While this week's balmy weather has not been any indication, pretty soon we will indeed be saying, "so long summer, you may have the heat, but fall is a season that can’t be beat" - the crisp air, the colours, the chunky sweaters, the pumpkin everything. In Winnipeg there’s no better time to get out and do all the things, from leaf peeping to farmers' market perusing, in the sheer beauty of autumn.
FortWhyte Alive – With 640 acres of natural urban oasis there are plenty of crunchy leaves to stomp on during a fall hike before heading back to the lake-side Buffalo Stone Café for a mug of hot chocolate and a bird’s eye view of the migrating fowl. If geese are your thing, come back in the evening for the sunset geese flights, a breathtaking autumn ritual that pairs well with fire-baked bannock and s’mores.
For a bit bigger encounter, FortWhyte’s popular bison safaris continue into the cool season, as does the FortWhyte Farms market where you can buy some of fall’s fresh bounty. Other foodie events include an open-fire brewing class, a mini-chefs afternoon, and cheese making workshop.
For all of FortWhyte’s fall events and programs click here.
Assiniboine Park – This expansive greenspace in the heart of the city really shines when she busts out the fall foliage. Take in all the vibrant shades as you trek along the river-side pathways, or stroll through the English Garden’s shifting hues. Make the autumn memories last with the Park’s nature photography tour (cameras are provided, if needed) and finish with a seasonal menu selection from The Park Café on the banks of the duck pond
We’d be remiss not to mention the Park’s close-in-distance cousin, Assiniboine Forest, one of Canada’s largest urban nature parks. Within the aspen-oak vegetation you’ll find an observation area overlooking a pond - a perfect place to watch for shorebirds, waterfowl, and white-tailed deer.
A Maze in Corn – Go get lost in the tall stalks of A Maze in Corn’s, well, corn maze. Just 10 minutes outside the city, this family-run farm is a fall must - think a pumpkin barn, petting zoo, hayrides, a hay bale pyramid, and a haunted forest (consider taking the younger ones during daylight as costumed creatures do pop out of the woods on this Halloween tour).
What else could you ask for? Zip lining you say? They have that too, with six lines giving adventurers the ultimate view of the changing leaves, and maybe a hint or two on how to get out of that corn maze.
For fall hours, visit cornmaze.ca.
St. Norbert Farmers’ Market – Grab yourself a cup of hot apple cider (and maybe a churro from an onsite snack cart) and stroll the aisles of this popular Saturday farmers’ market (If you’re reading this in September you can check it out on Wednesdays as well).
Manitoba’s fresh and hearty root vegetables are front and centre this time of year – perfect for that Thanksgiving roasted side dish – along with some options that make for the ultimate autumn décor. Gourds galore! Feel like doing some fall canning? They’ve got the beets, green beans, carrots, garlic, onions, dill, and more to whip up a batch you’ll enjoy year round.
All vendors make, bake, and grow their products right here in Manitoba. So whether you’re buying a soft pair of handmade wool mittens, or a box of grass-fed, free-run chicken, you’re supporting local farmers and artisans.
For a full vendor list, visit stnorbertfarmersmarket.ca
The weather a little too cool for you? Or rain is falling instead of leaves? Check out our Top 10 Rainy Day activities.