Generally speaking, the best time to visit Manitoba is between June and September. This is when campsites are open, the weather is consistently warm, and you’ll experience long sunny days. However, if you’re looking to visit Manitoba for all of its wintery glory, then you should plan your visit between December and March.

I’m a Manitoba local, and I’ve experienced every season in this province many times over. While I absolutely think every time of year has its perks, there are some things you should know before you pack your bags for Manitoba.

In this article, I’ll go over the best time to visit Manitoba for good weather, cheap prices, things to do, festivals, tips for visiting, and more. Let’s dive in!

Best Time to Visit Manitoba

The best time to visit Manitoba Canada is between June and September when the weather is warm, the activities are in full swing, and you can camp your way around the province. However, December – March in Manitoba is also a great time to visit if you like ice skating, snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, or any other winter activity.

Meanwhile, October and November are the best months to see polar bears in Churchill, and late July and early August are best for seeing beluga whales.

Let’s get into when to visit based on some specifics: 

When to Visit Manitoba for Good Weather

Taylor sits in front of the Manitoba legislative building on a summer day

Manitoba weather is often at the end of two spectrums. In July and August, the temperature often hovers between 20°C and 30°C (68-86F), while in the winter, it’s not unusual for it to dip between -20°C to -30°C (-4 to -22F). However, temperatures even more extreme than this aren’t unheard of.

Spring in Manitoba (March – May) is often mild with some run-off winter weather experiences. Though the temperatures will be, on average, between -10°C and +10°C (14-50F), this period does see snowfall. Because of this, visiting in early March can be ideal for winter weather activities. 

Summer in Manitoba brings warm temperatures and all the summery activities that go with it. This is when you can take long swims in a lake, go hiking, have bonfires, and drive without having to worry about snowy or icy conditions.

Overall, Manitoba has a continental climate with a long winter and shorter summer.

When to Visit Manitoba for Cheap Prices

When compared to major Canadian cities like Toronto or Vancouver, prices in Manitoba Canada are on the less expensive end of the spectrum. Of course, depending on your country’s exchange rate, Canada can be a pretty expensive place to visit regardless, but there are some ways to do it cheaply.

For cheap hotel rooms in Winnipeg and other southern locations, I recommend visiting between September and May. This is when most tourism to the province drops off and the deals start. However, visiting between June and August means you can camp your way around Manitoba, which will drastically reduce your spending on hotels.

If you plan to visit Churchill Manitoba, however, this logic goes out the window. Obviously, the best times of year to visit are when you can see polar bears or beluga whales. We’ll go more into this below, but prices will always be higher for these experiences.

When to Visit Manitoba for Northern Lights

Green northern lights in Manitoba

Did you know that you can technically see the northern lights year round in Manitoba? It’s true! This dancing light show happens up to 300 nights a year in the province (though not all over, or all at once). I’ve seen the northern lights in all seasons (yes, even summer). 

However, statistically speaking, you’ll have the best chances of seeing the aurora from February – March when the temperatures are still cold.

If you’re a northern lights seeker, then I recommend downloading an Aurora Borealis app on your phone before you visit Manitoba. 

When to Visit Manitoba for Families & Children

Families and children will love to visit Manitoba throughout the year. Especially in Winnipeg, you’ll find a ton of great museums and family-friendly activities and experiences. There are festivals year-round and plenty of ways to stay occupied both indoors and outdoors.

The only thing I would caution is visiting Manitoba with children when it’s dreadfully cold. The most common time for this is between December and February, so if you have little kids who don’t handle extreme temperatures well, then I’d plan around this.

When to Visit Manitoba for Polar Bears and Beluga Whales

One of Manitoba’s most prime outdoor destinations, Churchill is where you can see Polar Bears and Beluga Whales in the province. Chances are though, you’ll begin your Manitoba adventure in Winnipeg, which is quite a bit more south than Churchill and these regions experience very different climates and temperatures.

The best time to visit Churchill for Polar bears is between October and November, while the best time to see Beluga whales is from late July through early August. 

Manitoba Travel Seasons


A Winnipeg Jets hockey game at the Canada Life Centre in Manitoba

❄️ Festival du Voyageur – Western Canada’s largest winter festival taking place annually in Saint Boniface, Winnipeg. Features concerts, snow sculptures, and French-Canadian culture.

🎶 Winterruption – A week-long January music festival designed to get cold-fearing Canadians out of their houses and into local music venues. 

World’s Largest Snow Maze – Located in St. Adolphe (just south of Winnipeg), this maze is perfect for the whole family and features five rooms made of snow.

⛸️ Skating – Whether on a pond, in a local rink, or on the river, ice skating is a quintessential Manitoba winter activity. I recommend doing this in January when you can get out on the Winnipeg river trail.

🏒 Hockey – Either catch a Winnipeg Jets or Manitoba Moose game, or head out on the ice yourself.

⛷️ Snowboarding & Skiing – There are a few places to go downhill skiing or snowboarding in Manitoba, but Assissippi Ski Resort is the most popular.

🧊 Gimli Ice Festival – Happening in early March, this festival celebrates winter traditions in Manitoba. Think a frozen fish toss, frozen lake car racing, and ice fishing.


Taylor sits on a rock overlooking Nopiming Provincial Park in Manitoba

🎉 Doors Open Winnipeg – A free festival that celebrates significant buildings in the city. Expect tours, galleries, events, and more.

👉 Manito Ahbee Festival – An annual Winnipeg festival that celebrates and highlights Indigenous art, culture, and music.

🏳️‍🌈 Winnipeg Pride Festival – A 10-day LGBTQ+ festival featuring parades, marches, events, and parties.


Gimli Beach in Manitoba

Camping – Camping is a quintessential Manitoba summer activity. Whether you’re more interested in a yurt or a tent, make sure you get out in nature if visiting in summer.

Folklorama – An annual festival celebrating the mosaic of heritages that make up Manitoba culture.

🎡 Red River Exhibition – An annual traveling carnival with events, rides, and games.

🎸 Winnipeg Folk Fest – Held annually in Birds Hill Provincial Park, this festival showcases both local and international artists and musicians.

🎭 Winnipeg Fringe Fest – An alternative theater festival held for 12 days every July.

🥾 Hiking / Kayaking / Paddle Boarding / Fishing – Outdoor activities reign supreme in Manitoba summers.

🐋 Beluga Whales – The best time to go to Churchill, Manitoba for whales is late July and early August.

📚 Keep Reading: Nopiming Provincial Park Road Trip Guide


Tulabi Falls in Manitoba Canada

🎨 Nuit Blanche – An annual all-night festival of art. Expect indoor and outdoor art exhibits, galleries, events, and more.

🤤 Many Fest – Downtown Winnipeg’s largest street festival with food trucks, music, games, rides, and more.

🌙 Harvest Moon Festival – An annual festival held in Clearwater, Manitoba celebrating the harvest season. Expect lots of music and art.

🌽 A Maze In Corn – A seasonal attraction just south of Winnipeg that features a large corn maze, hay bales, a zipline, a petting zoo, a pumpkin patch, and more.

Manitoba Weather and Climate

Manitoba weather is a thing of extremes. It’s located smack-dab in the center of North America, and as such, the climate isn’t regulated by mountain ranges or oceans. This means that it gets hot and humid in the summer, and cold and dry in the winter. In the summer, air masses come from the Gulf of Mexico, while in the winter high-pressure air masses are drawn down from the Arctic.

There are three main climactic zones in Manitoba. The northern area of the province (including Thompson) is in the subarctic climate zone. Here, you’d experience long cold winters (often hitting -40°) with short summers.

Southern Manitoba is in the humid continental climate zone. Including the city of Winnipeg, this means that this region experiences the most humidity of all the Canadian prairie provinces and gets a moderate amount of precipitation. Average temperatures range from 20°C and 30°C (68-86F) in the summer to -5° and -20° (23 and -4F) in the winter. January is, on average, the coldest month in Winnipeg.

Southwestern Manitoba is a little different than the rest of Southern Manitoba in that it’s semi-arid. This area of the province is more likely to experience droughts than other areas. Summer wildfires can be a problem in Southwestern Manitoba.

Tips for When to Visit Manitoba

Pack For the Season

Taylor stands on the rocks at Tulabi Falls in Manitoba

Winter in Manitoba is very different from summer in Manitoba. Packing appropriately is the best thing you can do to have a great time in the province, and be sure to check the weather before you go.

Time Your Trip Around Activities

Unless you plan on only doing indoor activities, the best things to do in Manitoba vary greatly throught the seasons. My recommendation is to pick the kind of activities you want to experience and then time your travel around that.

📚 Keep Reading: 15 Best Things to Do in Gimli

Book in Advance

The Exchange District in Winnipeg Manitoba

Especially if you travel in the summer or during a festival, you’re going to want to book your travel far in advance. This is especially true if you plan on camping. Bookings for summer sites begin in April of every year, and fill up at lightning speed.

Sometimes, the only way to get your desired campground is to be at your computer and ready to go when the sites go on the market (I’ve done this, i’m not kidding).

👉 Note: Although bookings begin in April, many campsites don’t actually open until a couple of months later. It’s absolutely worth planning in advance!

Factor in Driving

Unless you plan on only visiting Winnipeg, driving is the only way to get around much of the province. You can rent a car in Winnipeg pretty easily, but if you don’t know how to drive on snow and ice, then I don’t recommend visiting in Winter. 

FAQs About Best Time to Go to Manitoba

What is the coldest month in Manitoba?

The coldest month in Manitoba is January, when average temperatures fall between -10°C and -20°C.

What is the best month to visit Winnipeg?

The best month to visit Winnipeg is July when the city experiences great weather, an abundance of festivals, and plethora of outdoor activities.

What month does it rain the most in Manitoba?

Manitoba experiences the most rainfall in June with an average of 3.5 inches (90mm).


Thanks for reading my guide to the best time to visit Manitoba! Up next, check out my top Manitoba travel tips.

Have fun exploring Manitoba!

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