Isn’t this time of year the absolute best? Our whole summer is in front of us, a bright and colourful one that includes cultural gatherings, music festivals, fun fairs and outdoor entertainment (not to mention an abundance of outdoor adventures). Here are a few ways to center your week around summer’s bright colour palette…

Celebrate the cultures of our First Nations, Inuit & Métis peoples

APTN’s Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration

June 20 | The Forks
June 21 | Thompson

National Aboriginal Day is a special day to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.

  • In Winnipeg, APTN is hosting Aboriginal Day Live — a day-long celebration with a variety of family-friendly activities, including a Celebration Village, Skateboard Park & Competition, Competition Pow Wow, FREE live concerts and fireworks.
  • In ThompsonNational Aboriginal Day events begin with a sunrise ceremony at daybreak followed by many events including crafts, a BBQ, fish fry, pow-wow and jigging demonstrations, and live performances. All events are free to attend and open to all.

Kick it at Women’s World Cup!!!

FIFA Women's World Cup - Winnipeg

June 8 to 16
Winnipeg Stadium

The FIFA starts this week in Winnipeg! Catch premier teams from around the globe battle it out in an attempt to win the gold trophy in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015! Crowds will be out in full force to cheer on teams from around the world. See how exciting last week’s games were: Day One, Day Two

This is just one of the fantastic sporting events and activities happening this year in Manitoba.

Ride it all at the Ex

Red River Ex

June 12 to 21
Red River Exhibition Park

EX-perience the sights, sounds, and tastes of Manitoba’s largest (and funnest) summer fair! Featuring nightly concerts, family attractions, animals, agriculture and the worlds largest travelling midway.

Want more Ex-cellent info? Here’s a handy map and a great list of things to do at the fair.

Jazz it up downtown

Winnipeg International Jazz Festival

Jun 11 to 21
Various locations, Winnipeg

A world-class lineup of artists is set to perform at the Winnipeg International Jazz Festival! From June 11 to 21, the Exchange District will come alive with music performed by the best local, national and international artists.

Catch a channel cat on the Red

Catch a channel cat on the Red River

Photo by Jessica Dutchak

Whether the channel catfish is the ugliest fish to inhabit Manitoba waters is certainly a topic of debate. What isn’t up for discussion is their ability to deliver fantastic fishing action, no matter if they are big or small. You can catch these toothless fighters in lots of places in Manitoba, but if there’s one place that offers increased odds, it’s near Lockport on the Red River.

Experience a Highland Gathering

Manitoba Highland Gathering

Jun 20
Legacy Park, East Selkirk

Hitch up yer kilts for a day of good ol’ Scottish fun at the annual Manitoba Highland Gathering! This is a great day for the whole family to experience the colour, pageantry and centuries-old Scottish traditions right here in Selkirk, Manitoba.

Go wild for the Zoo

Assiniboine Park Zoo

Photo by Matt Duboff.

Open daily
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.

Get out to the beach

Get out to the beaches in Manitoba.

Photo by Jennifer Opsahl.

Hot sand, cool water and bare feet are an unbeatable combination. Every Manitoban has a favourite beach, and 100 years ago, Lake Winnipeg’s most famous retreats were so popular they were serviced by up to 13 trains a day from Winnipeg. On the lake’s eastern shore, Grand Beach is regarded as one of the best in North America. Trip across its soft white sand, fish off the causeway and go birdwatching in the marsh. On the western shore, the rolling lawns and boardwalk of Winnipeg Beach separate the surf and sand from the resort town’s small shops and restaurants.

Explore the Fort

Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site

Open daily
Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site of Canada

Step back in time to the 19th century fur trade at the oldest stone fur trading post still intact in North America at Lower Fort Garry. Costumed interpreters will take you back to the mid-1800s as they re-enact events of the early days of this Hudson’s Bay Company post. Stone walls encircle the Fort’s enclosure, the largest group of original 19th century fur trade buildings in Canada.

Note: The self-guided tours with costumed staff is only Mondays to Fridays until July 1.

Fall in love with Antony and Cleopatra

Shakespeare In The Ruins

June 3 to 27
Trappist Monastery Provincial Heritage Park

Journey through the Trappist Monastery Ruins for an exciting live theater production. With a track record of taking old classics and making them new again, Shakespeare in the Ruins is a unique cultural experience that draws audience members through non-traditional settings. Antony and Cleopatra is no exception. A story of occupation, Antony and Cleopatra is set on the pre-confederation plains of Manitoba during the fur trade.

Be enveloped in human stories at CMHR

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Photo by Aaron Cohen / CMHR.

Open Tuesday to Sunday
Canadian Museum for Human Rights, The Forks

Contemplate inspring stories of struggle and triumph at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. This new national museum strives to create inspiring encounters with human rights, by engaging you in an immersive, interactive experience that offers both the inspiration and tools to make a difference in the lives of others.

Head for the hills

Rising dramatically from the prairie landscape, Riding Mountain National Park is a vast expanse of boreal forest and pristine aspen parkland that is sure to enchant and inspire you. You’ll feel like you’re standing on the edge of the world as you hike the Escarpment trail system, where the Manitoba plateau falls away 300 metres to the prairies. An abundance of wildlife, forest trails and lakes have attracted nature lovers, camping enthusiasts and summer cottagers for generations. There’s truly something for everyone in this scenic region.

Go on a wilderness river adventure

Polar bears swimming in the Nelson River.

Jun to Sep
Nelson River Adventures, Gillam

Be surrounded by wildlife and history as you travel the Nelson River and its tributaries. These river tours offer you firsthand glimpses of our Manitoba history with a breathtaking backdrop of wildlife, tundra horizons and boreal forest canopies.

Decode the mystery of the Legislature

Hermetic Code Tour

Wednesday evenings from May 6 to Oct 14
Manitoba Legislative Building

Sign up for an unforgettable evening of magic, mystery and architectural wonder on the Hermetic Code Tour. The charismatic Frank Albo, researcher and inspiration behind the bestseller The Hermetic Code, will take you along a step-by-step tour to reveal a trail of occult clues concealed in the building’s architecture including: hidden hieroglyphic inscriptions, numerological codes, and Freemasonic symbols so intelligently masked they have escaped historians and visitors for nearly a hundred years! This is part of the Canadian Signature Experience collection.

Dig into fun at Nickel Days

Nickel Days

Jun 18 to 21

Enjoy a weekend of family entertainment at Nickel Days! This annual event has midway rides, games, entertainment, organized sporting and recreational events and the always popular National King Miner Contest.

Dance your way to West Side Story

Rainbow Stage West Side Story

June 4 to 19
Rainbow Stage, Kildonan Park

The legendary musical about star-crossed young lovers, West Side Story, hits the outdoor stage in Kildonan Park. This classic musical adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” follows a pair of feuding families that become two warring New York City gangs – the white Jets, led by Riff, and the Puerto Rican Sharks, led by Bernardo.

Go on a fossil dig adventure

Fossil Dig Adventure Tour

Open daily
Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre, Morden

If you like adventure and hands-on experiences, then sign up for a Fossil Dig Adventure Tour! This is one of Manitoba’s hottest tourism products where you can hunt for fossils on active dig sites in the Morden area. Home to Bruce, the 43-foot mosasaur (or marine reptile), the CFDC is unearthing a steady stream of fossils near Morden – an area that was once covered by a saltwater seaway in the Late Cretaceous Period.

Our own Alexis McEwen took the tour and dug it!

Immerse yourself in culture at the Manitoba Museum

The Manitoba Museum

Photo by Paul Fleming (@lovethywalrus)

Open daily
The Manitoba Museum, Winnipeg

Human and natural history come alive at The Manitoba Museum. Permanent exhibits beyond the diorama of bison that greet you at the entrance include galleries featuring ancient aquatic fossils, an aboriginal encampment and an urban gallery that depicts Winnipeg in the 1920s, complete with a dentist’s office. Don’t miss the Nonsuch Gallery, where you’ll find a replica of a 17th century fur-trading ship. The captain’s log might note that visitors have included Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, who once enjoyed a romantic dinner on deck.

Gaze at the wonders of the air

Oak Hammock Marsh

Open daily
Oak Hammock Marsh

See why the Oak Hammock Marsh is the world’s ‘Best Environmental Experience’! Under the guidance of our friendly interpreters, you can trek over 30 kilometers of nature trails, take a guided tour of the marsh, go canoeing, view birds and wildlife, watch a film in our multimedia theatre, enjoy a meal in our café and check out our fun, interactive exhibits.

Visit a farmers’ market

Visit a Manitoba farmers' market

Photo by Thomas Stuart.

Various locations around the province

Feast on freshly produced goodies at your local farmers’ market! This is the perfect time for you to shop for locally-produced foods and discover the real great tastes of Manitoba. Yum! Here’s a list of markets province-wide and Winnipeg-specific.

Paddle your own canoe

Paddling in Manitoba.

Photo by Laurel Friesen.

Savour the serenity as you dip your paddle into gentle waters on a quiet lake, or go for broke on rushing river rapids as you follow in the wake of the voyageurs. Head to Grass River Provincial Park or launch your canoe west of the park at Cranberry Portage and take a 176-kilometre run to Wekusko Falls on northern Manitoba’s legendary Grass River route. Admire the pictographs at Tramping Lake along the way – it’s believed the images painted in red ochre on rock faces just above the waterline were created by aboriginal artists who were seated in canoes.

Explore the ancient world at Olympus

Olympus at the WAG

Apr 26, 2015 to Apr 17, 2016
Winnipeg Art Gallery

Take the entire brood to see the famous families of ancient Greece and Rome at Olympus. Spanning almost 10 centuries of artistic production, this extraordinary collection features over 160 ancient treasures including statues, vases and jewelry.

Got a tip for a future Hot this week? Send us your suggestion and it might just make the list! Comment below or tweet us @travelmanitoba.