With Valentine's Day right around the corner, we've been struck with Cupid's arrow and are compelled to spill the beans on some of Manitoba's lesser known romantic date ideas. While Winnipeg has been named as one of Canada's most romantic cities, we'd argue that the province as a whole is a great place to fall in love. Here are 10 original date ideas in Manitoba that will totally impress the special someone in your life...😍
1. Relax into the Ganban-yoku experience
While you've likely heard of Winnipeg's amazing Thermea, Ten Spa or Riverstone Spa, Pocca Poca is a fairly new spa on the relaxation scene. This Japanese spa will impress as it's the first of its kind in Winnipeg and provides a spa experience not commonly had on this side of the globe.
Pocca Poca focuses on Ganban-yoku, a popular form of thermal therapy in Japan that involves laying on smooth slab beds made up of rare, heated stone. If you're not convinced of the romance of the Ganban-yoku experience, consider that is has been compared to relaxing on the beach and produces a unique type of sweat that is silky, scent-free and acts as a natural lotion, leaving you and your partner smooth and glowing after the treatment.
Take advantage of the current Valentine's Day promotion and get a private Ganban-yoku experience for you and your significant other, along with a Hawaiian Flora Massage for two.
2. Make a chocolate delicacy
Instead of just giving the gift of chocolate to your sweetie, make it yourself! This creative workshop at Chocolatier Contance Popp will teach you how to craft your very own chocolate delicacy like a pro.
The next workshop is taking place on March 13 from 7 to 9 pm, with a focus on the art of basic molding and marshmallow making as you craft your very own gourmet chocolate Easter Egg. We recommend signing up early as the workshops tend to sell out fast.
Set in Winnipeg's French Quarter, the neighbourhood of St. Boniface is bursting with romantic restaurants to go to prior to the workshop.
3. Stay the night in a Micro-Cube
While this date will have to wait until summer (although the equally charming oTENTiks are open all winter long), there's something super cute and unique about staying in this strange, cubic structure in the middle of Riding Mountain National Park.
Unlike traditional camping, the Micro-Cube is ideal for those who just want to show up and relax. While the large windows provide that feeling of really being immersed on nature, the townsite is only a jaunt away for when you want to sip wine at an Italian restaurant or pick up a sweet treat for your loved one.
Reservations are currently open for Riding Mountain National Park, so don't wait to book your night in the Micro Cube.
4. Combine skating with a Journey to Churchill
For a cute day date idea, head to Assiniboine Park for a morning skate on the picturesque duck pond and the Assiniboine Forest trails. Chances are that you've already gone for a date or two on the amazing Red River Mutual Trail at the Forks, so this is a good way to explore a new area via skate.
Afterward, head to the Park Cafe for an amazing lunch (seriously, the food here is good) and get ready for an afternoon at the zoo. While most people put the Assiniboine Park Zoo on their to-do list for the summer, the animals are actually much more active in the colder months. No visit to the zoo would be complete without a stop into the Journey to Churchill tunnel exhibit, where you will be mesmerized by polar bears swimming above.
5. Look to the stars at Oak Hammock Marsh
Maybe it's just me, but there's just something so romantic about the cosmos. If your significant other loves learning about space and the stars above us, then an Astronomy Night at Oak Hammock Marsh is the ideal date night for you.
The next Astronomy Night is happening on February 22 and puts a spin on usual star gazing by teaching you the skills and techniques of sketching the night sky, all supplies included. On March 15, Astronomy Night will focus on identifying and learning the stories behind the 88 recognized constellations in our night sky.
6. Take off on a roadside attraction road trip
If there's one way to really get to know your significant other, it's on a road trip. Choose a day and hit the open road to find as many Manitoba roadside attractions as you can. Take a break half way through the day and set up a picnic somewhere in rural Manitoba. There are plenty of parks in small towns to discover, it's just a matter of choosing one to settle into!
Use the timer on your camera to capture the two of you in front of every statue as a token to the outing. Who knows? Maybe one day you'll be showing your grand kids the photos from the day you and grandpa (or grandma) really fell in love.
Start planning your roadside attraction roadtrip with our handy list of some of the must-see statues in Manitoba.
7. Create your own signature scent
While the search for the human pheromone has been dismissed by the scientific community, there is still something inevitably attractive about scent. Wolseley's La Parfumerie offers a custom perfume blending session.
Start with finding out your natural scent and discovering your preferences with over 200 perfumes and essential oils. It is intimate and interesting to learn about your SO's own scent palette.
By the end of the session, you will take home your very own signature scent.
8. Go retro in Lockport
For those yearning for the good ol' days of the 50's and 60's, Lockport is the ideal destination for a retro date. If you really want to impress, rent a vintage car and pick up your date for a roadtrip out to the Interlake.
Once in Lockport, enjoy a lunch at the fabulous (and equally retro) Half Moon Diner or Skinners before taking a stroll along the Lockport Provincial Heritage Park. Skinners also has an arcade, which really completes the retro theme of the date!
9. Take a ride on the Prairie Dog Central
With images of weepy lovers bidding farewell at the train station on the mind, a ride on the vintage Prairie Dog Central may be just the trick for infusing a bit of romance into your date.
The train starts back up the season in May, with themed events like the Great Horse Train Robbery, a re-enactment of a good ol' fashioned train robbery, happening throughout the summer. The striking interior of the train includes five coaches with original mahogany wood paneling and slider windows that offer great views of the passing scenery. The coach worker will occasionally serenade passengers, so be prepared to sing along!
The 45 minute ride will bring you to the rural community of Grosse Isle, where you can enjoy a picnic or stroll along the heritage houses and vendor stalls.
10. Drive for pizza and a petting zoo
This is another one that must wait until summer, but trust me, it's so worth it!
Integrity Foods is a small family-owned farm, located 35 minutes north of Gimli in the little community of Riverton. Here, you will find a unique culinary experience on every Friday and Saturday night throughout the summer.
Bring your beau to pizza night for wood-fired pizza (cooked in a large outdoor oven) made with garden-fresh produce. For those who like a DIY-approach, there is also an option to browse the garden to select your own pizza toppings.
There are plenty of tables scattered throughout the property, with blankets available if a picnic is more your style. Part outdoor restaurant, part petting zoo, much of the appeal of this farm is the company: roosters cock-a-doodle-do, kittens mewl and piglets play alongside diners. In other words, if your significant other is an animal AND pizza lover, this date combines the best of both worlds.