Fall in Love With the Season and These Manitoba Farm Experiences
September 01, 2023
| Author Jillian Recksiedler
Fall + harvest = the perfect time to head to the farm. Manitoba's agrarian roots are something special.
Our connection to the land makes us unique as Manitobans, and spending time among an idyllic prairie farm setting is good for the soul. Here are some ways to plan a family day trip or weekend getaway to connect with our province's farming heritage:
Book a Farm Stay
For those without a family connection to a farm, the next best thing is booking an overnight at a country living-themed B&B. . Rustic Retreat outside of Souris has been doing farmhouse chic long before it became trendy. The hay-loft-turned-B&B is charming with all its reclaimed wood features and antique furnishings. Breathe in country living and views of Lake of the Prairies at Barn in the Bush near Inglis. It's the perfect escape for a fishing trip before hardwater season kicks in. The Herdsman House in Neubergthal is where the village cow herder lived c. 1876. This Mennonite street village and national historic site in south-central Manitoba takes you back in time. Restored to it's original, the handpainted floors are the original patterns painted by the women in the house.
Dine in farmhouse chic
These destination restaurants are definitely worth the day trip for a nibble of home-style food in charming country settings. The Lily Stone Cafe (formerly 'Ole Farmhouse Cafe) in Rosenort does all of its own rustic baking on-site and hosts an exquisite high tea every afternoon (reservation required) complete with dainties and finger sandwiches.
Farmhouse 50, a bustling bistro and cafe located in a handsome historic building, brings sophisticated tastes to Minnedosa's main street. Stop in for a latte or house-brewed iced tea and shop for jewelry and kids wear by Manitoban artisans.
If you're heading to Riding Mountain National Park via the historic East Gate Complex, you'll pass right by the Red Barn at Kelwood. Home to the perennial Harvest Sun Music Festival, the Red Barn also hosts plant swaps and a farmers market. The Mountain General Store sells local food stuffs and goods, while the tiny Farmer's Daughter cafe serves up fresh, wholesome dishes.
Pineridge Hollow, tucked away near Birds Hill Provincial Park, has been celebrating the people of the prairies for decades as a restaurant/boutique/event venue. More recently, its onsite Fall Fair that happens the last week of September has become the place for families to gather. Be sure to spend some time exploring the al fresco plaza shopping experience of the new The Village.
Explore a pumpkin patch
Kids always remember a visit to the pumpkin patch. It’s not just the cheery orange orbs that’ll put a smile on their faces but also the freedom to climb hay bales, explore barns and ride old farm machinery. Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin Patch just west of Portage La Prairie offers a u-pick pumpkin and gourd experience. They also offer an extensive roadside stand ($5 pumpkins, $2 gourds) if you don't have the time to tromp through their gardens. Schwabe Pumpkins near St. Andrews is a photo-worthy drive to explore the acreage. There’s no admission costs, but you won’t resist buying a pumpkin (or three). A Maze in Corn outside of St. Adolphe boasts a pumpkin barn, the perfect stop to find your Halloween companion. It also sells honey, edible and decorative squash.
Join the table at a fall supper
Harvest time on the prairies means Manitoba’s oldest culinary tradition comes alive: the fall supper. From mid-September to mid-November, rural churches and community halls open their doors and offer buffets of down-home cooking, served with a side of Manitoba’s famous hospitality. How does a person find a fall supper to attend? Join the Manitoba Fall Suppers Facebook page or visit Common Eating blog for an impressive list of up-to-date information. Or do it the old-school way: check for posters on community bulletin boards.
Visit a hobby farm
Hobby farms are a wonderful way to introduce kids to rural living because they go gaga over the animals. Aurora Farm, just five minutes south of St. Norbert near La Barriere Park, welcomes guests year-round on weekends (11 am-4 pm) to visit their goats, alpacas and chickens on a farm tour. Six Pines, just past the perimeter highway northwest of Winnipeg on Sturgeon Road, is Manitoba’s longest running petting farm, while Deer Meadow Farms near Birds Hill Provincial Park and Kismet Creek Farms south of Steinbach also offer fall tours to interact with farm animals.
About The Author
Hi, I'm Jillian, a marketer, communicator, traveller and Manitoba flag waver. Growing up in rural Manitoba during the '80s means I have a penchant for daytrips, maps (the paper kind), and prairie sunsets. I never tire of sharing stories about my home.