The Harvest Moon Festival in Clearwater, Manitoba (photo: Emily Christie)

Things to Do in Manitoba: Fall 2016

By AMA Staff

Planning a visit to the Keystone Province this autumn? The season’s bounty of festivals, family fun and spooky sights is sure to satisfy.

Fall means fresh produce, crisp air and time with family and friends. Enjoy all of those things at one event: Clearwater’s Harvest Moon Festival. The annual outdoor food and music fest celebrates local crops with foodie workshops and a farmers’ market, plus fair-trade craft sellers and, of course, musical talent from across the province and country. Sept. 16-18

Fiddling is nearly as old as Manitoba itself: Métis-style fiddling is a regional “dialect” combining the traditions of French-Canadian explorers, First Nations tribes and Scottish fur traders. Celebrate this and many other styles at the Manitoba Fiddle Association’s 48th-annual Old Time Fiddle Championships in Portage la Prairie. Sept. 17

Every fall, authors from across Canada and around the world converge on Manitoba for Thin Air, the Winnipeg International Writers Festival. The weeklong event features readings, interviews, book launches and kids’ activities. You’ll find English and French programming taking place within city limits and outlying areas. Sept. 23-Oct. 1

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet presents Dracula this fall (photo: Rejean Brandt)

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet kicks off its 77th season in fantastical fashion with Dracula, an elegant interpretation of the gothic tale. Expect sumptuous costumes, opulent sets and bloodthirsty ballet dancers. And the suspenseful score will keep you on the edge of your seat during this pre-Halloween staging. Oct. 26-30; CAA members save 15% on adult tickets for select seats

There’s no shortage of spooky sights and freakish fun around the province this fall. At Six Pines Haunted Attractions near Winnipeg, expect a few screams in the Barn of Doom or opt for non-scary fun at Mother Goose’s petting farm. In Anola, Terror on 12 promises a hair-raising adventure as you make your way around an eerie estate. St. Adolphe’s Haunted Forest is a corn maze brimming with twists, turns and terrifying creatures along the way. And for terror on the high seas, check out the Halloween Haunt at Selkirk’s Marine Museum to tour the ghost ship Keenora and meet its otherworldly stowaways. 

Dining at the Marion Street Eatery feels like pulling up a chair at your mom’s kitchen table. Nestled in St. Boniface’s Marion Hotel, the space once housed an old-school Polish restaurant. Under new management since 2014, a major renovation added south-facing windows, whitewashed walls and chalkboard menus to offer cozy quarters along with some of the friendliest service in the province. Chef Melissa Hryb serves up delicious fare morning, noon and night, but her brunch is truly memorable. Try apple whisky pancakes or  “The Treehugger”—a savoury mix of potato hash, spinach, mushrooms, falafel and eggs—all washed down with a classic Caesar.

Axe throwing: Because sometimes, you just want to chuck a big blade. The activity has grown from backyard target practice to a veritable league sport in cities across Canada. Bad Axe Throwing is Winnipeg’s first such club, providing “cutting”-edge entertainment for birthday bashes, bachelor and bachelorette parties or just a sharp night out on the town.