The most Canadian things to do this summer

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You made it through a Canadian winter! It wasn’t so bad, was it?

Now that’s spring is finally here, you can keep those parka jackets and forget about things like trudging through the snow, slippery roads, and other winter worries. With summer coming, it’s time to go outside and enjoy the warm weather!

June 21 is the official start of summer in Canada. But cottage and camping season begins as early as May long weekend or Victoria Day, which is May 20 (for 2019). Whether it’s your first summer here or your 100th, here are some of the most Canadian summer activities you can enjoy with your family:

  1. Stay in a cabin by the lake

    Did you know that Manitoba is the land of 100,000 lakes? Lake Winnipeg, Lake Winnipegosis and Lake Manitoba are some of the largest lakes that cover the southern side of the province. There are actually so many picturesque lakeside areas you can visit if you want to experience the tranquillity of gazing at still waters or the excitement of watersports and fishing (another great Canadian pastime). Renting a cottage by the lake can be a relaxing getaway or a fun-filled adventure you and your family wouldn’t want to miss.

  2. Attend a festival

    Summer is outdoor festival season! Whether you like music, outdoor rides, or great bargains and fresh produce, there is a special Manitoba festival just for you. Start off your festival tour with the fabulous Manito Ahbee Festival, which is the largest powwow in North America. If you missed this event, see our list: Summer festivals in Manitoba for other festivals to go to this summer.

  3. Go on a road trip

    The infinite spaces, bluer than blue skies, rolling prairie hills and farmlands as well as river valleys are a feast for the eyes. You can experience all this when you go on a two to three-day prairie drive. Natgeo travel suggests an 845 kilometer route starting from Brandon to check out the city’s downtown area, museums and recreation parks. Then follow Highway 10 north to Riding Mountain National Park to see the trails, beaches and wildlife. Sandy Lake, Souris and Turtle Mountain Provincial Park are notable sites along Highway 10 (further south), ending up at the International Peace Garden along the border between Canada and the US. Heading back, you can pass by Morden to see more great prairie museums, after which you can continue driving on to Spruce Woods Provincial Park. If you have more time and wish to check out more sites in Manitoba, read the travel blog I’ve been bit! describing a seven-day road trip/prairie adventure complete with Manitoba’s breathtaking tourist spots, quaint bed and breakfast places, and great cuisine.

    Don’t forget to get a map and check the weather conditions before you leave. Even if May to October is the ideal period for this adventure, it pays to be prepared for any weather-related contingencies.

  4. Go camping

    Commune with nature and appreciate Canada’s great outdoors! Manitoba is home to the amazing wilderness, which is why Manitobans love to go camping. There are also so many campsites to choose from, ranging from the most rugged spots to RV (recreational vehicle) parks for novice campers. Your kids will be more than willing to get off their gadgets when they see the beauty of nature up close! Share campsite stories, barbecue and make s’mores, even catch a glimpse of wildlife such deer or even a bear. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see spectacular Northern Lights. It will be an experience you and your family can look forward to all throughout summer and every summer from now on.

    Read Camping for beginners to get tips and links to the best camping grounds in Manitoba. Also check out this camping cheat sheet for Riding Mountain National Park to know the popular camping spots and structures (oTENTiks) you can avail.

  5. Barbecue!

    Weekends (even weekdays for that matter) are great for outdoor barbecuing in your backyard or patio. Invite a few friends over and add some beers (craft beer preferably! By the way, visiting breweries is another essential Canadian experience) and you’ll have a great summer party! Barbecues are occasions to grill food and eat outdoors, but you don’t have to limit yourself to serving barbecued meats. Add some traditional food of your own and make it a multicultural feast. That’s very Canadian too!

    Have a great summer!

    Sources: Manitoba, Your Canada; Road Trip, Manitoba, Canada, National Geographic; Manitoba Parks and Protected Spaces. Retrieved May 17, 2018.

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