As winter winds down and the melt begins, you may find yourself itching for the season to actually arrive (look, all we're saying is that we may or may not still see some snowfall even after the first "official" day of spring). If you want spring but the weather isn't quite cooperating, here are 8 fun and fresh things you should do as the waiting game begins...

Shop an indoor farmers' market

With two of Manitoba's markets moving indoors for spring and winter, there's no longer a need to pine away for warmer days when it comes to shopping local products and fare. The next Downtown Farmers' Market happens March 28 at Cityplace, while the ever-popular St. Norbert Farmers' Market can be found every second Saturday under the on-site canopy.

Visit a greenhouse 

After several months of snow and ice, there's nothing quite like spending some time among the fresh smell of plants and greenery. Get your green fix at Shelmerdine Garden Centre in Winnipeg, Sunshine Greenhouse in Steinbach, or The Green Spot in Brandon. 

Attend a spring festival

Start welcoming spring by attending one of Manitoba's best spring festivals or events. Maple syrup and sugar shacks are in heavy supply at both the McCreary's Maple Syrup Festival (April 12 and 13) and the Sugaring Off Festival (April 6 and 7) in the quaint french community of St. Pierre-Jolys. If you want to make more of a splash into spring, head to Asessippi's Slush Cup (March 31) for your first official dip of the year. 

Break up with ice

Gimli, Manitoba is the best place in Manitoba to watch (and listen) as the ice breaks up on Lake Winnipeg. It's quite the spectacle on a warm spring day to hear the crackle and pops of the ice as it cracks along the surface. Don't leave Gimli without a stop into the New Iceland Heritage Museum, the Gimli Glider Exhibit and, of course, a few of the town's restaurants and shops.

Eat healthy

May the comfort foods of winter be a thing of the past (drive in food is still allowed, of course) and beckon in the new season with fresh, healthy flavours. Fruit smoothies and veggie wraps can be found at The Mighty Kiwi in Selkirk, while fermented foods of all types can be found at the brand new Boho Soul Market in Minnedosa. In Winnipeg, Verde Juice Bar is the best spot for all things fruity and fresh!

Head to the beach

While the beaches throughout the province are still covered in snow and ice, there's still somewhere you can go to get your beach volleyball on! The Beach Volleyball Centre (located at 2600 Wenzel St, Springfield) is a sandy oasis where you can join a league, rent the whole space out for a party, or simply check it out during drop-in hours. Did we mention it also has a fully licensed bar?

Create something new

Spring is a time of new beginnings. I always feel a bit more creative around this time of the year and there are plenty of workshops and classes to choose from. Join us on April 16 for some wine and painting at The Forks, or head to Tavern United on April 14 for an Easter Tulip Wreath Workshop. In Brandon, the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba is the place to go for classes on art forms such as pottery and surface decoration. Meanwhile, St. Andrew's Rectory National Historic Site is hosting a calligraphy workshop while the NorVA Centre in Flin Flon is offering 10 classes for kids during March Break. 

Get outside

And of course, the best way to beat the end-of-winter blues is by getting outside to breathe in the crisp, spring air. We recommend taking a day trip to spots like the Pinawa Dam, the Souris Swinging Bridge, or the town of Carman for a bite to eat from Syl's Drive Inn (open date: March 20).