Header Photo: @hannahcaam
As snow swirls and twinkling lights reign supreme, if you haven’t already put up a Christmas tree, we know it’s on your mind.
Here’s our case for why you should go for real over fake and turn the search into an adventure:
1. You’ll make long-lasting family memories
With so many things to do and the hands-on interaction of finding a tree and bringing it home, your kids won’t soon forget this family tradition. Start a new tradition with your significant other, sip heart-warming drinks and move date night to the afternoon.
2. You’ll treasure the experience
Hot chocolate, hot cider, bonfires: what more could you ask for? Some tree farms even get visits from good ole’ Santa. After you find that perfect tree, a horse-drawn sleigh ride is in order.
3. You’ll snap the cutest pics
Tree farms make for perfect photo ops. The backdrop: a sea of evergreens and a wintery white wonderland. Throw some plaid on, and that scene is begging to be on your Instagram grid.
4. You’ll be basking in nostalgia
Transport yourself back to a simpler time and enjoy good holiday fun and family time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
5. You’ll want to stay forever just because of the smell
A forest chock-full of balsam, fir, spruce and pine? Arguably, all the best smells all in one place – sign us up! The best part of grabbing a tree of your own? Your house is going to smell like a forest for the rest of December.
Where should you go? Well, it depends on what you want.
Some farms offer so many activities, you can stretch your visit into a day trip. Some are closer to the city, while some are far enough from Winnipeg that you could turn the experience into a mini road trip. If you don't have a lot of time, we've sought out some alternatives that still offer a great time, with less effort.
Windrift Christmas Tree Farm - Tyndall
A sleigh ride down decorated Candy Cane Lane is in store after you choose from pre-cut trees available in Windrift’s chalet. If you’d like, you can also go with the choose-and-cut option. Later, warm your toes next to the cozy fire inside. Bonus: some of their proceeds go in support of The Dream Factory. Cash or cheque only.
Country Pines - Tyndall
On weekends in December, venture to this tree farm, located 20 minutes from the perimeter of Winnipeg. Nice and simple: choose your tree, cut it down and be on your way. Have extra time? Take in a “Walk and Talk” tour.
Timber Trails Tree Farm - Steinbach
At this tree farm, enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides, and if you’re lucky, you might even stop by at the same time as Santa. After you borrow a saw to chop down the tree you’ll be admiring for the rest of December, munch on homemade Christmas cookies and sip holiday hot chocolate. They’re located 8.5 miles from Steinbach and open until December 22.
CD Trees - Steinbach
Located 10km south of Steinbach, this tree farm isn’t too far out of the way, and it offers so many fun activities you’ll want to make it a day trip. Take a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh, sip on a plethora of warm-drink options, shop the indoor Christmas store, walk the forest AND get a pre-cut tree or use one of their saws to pick your own. Plus – it’s dog-friendly, so don’t leave the pupper at home. Accepts credit, debit and cash.
Hemminger’s Christmas Trees – Lac Du Bonnet/Pinawa
Travel ½ mile north of Old Pinawa Dam and walk through their forest to choose a Spruce, Balsam Fir or Scots Pine tree to take home. They have saws, you can get a tree bag for $3, and they even have free hot apple cider – yum! Accepts cash or cheque, prices range from $25-$40. After you snag a tree, explore the area and trek around Pinawa Dam Provincial Park.
Don’t have a lot of time? Try:
Head to the Winnipeg Scout Group’s annual tree sale, set up in River Heights. In the Corydon Community Centre’s parking lot, you’ll find many varieties including Manitoba Spruce, Fraser Fir, Scotch Pine and Balsam Fir. Plus, pick out a wreath to grace your front door and spice up your holiday décor.
Shelmerdine or Jensen’s Nursery and Garden - Winnipeg
Your favourite garden centres open in December to bring you the best of holiday greenery.
At Shelmerdine, visit the Secret Garden Café and sip an eggnog latte while you shop fresh greens to decorate your home with.
At Jensen’s, visit and snap a photo with Santa, pick up holiday decorations and find your tree. This holiday season, you can order online, and they’ll deliver a Christmas tree right to your front door!
Bonus: you can shop both centres’ boutique gift shops and check a few things off your Christmas lists.
Pete’s Trees – Wolseley, Winnipeg
This quaint Christmas tree pop-up shop on the corner of Chestnut and Westminster in Winnipeg offers the tree farm experience in the city. Nestle on hay bales around the bonfire and breathe in the smell of the forest, then choose a tree from a variety of options. If you live in Wolseley, take the family for a stroll and borrow their toboggan to tow your tree home in.
If you’re feeling truly adventurous: cut your own tree in the wilds of Manitoba.
The Manitoba Government offers Christmas tree cutting in designated areas. This route is sure to create special memories as it will involve trekking and searching for that perfect wild tree. The permit costs a mere $5, and you can pick it up from Sustainable Development’s head office.