Romance - Fall & Winter
Fall and winter in Winnipeg are some of the most beautiful, romance-inspiring locales that you can find just about anywhere. Autumn shows up with a burst of colour from trees and fall fashion, while those first snowfalls of the year set the mood to snuggle up close with that special someone. Don’t get too cozy under that blanket just yet, though — Winnipeg has an array of date options in the cooler months that will have you running hot with excitement.
In the fall, nights start getting longer — which means festivals and events will start to shine. This year, the Lights of the North Lantern Festival will be lighting up the Red River Exhibition Park with over fifty exhibits and millions of lights, all meant to celebrate the connection between Winnipeg and its sister city Chengdu. You can also sample some authentic Chinese cuisine and take in traditional cultural performances. Make sure you stay for the late-night fireworks — the romance will be as sparkling as the night sky.
If you’re looking for a one-night arts extravaganza to explore with your significant other, Nuit Blanche will take over much of central Winnipeg on September 29, from sundown to sunrise. With dozens of public contemporary art exhibits, it’s a unique way to explore the artistic side of Winnipeg — and when you watch the sunrise together at the end of Nuit Blanche, your date night will have been unforgettable.
Coffee shops are classic date locations, and Winnipeg is dotted with glamorous destinations for your java fix. Café Postal is a cozy setting in St. Boniface, while the brand-new Grey Owl is quickly becoming a trendy destination in the downtown area. Well-established local shops such as Thom Bargen and Fools + Horses have multiple locations to visit, and are great venues for long conversations and significant glances.
There’s no reason things can’t stay steamy in the snowy months, and where better to go than Festival du Voyageur? From February 15–24, St. Boniface will come alive with music, food and joie de vivre. Notably, it will be the 50th anniversary of Festival this year, which means they will be pulling out all the stops. Take full advantage–head to the ice bar for some caribou, hit up the sugar shack for your maple syrup fix, and dance the night away in one of the many tents featuring live music. Want to snuggle up closer? Head to one of the many bonfires on the festival grounds, or steal a kiss on the parapets of the historic Fort Gibraltar over some hot chocolate.
Just across the river from St. Boniface is where the romance continues — and there’s no better space than The Forks to keep the romance alive, especially in the winter. The world-famous river trail is an ice skater’s dream, especially with the world-renowned warming huts created by some of the world’s best designers and artists. You and your date can also ice skate under the canopy, next to the hilarious and fun Crockicurl area.
When you get chilly, head inside for a libation from The Common and a snack — we highly recommend sharing a cinnamon bun from Tall Grass Prairie, especially when it’s fresh from the oven.
Fall is an incredible time to explore the outdoors, especially the city’s parks and natural beauty. Hear the leaves crunch under your feet at Assiniboine Park, Kildonan Park or St. Vital Park — even better, pack a light picnic lunch and enjoy the sun shining through the trees. To really experience nature at its absolute best, head over to FortWhyte Alive during migratory season. Be there at sunset, when hundreds of birds descend from the sky to rest for the night. When the snow finally falls, many of these parks are perfect for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
If you want to stay warm while enjoying the best of a Winnipeg winter, then you need to make some time for Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature. Winter is one of the best times to go — the colder the better (trust us!). That thermal cycle will really get the blood moving when you step outdoors in January in your pillowy robe, with hot tubs and a variety of saunas ready to keep things steamy. If you want to win all the relationship points, book a couples massage, followed up by a wine and cheese platter.
Speaking of romance, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra has it in spades — both in terms of the glamorous venue and its concert schedule of some of the great Romantic-era composers like Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. The WSO also performs the scores to movies live, which this year includes the ultra-romantic Casablanca (October 26–28), and a duo of Harry Potter movies including The Chamber of Secrets (December 1–2) and The Prisoner of Azkaban (March 8–9). Be sure to grab a beverage on the piano nobile during intermission, or stop in at one of the many exquisite bars and restaurants dotted throughout the Exchange District before or after the show.
For more arts-themed dates, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre is ready to pull at your heartstrings with another year’s worth of stellar plays. Dive into Victorian drama with Sense and Sensibility (October 18–November 10), or get the holiday feels with It’s a Wonderful Life (November 22–December 15). Meanwhile, the Manitoba Opera is turning up the heat with its rendition of Don Giovanni (November 24, 27, 30) — the classic tale of one of history’s best-known heartthrobs, Don Juan.
Romance is in the air in Winnipeg for twelve months of the year, but the city’s intimacy and picture-perfect settings really shine in fall and winter. With such a wide array of stunning backdrops, you’ll really be feeling the love.