The pressure is off this Valentine’s Day, so why not actually enjoy it?
Chances are there will be no coveted restaurant reservations to book, while all things romance have been made easy for couples out there with numerous new staycation deals, fancy dinners tailored for home-dining, and date night activities delivered right to your door. Plus, plenty of outdoor activities to boot which will make you want to snuggle up after.
On that note, here’s an extensive guide to ensure your upcoming V-Day (or V-Day weekend, as the 14th falls on a Sunday) is one to remember.
Change that scenery with great deals on a staycation
After spending the last few months locked in together, a change of scenery is surely in order. So on that note, we have some pretty incredible packages and deals on offer from some of the city’s best properties.
Looking to make a weekend of it, Fairmont Winnipeg has you covered with a deal that gets you two nights or two rooms for the price of one! That’s right, book one night and the second night (during the same stay) is free. Or, you can also book two rooms for the cost of one stay on the same night should you have the kids in tow and are looking for some privacy. (#winkwink)
Culinary enthusiasts will relish the deal on right now at Alt Hotel Winnipeg. The hotel’s In-Room Gastronomy Package combines your stay with a three-course meal from The Merchant Kitchen (with the option of breakfast in bed and a bottle of wine too). Delta Hotels by Marriott Winnipeg currently has a deal that features a late 3 p.m. checkout, free self-parking, in-room streaming services, a $25 food and drink credit, and the possibility to upgrade your room when checking in. Plus, most rooms at the Delta, which is the city’s largest four-star hotel, have balconies that lookout over downtown.
Not to be out done, Winnipeg’s castle, The Fort Garry Hotel, is offering a Romance Package that includes sparkling wine, breakfast for two, 3 p.m. checkout, and more. Plus, if you book a massage at Fort Garry's Ten Spa you will also get a discount on a night stay. Inn at the Forks is also doing a special Valentine’s rate of $209, while they also have a weekend-long Valentine’s Dinner for Two (available for takeout, delivery and in-room dining) that we will get into below.
All these above deals are available here.
Dinner dates to your door and sweets for your sweet
One of our favourite new local initiatives is Date Night Delivered. It “brings the excitement back to date nights” by providing love birds with an interactive thematic package that is anything but boring. In it, you’ll receive games and activities, cocktail and food recipes, a custom playlist to set the mood, local products to try, and decorations to dress your set.
The next delivery package is set for February 12, so you can make a weekend of it by choosing either the European Adventure (with wine pairings an option from The Wine House) or Cozy In, which you can read all about in the above link.
More packages come courtesy of Sweet & Salty Box Co., a new company that specializes in curated packages of sweets along with traditional charcuterie boxes. They offer a number of colourful thematic numbers like the Heart Attack Box (brimming with candy, doughnuts, brownies and cupcakes), the Regular Box (charcuterie and cheese), the much more holistic Berry Box and Healthy Box. On now is a special Valentine’s Day Box full of colourful sweets that comes with two customizable stemless wine glasses.
Our friends over at goodlocal.ca also have you covered when it comes to thematic Valentine’s Day items and packages that cover every genre from jewellery, to beer, to Star Wars -- all of which is delivered right to your door.
Another brand-new culinary themed initiative comes courtesy of the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM) who have partnered with two local French chefs to provide a cooking kit experience. Chef Chez Soi gets you a chef-hosted video featuring either Francophone Winnipeg celebrity chef Luc Jean or Saint-Pierre-Jolys’ locavore extraordinaire Josée Curé of J’em Bistro, an apropos curated playlist featuring songs by Franco-Manitoban artists, and an ingredient list telling where to shop to support Franco-Manitoban businesses. You can order your kit here.
Don’t feel like cooking? There’s plenty of delivery options available too.
Alongside our extensive list of places that are currently offering takeout/delivery, at a glance a couple spots have already announced that they are doing special dinners for V-Day along with special meal deals for couples.
SMITH at Inn at the Forks has a $145 dinner for two on for the whole weekend (Feb 12th to 14th) that includes a cheese and charcuterie board to start, several entrée selections, and a shared dessert, with à la carte dishes and wine available too.
Sous Sol, one of the city’s best French restaurants, is now offering a Sunday dinner for two for just $65 (you can add a bottle of wine for an additional $15), which has recently included show-stoppers like whole Cornish game hen roulade and fresh pasta in a short rib ragout. These two-course dinners also include a salad to start.
Mitchell Block is also in on the date night deal combo; Enoteca and Máquè are always offering dinners for two; deer + almond is now offering five-course tasting menus to go for $65 per person; and new (and excellent) farm-to-table restaurant Preservation Hall is also doing a special Valentine's weekend menu.
Cake and macaron queens Jenna Rae Cakes have also just announced that they are now taking orders for their Valentine’s Treat Box which gets you six macarons, two cookie sandwiches, and one cookie dough cup. Plus, the city has so many chocolatiers and sweet shops to choose from like Chocolatier Constance Popp, Decadence, Aschenti, S Squared Pâtisserie, Chocolate Zen, Lilac Bakery, High Tea Bakery and Morden’s of Winnipeg, while if your love goes gluten-free (or simply loves amazing sweets), be sure to check out new business Rêverie Gluten Free Bakery.
Skating, snow-shoeing, star-gazing, fat tires and bonfires
Valentine’s should of course be a full day event, so you should also make some daytime plans. This being Winnipeg, we feel a little (or a long) skate is always in order, so be sure to consult with our Nine spots to lace up the skates and make nice on Winnipeg’s ice to learn all about the best spots.
Not one for skating? Try your feet at fat tire biking along the Centennial River Trail or through the city’s beautiful parks. Type Eh Bikes, which just got its start in fall 2020, rents Fat Tire bikes and will soon be offering tours on two wheels. White Pine Bicycle Co. normally rents bikes too, but for the time being they are sticking with snow shoe rentals ($20 for the day; $40 for the weekend) so you can go off the beaten path in any of our parks.
Of course, an obvious place to take in nature on snow shoe, bike, skis or foot is FortWhyte Alive, which has plenty of outdoor experiences on offer along with toasty bonfires to warm up.
And speaking of bonfires, should you be looking to have one in your backyard (replete with perhaps a bottle of cava?) you must check out local company The Little Wood Chipper. They make floral bouquet fire starters that are (almost) too #adorbs to burn which make fire-building a cinch.
And while you are outside, once nighttime sets in you know what is really sexy? Star-gazing – something the Manitoba Museum is all for.
Right now, they are hosting once-a-week Dome@Home episodes while we wait for The Planetarium to reopen. In these insightful videos led by Planetarium Astronomer Scott Young you’ll learn how to spot constellations and planets in the night sky, along with gleaming new info on space exploration.
You can then take that knowledge out under the night sky, trying out fun lines like, “hey, you know that’s Venus right there right? Yes, it is named after the Roman goddess of love. Speaking of which….”
Oh, you get the picture.
.... And don't forget the flowers!
Winnipeg has so many incredible florists and plant shops, some of our favs you can find here in our December article titled, "Fight the code red blues with all this greenery."