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Top 15 Things To Do in Churchill, Manitoba

Top 15 Things To Do in Churchill, Manitoba

Churchill is called the “Polar Bear Capital of the World” for good reason, but what you need to know is that this small town on the shores of Hudson Bay has plenty of activities to offer. Sure, you can only travel via train or plane, but at least there’s no traffic!

If you plan on visiting beautiful Churchill, Manitoba, you’re in the right place! We listed our favourite things to do that you might be interested in, polar bears and all!

Check out the Polar Bear Holding Facility

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Address: Button St, Churchill, MB R0B 0E0, Canada

Admission: Free

Polar bears are common to see in Churchill—in fact, it’s one of the places where residents pretty much live alongside bears. And since polar bears are wild animals, rowdy ones can end up in jail.

Yup, bears go to jail in Churchill. It’s called the Polar Bear Holding Facility, where naughty ones (or those deemed dangerous) are kept and isolated for about 30 days or so until they’re ready to be relocated.

While you can’t actually visit inside to see the “prison cells,” you can check out the gorgeous mural of the facility made by artist Kal Barteski. Polar bear inmates? That’s a unique topic of conversation!

Pro Tip:

For a safe trip, it’s best to book a tour package when visiting Polar Bear Jail, as there might be stray bears wanting to peek at the “inmates.” Anderson Vacations offers a 6-day trip from Winnipeg to Churchill that includes seeing the outside of the jail.

Immerse yourself in culture at Itsanitaq Museum

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Address: La Vérendrye Ave, Churchill, MB R0B 0E0, Canada

Contact Details: (204) 675-2030, [email protected]

Operating Hours:


  • Monday: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: Closed


  • Monday – Saturday: 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
  • Sundays: Closed

Admission: Free (donations accepted)

If you want to immerse yourself in Inuit culture, a visit to the Itsanitaq Museum is a must. You’ll find exhibits and breathtaking collections of artifacts dating back to 1700 B.C.

In addition, you’ll get to learn about the culture of the Arctic indigenous peoples. While it’s not a large museum, it’s jam-packed with educational insights about how the indigenous peoples lived.

Pro Tips:

Check out the gift shop if you’re looking for souvenirs. There’s a selection of good-quality stuff to remember your Churchill visit.

If you’re coming with a large group (10 people or more), you’ll need to book a reservation before entering. Don’t worry, it’s still free!

Join the Floe Ice Tours

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Address: 153 Kelsey Blvd, Churchill, MB R0B 0E0, Canada

Contact Details: 1 (204) 675-2195 (International), [email protected]

Operating Season: June 1 – August 31 (depends on the ice conditions) 


Based on 2024 rates

  • Adult: $140 + $7 tax
  • Child (6 – 12 years): $70 + 3.50 tax
  • Child Under 5: Free

If you want to experience a unique boating trip, joining a Flow Ice Tour by Sea North Tours is a good idea. It basically takes you on a nice, cold adventure to see ice breakups in the Arctic as the summer rolls while you see beautiful wildlife.

There’s no guarantee which species of animals you’ll get to see, but expect birds such as gulls, black guillemots, skuas, harlequin ducks, and skuas. And hey, you might witness the beluga migration.

Pro Tips:

Before joining, you might want to purchase travel insurance since the tour package doesn’t include that.

If you plan on bringing your baby to the tour, you need a minimum of four guests for the child (5 and under) to get a free booking.

Go on a dog-sledding adventure

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Address: 100 Button St, Churchill, MB R0B 0E0, Canada

Contact Details: (204) 675-0006, [email protected]

Operating Season: Year-round (subject to change depending on weather conditions)

Price: $500/person (2023 accommodation pricing)

Dog sledding in a snow-covered place is a must, especially in Churchill—polar bears aren’t the only main characters here. Why not try dog sledding, which also includes a night’s stay at the bed and breakfast Bluesky Bed & Sled?

The experience here is certainly unique. You get to join a thrilling adventure on a sled pulled by the Bluesky Expeditions dogs. It’s like a real-life Balto movie—except this time, there are no deadly adventures and no epidemics.

The dogs are also super friendly, healthy, and really active. Huskies prancing in the snow? Count us in!

Pro Tip:

Better contact them at the earliest possible time since Bluesky Expeditions isn’t exactly a big business, so it may be hard to book during peak seasons. Prices may also change depending on the inclusions and seasons.

Ride the Tundra Buggy to see wildlife

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Address: 140 Kelsey Blvd, Churchill, MB R0B 0E0, Canada

Contact Details: 1 (800) 663-9832 (Toll-free for North America), 1 (204) 949-2050 (International), [email protected]

Operating Hours: Seasonal, depending on the tour package


Summer Day Tour

  • Adult: $189
  • Child (12 and under): $149

Autumn Day Tour

  • Adult: $469
  • Child (12 and under): $369

*Prices are subject to change

If you want the ultimate sightseeing activity, the Tundra Buggy Adventure by Frontiers North Adventures is a top choice. Instead of riding the usual tourist bus, you will instead ride an all-terrain vehicle capable of taking you to the roads of Churchill.

It’s also the safest way to see wildlife—polar bears are dangerous, no matter how majestic they look. There are several package tours available, and you get to see the gorgeous Churchill in summer and autumn.

Pro Tip:

Bring a reusable bottle when joining the tour. Frontiers North no longer provides disposable bottles as part of its sustainability agenda.

Catch the Northern Lights

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Address: 153 Kelsey Blvd, Churchill, MB R0B 0E0, Canada

Contact Details: 1 (204) 675-2356

Operating Season: Seasonal, January – March

Price: $5,035/person (rate based on double occupancy)

One of the most popular things to do in Churchill is witness the dancing lights in the sky, which you can see pretty much most of the year.

North Star Tours offers the Aurora Adventure 3-Night Package Tour includes a round-trip flight from Winnipeg to Churchill, airport pickup, meals, and a 2-night stay at Polar Inn & Suites. This way, you can have a hassle-free trip to this remote town.

This tour is available sometime around January to March when the Northern Lights shine the most. It also makes for a romantic trip, no?

Pro Tip:

If you aren’t from Winnipeg, you need to book your own hotel in the city since that’s not included in the tour package. You may want to toss in travel insurance there, too.

Watch polar bears from a safe distance

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Address: 174 Kelsey Blvd, Churchill, MB R0B 0E0, Canada

Contact Details: 1 (866) 262-6202 (North America Toll-Free), 1 (204) 487-7633 (Outside North America), 1 (204) 479-1112 (After-hours), [email protected]

Operating Season: Fall, October – November (bear-watching activity only)

Admission: $522.50 + tax per person

Sure, you’ll probably see a polar bear or two during your first day in Churchill, Manitoba. But going out alone isn’t the safest way, which is why we love the Polar Bear Tours by Great White Bear Tours.

This is the perfect trip if you want to mix bear-watching with luxury. The Polar Rover, which is the vehicle you’ll ride to see the polar bears, is wheelchair-accessible and equipped with reclining seats, washrooms with toilets, and an outdoor deck.

The tour includes pick up and drop off at your hotel, which will then take you to the polar bears’ natural habitat—23 miles out of town.

Pro Tip:

Before booking this tour, make sure you already have a hotel in Churchill since the tour is non-refundable, which is a bummer if you can’t get accommodation.

Swing by the Miss Piggy plane wreck

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Location: 58°45’38.7″N 94°05’09.4″W (near the intersection of Amundson Road and Robert Crescent)

Admission: Free unless included in a tour package

The Miss Piggy plane wreck, a Curtiss C-46 freight plane that crashed just after takeoff in 1979, is a quirky spot in Churchill. It’s not related to the famous Muppet diva, but it has the same name because it had a massive cargo capacity and used to carry pigs.

There’s not a lot to see since this was a cargo plane, so there aren’t any seats or compartments inside. But it’s still interesting because the body’s mostly intact—it’ll only take as little as 30 minutes to appreciate the whole thing.

Now, this wreckage has become a popular attraction and is often included in package tours. If you plan on booking a tour, check if they have evening dates because the Northern Lights illuminate the sky and act as a background of the plane wreck.

Pro Tip:

We don’t recommend walking to the crash site alone since the area is polar bear territory. So, either book a tour or rent a car, but joining a tour is your safest bet—Frontiers North has package tours that stop here.

Pay a visit to the Prince of Wales Fort

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Website: (tour company)

Address: Prince of Wales Fort, Churchill, MB R0B 0E0, Canada

Contact Details: (204) 963-2736, [email protected]

Operating Season: July – August

Price: $70

The Prince of Wales Fort is a national historic site in Canada that you must visit. It’s a bastion fort built along Churchill River in the 1700s by Hudson’s Bay Company. 

The beautiful ruins continue to draw visitors because of their incredible history. You see, this star-shaped fort played a significant role during the fur trade, and despite being somewhat destroyed by the French, the thick stone walls continue to stand to this day.

But you’ll need to book a tour to get here since it’s only accessible by boat. Custom Churchill Tours, which focuses on small boat tours on Hudson Bay, offers a one-hour guided activity of this site—but note that the schedule depends on the tides.

Pro Tip:

You may want to contact Custom Churchill Tours if you prefer a custom itinerary. The waters of Hudson Bay can affect the tour dates and times, so it’s best to let them know of your plans so they can work around your schedule if possible.

Hop on a chopper and see Churchill from above

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Address: 290 Kelsey Blvd, Churchill, MB R0B 0E0, Canada

Contact Details: (204) 675-2576, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Depending on the tour

Admission: By inquiry only

If you fancy visiting Churchill in style, riding a chopper is the way to go! Hudson Bay Helicopters offers sightseeing tours that will take you to the sky and see polar bears at a safe distance.

This also allows you to see the various sites in town in a short amount of time. And since your guide knows where polar bears usually hang out, you have a high chance of seeing them.

Pro Tip:

You’ll need a decent camera phone to get the best shots from the helicopter if you want to avoid blurry photos.

Embark on a beluga-watching adventure

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Address: 153 Kelsey Blvd, Churchill, MB R0B 0E0, Canada

Contact Details: 1 (204) 675-2195 (International), [email protected]

Operating Season: July – August 


  • Adult: $150 + $7.50 tax
  • Child (6 – 12) $75 + 3.75 tax
  • 5 and under: Free

Want to see belugas up close? It’s not something you get to do all the time, so a beluga whale-watching tour in Churchill is a must!

These cute and intelligent creatures even go near the boats and are not usually afraid of humans—maybe because they’re known for being sociable? No worries because the Sea North Tours boats have protection systems to ensure belugas are safe.

So, if you want belugas to tug at your heartstrings, better add this activity to your calendar. These smiley creatures will surely top your Churchill itinerary.

Pro Tips:

If you want to see pods of belugas, go to Churchill from July to September. But note that Sea North Tours only offers whale watching from July to August.

If you book the Sea North Tours Beluga Whale Tour, you don’t have to book a separate activity for Prince of Wales Fort. These two activities are already included in the whale tour price.

Get your binoculars and watch the birds

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Address: 1 Launch Rd, Division No. 23, Unorganized, MB R0B 0E0, Canada

Contact Details: (204) 675-2307, [email protected]

Operating Season: June – July (Dates are subject to change)

Price: $2,529 (Based on 2024 rates)

Over 250 species of birds love passing by Churchill, Manitoba during migration. That’s why it’s one of the best towns for bird-watching!

The Churchill Northern Studies Centre is the best place to book a bird-watching activity. Here, you can focus on just looking for birds since other birding tours will include wildlife sightseeing, which won’t let you have a lot of birding time.

If you’re an avid birdwatcher, you’ll enjoy the five-day trip, which will take you to nine birding hotspots! Hey, you might even get lucky and spot the popular and rare-to-see Ross’s gull.

Pro Tip:

This birdwatching tour doesn’t include a flight to Churchill, so you’ll have to book one via Calm Air or ride the train through Via Rail from Winnipeg.

Kayak with the whales

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Address: 153 Kelsey Blvd, Churchill, MB R0B 0E0, Canada

Contact Details: (204) 675-2195 (International), [email protected]

Operating Season: July – August (depending on ice conditions)


2024 Rates

  • Adult: $185 +$9.25 tax
  • Child (8 – 12): $90 + $4.50 tax

Kayaking is one of our favourite sports, and Churchill elevates the activity for us! This time, you get to paddle the waters alongside the majestic and adorably cute beluga whales.

This Sea North Tours adventure is available for single and tandem kayaks. You don’t even need a tonne of experience because beginners (and first-timers) are welcome. 

Beluga whales are social animals, so don’t be surprised if they start pushing your kayak a bit—no worries, they’re just trying to help! This activity adds a more personal experience since you’re closer to the whales—this should be on top of your bucket list!

Pro Tip:

If you plan on kayaking next to beluga whales, you need to book a tour because they don’t rent out their kayaks to anyone.

Hike to the Ithaka shipwreck

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Address: 280 Kelsey Blvd, Churchill, MB R0B 0E0, Canada

Contact Details: (431) 232-3211 (Local and international), 1 (844) 347-2624 (Toll-free North America), [email protected]

Operating Season: June – September


  • Adult: $165
  • Child (12 and under): $123.75

Who doesn’t want to see a shipwreck? Usually, they’re deep underwater, but in Churchill, visitors can walk to the wreckage to get a closer look.

It’s only during low tide, though. No one’s allowed to actually go inside the ship because the structure’s in a state of decay—but the photos are cool.

Here, you’ll see the SS Ithaka, which was originally called the Frank A. Augsbury and was passed on to several owners (who also gave the ship different names). 

Her last voyage was in 1960. She carried over 2,700 tonnes of equipment and supplies to Churchill until a severe storm compelled the Captain to drop the anchor, upon which the chain broke and ripped the rudder.

Pro Tip:

You can get 15% off if you book the SS Ithaka tour bundled with a wildlife or sightseeing tour at Discover Churchill Tours.

Dine under the Northern Lights

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Address: 124 Kelsey Blvd, Churchill, MB R0E 0E0, Canada (Pick-up and drop-off)

Contact Details: 1 (800) 663-9832 (Toll-free North America),1 (204) 949-2050 (International), [email protected]

Operating Hours: Selected dates on February and March

Price: $379

If you want a unique culinary experience (that’s also very romantic), Dan’s Diner is a must-try. This is a pop-up restaurant that opens on selected dates in February and March.

Here, you can dine under the Northern Lights in a remote location and taste the delicious curated, multi-course menu. It even includes a pickup and drop off at the Fifty Eight North via the Tundra Buggy.

Pro Tip:

You might want to keep an eye out weeks ahead of Dan’s Diner’s opening. There’s limited availability, so better book fast if you want to experience this one-of-a-kind culinary experience.

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