinegar, jams, spices, meat, sauces, fruits, vegetables and preserves.
Feel the magic of Disney on Ice
February 18 to 21
A dream is a wish your heart makes. Join your favourite Disney Princesses and enter the magical, musical world of Disney on Ice Presents: Dare to Dream! Classic Disney Princesses such as Cinderella and Snow White will make appearances as well as modern princesses such as Rapunzel and Tiana. Beauty, sparkle and spirit take to the ice in this unforgettable performance that your family will remember forever.
Wander through an icy wonderland at The Great Ice Show
Starting January 25
It’s finally here! After much anticipation, the Forks has been transformed into an icy wonderland that you have to see to believe. Explore every inch of this artistic achievement and see a wide variety of sculpted animals, a huge toboggan slope, igloos and an enormous ice replica of the Manitoba Legislative Building! There’s something for everyone at The Great Ice Show, including workshops, weekly activities, fireworks, DJ’s and an ice bar.
Gather the family for a fishing weekend
Feb 13 to 15
Province wide (excluding Federal Parks)
Break out your rods and reels because you don’t need a fishing license this weekend! All other rules and regulations will apply. Conservation catch limits apply to those angling without a licence, who normally would require one.
Become a Northern explorer
Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg
There’s a snow flurry of fun to be had at Assiniboine Park in winter! Visit Hudson and all his furry friends at The Zoo, skate like graceful swans on the duck pond, fly down the Toboggan Hill, or enjoy the beauty of the park while skiing the groomed trails.
February is Northern Explorer Month at the Zoo. From February 1 to 29, pay for one regular priced admission then use the same ticket to return to the Zoo as many times as you like for the remainder of the month.
Head to Winnipeg Beach for a Winter Weekend
Feb 12 to 15
Winnipeg Beach comes alive at the annual Wonderful Winter Weekend! Events include Mixed Doubles Curling Bonspiel, snowmobile radar runs, ice fishing derby, fireworks and a whole lot more.
Break a sweat at Actif Epica
Crow Wing Trail
Actif Epica is a one-day, do-it-yourself outdoor active living celebration that will involve communities along the Crow Wing Trail (part of the TransCanada Trail) in southeast Manitoba. Set against the backdrop of a 130km and run voyageur-style ultramarathon in the cold weather of a Southeastern Manitoba winter, five festival sites will glow with the warmth of community spirit, the strength of human ingenuity and the beauty of having fun whatever the temperature.
Dine about in Winnipeg
February 2 to 12
Experience the best of Winnipeg’s culinary scene with Ciao’s Dine About. There are over 20 restaurants to choose from, including Corrientes, Chop, Resto Gare, Fusion Grill, Smith and more. Each restaurant will offer an exceptional three-course menu at a set price and reservations are required, so be sure to make yours soon!
Get a lesson in love
February 3 to 20
Tom Hendry Warehouse
February is the month of love and romance, and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre is certainly not shying away from the theme. In Things We Do For Love, Barbara rents out her top floor to an old friend and her fiance and violent passions ensue. It’s a wicked comedy that takes a closer look at the things we do (and wish we didn’t do) for love.
Be moved by the power of Harriet T
February 3 to 14
Manitoba Theatre for Young People
There is much to be taken from The Power of Harriet T, on this month at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People. This story of courage is based on the life of Harriet Tubman, a woman who fled slavery and risked her life to help others find their way to Canada on the Underground Railroad.
Skate down the Red River Mutual Trail
Take in the picturesque sights of Winnipeg as you’ve never seen them before, from the frozen Red River! Venture out to The Forks to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities: skating, walking, curling, hockey, family activities, historic interpretation, cycling, broom ball, and much more.