Polar bears, quite rightly, wear the crown in Churchill. The royalty of the region, the thousand or so polar bears that migrate here from July to November have earned the region the nickname, “Polar Bear Capital of the World.” And while that’s certainly a big draw to Churchill, there is so much else to see here, from the northern lights to the exceptional landscapes to the other resident wildlife. Here we’ll take a peek at the seasons of Churchill, Manitoba, and why there’s more to the show than its main actors, the polar bears. 

Winter in Churchill 

Bundle up and head north for winter in Manitoba. There’s not too much wildlife to view during these cold months, but it’s one of the best places in the world to view the northern lights. Churchill sits directly below the Auroral Oval, so you can actually see the Aurora Borealis any time of year, but it’s the dark, cold months of February and March that offer prime viewing. 

Several travel companies offer single and multi-day trips to experience all Churchill has to offer, including the northern lights. Take a Tundra Buggy and travel across the frozen Churchill River to a lodge perfectly positioned for viewing the night sky. This is also a fantastic time to learn more about Churchill’s local culture at the famed Itsanitaq Museum, where you’ll see artifacts from pre-Dorset, Dorset, Thule and modern Inuit eras. Delve into fur-trade exhibits at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre, go snowshoeing through a boreal forest and take a dog sled ride with a local Metis dog musher.

Summer in Churchill 

Summer is the time to enjoy the water and the rich landscapes of Churchill. The temperatures are warmer and the region lights up with colorful wildflowers and abundant wildlife. On the Churchill River estuary, you’ll see beluga whales that swim here to feed and give birth. (We can get you up close on a boat or Zodiac outing, or kayak.) Turn your attention inland on a Tundra Buggy tour to see, yes, polar bears, but also caribou, arctic hare, a variety of foxes and so many birds, within a massive protected area. Trace the route of northern explorers on the Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site. See the shipwrecked Ithaca on Hudson Bay’s tidal flats. And don’t worry - sled dog rides are still available in summertime! 

Autumn in Churchill 

Those famous polar bears still take center stage come autumn, but this is also a great time to see the landscape changing before your very eyes. In October and early November, the tundra unveils a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges and yellows - a particularly nice backdrop for photos of polar bears. Lean into the polar bear obsession and head out by Tundra Buggy to Churchill Wildlife Management Area, where the bears hang out. These custom-built vehicles allow guests to get as close as possible to the bears without hampering their style and while keeping their natural habitat pristine. As the area moves into late autumn, you can expect ice and snow. 

Summer or winter, Churchill is a wonderland for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. Together, we can navigate the various travel companies that offer single and multi-day trips to explore the region’s treasures. Let’s chat.  You can sign up to schedule a consultation or sign up for my weekly newsletter for more inspiration.