Once every four years, we are given the elusive gift of an entire extra day. You know how you always wish there were more hours in the day and the one thing you can never control is time? Well here it is, 24 extra hours to live your life. And even better, this year it falls on a Saturday. What are you going to do with this boon? Surely not the same old thing you do every Saturday? How about trying something you've never done before? Here are a few suggestions to make your leap day extra fun.
1. Get Steamy
If you haven't had the chance to check out Winnipeg's newest sauna offering at The Forks, we highly recommend you get there ASAP. Sauna Winnipeg features a changing area complete with wood stove and two cozy barrel-shaped saunas. Book a 90 minute session with friends to share in the gift of February 29.
2. Climb every tower
Want to test your physical prowess on a daring climb up an ice tower? We thought so. The three-sided tower offers varying degrees of difficulty in case your prowess isn't as up to snuff as you'd like. Take in an evening climb with floodlights to guide your way--check out their website before you go as conditions can force them to close once in a while.
3. Swoosh down the slopes
If you'd rather try your hand at a different winter sport, try out some downhill skiing. Manitoba offers up a few ski hills including Mystery Mountain Winter Park, located 22 km north of Thompson making this the province's most remote spot to get your swoosh on. The area offers up 18 ski runs, a half-pipe, a tobogganing area, and 25 kilometres of cross-country ski trails.
4. Chow down on steak tartare
If you're more of a well done ribeye kind of person, trying this French favourite can certainly be intimidating. But ask any foodie and they'll tell you that a well-done steak tartare is one of life's greatest pleasures. Visit Amsterdam Tea Room for their version that Tourism Winnipeg said is one of the top things you must eat in 2020. Be sure to top it off with a signature tea cocktail, because why not? It's leap day!
5. Go Vegan
If you want to go in the complete opposite direction of raw beef, then head to the newly opened Roughage Eatery. Plant-based eating is certainly all the rage and this West Broadway resto has stepped up to the task with everything from vegan nachos, pizza subs and mac and cheeze. Stop me if you've heard this one: How do you know if someone is a vegan? Don't worry--they'll tell you. Badumdum.
6. Challenge your mind
Another thing that's all the rage are escape rooms and The Real Escape is all set to test your problem solving skills with rooms like The Ruins, The Castle and the ominous sounding Abandoned Station.
7. And then challenge your body
If you're looking for something that challenges both the mind and the muscles, Activate Games feels like a combination of an escape room and an arcade, with challenges that not only require you to solve a good puzzle, but also climb a wall and shoot a decent hoop. There's no way you won't be out of breath after completing a few of these tasks.
8. Indulge in a treat
Winnipeg is no stranger to amazing bakeries, and Camille Bakery is a welcome addition to that scene. Their specialty is cronuts (a cross between a croissant and a dounut) in about a million flavours (give or take) like salted caramel, peanut butter and jam and tiramisu. Yum.
9. Hunt for northern lights
Did you know that late February and early March are actually the best times of year to see the northern lights? The clear cold clear evenings make for the best combination of conditions for the most spectacular light shows. Obviously, the further north you are the better. If you're in Churchill or anywhere else in Northern Manitoba, they can be pretty easy to spot. But if you're lucky, sometimes they can be seen as far south as Winnipeg. Download one of the numerous aurora apps available on your phone and head out into the night.
10. Take in a provincial park
Entrance to all Provincial Parks is free in February, so leap day is your last chance to take advantage of this awesome deal. Try hiking in Birds Hill, cross country skiing all over the Whiteshell--we love the trails around Falcon Trails Resort--or go and marvel at the frozen waters inside Pinawa Dam Provincial Park.