It’s all coming up sunflowers this week in Manitoba. That’s right, the sun is SHINING and Manitoba is in full bloom. Cinema and theatre lovers have a treat of a week with both the Winnipeg Fringe Fest and the Gimli Film Festival on the agenda. Roadtrippers can take advantage of the warm weather and head anywhere in the province: we recommend Steep Rock or southern Manitoba! With the right planning, you just might be able to fit it all in. Here’s what’s hot this week in Manitoba…
Rustle up some fun at the stampede
July 21 to 24
Ride out to Morris for a weekend of bronco-busting fun at the Manitoba Stampede! This pro-rodeo event on the Canadian Tour circuit stars some of the top names in bull riding, bronco-busting, tie-down roping, bareback riding, steer wrestling circles and team roping. There’s also fast-paced thoroughbred chariot, pony chariot and chuckwagon racing. The Agricultural Fair section features dairy shows, light and heavy horse shows, kid’s pig scramble and a Youth Stars of Manitoba Talent Competition. All this and balloon art, outdoor stage entertainment and a children’s petting zoo too make this a great event for all the family. Hipsters love a good rodeo too!
Get your Fringe on
July 13 to 24
The Exchange District, Winnipeg
Original, accessible, cheeky – these are just some of the adjectives used to describe North America’s second-largest Fringe Theatre Festival! For 12 days, more than 180 companies from around the world will present comedy, drama, dance, improv, musicals and more while Old Market Square comes alive with non-stop entertainment on the outdoor stage.
Catch a movie on the beach
July 20 to 24
Widely recognized as the most successful film festival in Manitoba, The Gimli Film Festival is a must-see for cinema enthusiasts and movie goers. Watch feature flicks, documentaries and short films under the stars on the beach or in one of four venues. Nothing is more relaxing than catching a movie with the soft sounds of the lake humming in the background.
Sing and dance in Brandon
July 22 to 24
Folky fun doesn’t have to end at the Winnipeg Folk Fest. Continue to dance and sing your heart out at this year’s Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival! Here, you will enjoy music from some of the most talented Canadian musicians. Ron Sexsmith is set to headline the event.
Zip through Pembina Valley
Fly through the air and take in a killer view on a ziplining adventure. Hy-Wire Zipline Adventures will take you into the Pembina Valley from 200 feet above with their signature 5 or 8 line tour. The tour includes 1 km of hiking with the average outing lasting just over an hour.
Turn toward the sun at the Manitoba Sunflower Festival
July 22 to 24
The sunflower capital of Canada is in full bloom at this highly anticipated festival in rural Manitoba. The festival brings in all the usual suspects – a petting zoo, stage entertainment, car shows, vendors, face painting and of course, a giant parade. Watch Manitoba’s Sunflower Queen be crowned or try authentic Mennonite food – there is something for every flavour!
Visit an exotic animal ranch
Open daily 10 am to 5 pm
Provincial Road 542
Betcha didn’t know that Manitoba has an exotic animal farm! That’s right – Westwood Ranch is home to lemurs, zebras, walaroos, ostriches and all the usual suspects of rabbits, sheep, goats and more!
Make a huge splash at Fun Mountain
While the seven waterslides are of course the main attraction, Fun Mountain also features bumper boats, mini golf, a splash pad, giant hot tub, and smaller slides for smaller kids. Plus all summer long, enjoy 2 for 1 Tuesdays!
Go on a musical ride
July 20, 23, 24
Morris and Boissevain
32 riders and their horses gather in Boissevain (July 20) and Morris (July 23 and 24) for the 125th birthday of the RCMP Musical Ride. The Musical Ride is a true spectacle consisting of intricate figures and drills, choreographed to music. Timing, control and coordination come together to create an incredible performance that helps raise money for local charities and non-profit organizations. Learn more about this retro cool spectacle!
Go wild at the Zoo
Assiniboine Park Zoo, Winnipeg
Polar bears and monkeys and leopards, oh my! Say hello to all the beautiful wild animals at Assiniboine Park Zoo. The Zoo has over 80 park-like acres for you to explore and interact with wildlife species from around the world.
Swim with the canaries of the sea
A visit to Churchill offers an unparalleled ability to get close to docile beluga whales during the summer months of July and August. A natural phenomenon to witness, each year thousands of whales make their way to the chilly waters of the Hudson Bay’s Churchill River, to birth their calves. Get ready to sputter out a blitz of oohs and ahhs!
Head out on a day trip to Steep Rock
Steep Rock, sometimes referred to as the Jewel of Lake Manitoba, is a picturesque spot for explorers, photographers and everybody in between. Formed over thousands of years, the cliffs of Steep Rock are made of limestone, with waves forming the rock into usual drops, caves and geological formations over time. Here, you can set out on a photo shoot to capture the perfect landscape, or drop into the water on a kayak for a day of exploration. The Steep Rock Beach campground is nearby for overnight stays.
Take a culinary tour in the West End
West End, Winnipeg
What’s on the menu for dinner? On this mouth-watering food tour, you’ll head out in the West End of Winnipeg to explore some of Winnipeg’s favourite eateries. Start with India Palace before heading to Lin Lan Grocery, Tam’s Pho and Morden’s Chocolates.
Road trip through the heartland
Pick a road you’ve never been on and ramble along our rolling farmlands that stretch to the horizon in every direction. There’s a reason the National Geographic listed a tour through Manitoba’s farm country as one of their Drives of a Lifetime.
Return to summer camp
July 21 | 7:00 pm
Who doesn’t want to go back to the good ol’ days of spending your summer break at camp? We all have fond memories (unless you were the kid who was allergic to everything, including grass) of horseback riding, jumping on trampolines, and singing songs around a roaring campfire. Now, thanks to FortWhyte Alive, you can relive those sweet, sweet memories. Head to The Great Escape for what may just be, the most nostalgic evening of all time.
Take off on a downtown food tour
Tap In | July 21
Appetizers and beer are on the menu on this walking tour through some of the most popular restaurants in downtown Winnipeg. Try a sampling of appetizers and ales at eateries such as Elephant & Castle, The Pint, Fools & Horses and Rudy’s Eat & Drink.
Patio Crawl | July 22
Grab your closest group of friends and get ready to soak up the sun. The tour starts at 5:30 pm and runs until 10pm and includes a walking tour and appetizer/beverage samplings at four patio stops. Your tour could include: Carbone Coal Fired Pizza, Pony Corral, Rudy’s Eat & Drink, The Keg, The MET and the Old Spaghetti Factory.
Bark in the Park
Shaw Park, Winnipeg
The Winnipeg Goldeyes want you to bring your furry best friend to watch a baseball game for Bark in the Park! The event features fun dog-themed entertainment, prizes, giveaways, and pet-related vendors with lots of treats for furry fans. Tickets are $14.00 and include admission for one Adult and one Dog plus you get a FREE Doggie Treat Bag! A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to the Winnipeg Humane Society.
Wander galleries and be inspired
Don’t let that parka fool you, summer has arrived at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and just like a good summer’s day it’s full of saturated colour and bright perspectives.
Currently, the gallery is featuring five exhibits that run the gamut from dreamlike Greek tales to fluid shapes in stone, from inspired work by local talent to heart-wrenching stories of colonial trauma. Wandering through these five unique exhibits reaffirms the fact that the Winnipeg Art Gallery goes toe-to-toe with some of the best galleries in the world. Read the full post on the new exhibits!
Get a head start on Folklorama
July 23 | 4-11 pm
Don’t wait to join into the fun of Folklorama. Head to the Forks for this free kickoff event featuring interactive children’s activities, cultural demonstrations, amazing performances and a NEW international beer and wine garden. Welcome the 2016 Folklorama Ambassadors and take part in a storytelling or drumming workshop. The evening will be capped off with a spectacular fireworks display.