It's that wonderful time of the year when the sweaters come out, the boots come on and the air is crisp and cool. That's right, it's fall, the trendiest and most pumpkin-spiced fueled season of the year. It's also the time for corn mazes, fall suppers, hot chocolate and day trips from Winnipeg.
We love day trips and thought one through some of Manitoba's cute and quaint Francophone towns would be the perfect way to celebrate the season.
First is a stop in Winnipeg's French Quarter, St. Boniface, to fuel up for the day. Head to La Belle Baguette for lunch of croque monsieur, quiche or an assortment of fresh baked breads. Of course, you have to finish up with a maple, lemon or chocolate ganache tart or a chocolate eclair and then wash it down with a latte, cappuccino or hot chocolate. (I wouldn't be exaggerating at all if I were to say that was easily one of the best hot chocolates I've ever tasted.)
If it's sunny, be sure to enjoy their patio surrounded by leafy trees and the historic homes of the area. Once you're full, it wouldn't be remiss to take a short stroll through the neighbourhood--the Universite de St. Boniface campus is particularly lovely and close by--before heading back to the car.
Next head south to the town of St. Adolphe and to everyone's favourite fall destination, A Maze in Corn. (If it's not currently on your list of fall favourites, then trust us when we say it will be once you visit.) This family-friendly attraction boasts a winding corn maze, pumpkin barn, pony rides, hay rides, petting zoo, a hay bale climbing structure, and for the very adventurous, a zip line. Rubber boots for the corn maze are highly recommended. They also offer up a haunted forest close to Halloween that will scare the pantalons right off you.
Pro tip: the pumpkin barn is the perfect spot to get some truly insta-worthy fall photos of your kids (if you can get them to stand still).
In the winter, this innovative spot is also home to the world's largest snow maze so check back often for a variety of events. (Please note: as of publishing this post, several of the items listed above were limited or canceled due to weather. Please check their website for the latest info and we'll update this post once everything is back up and running.)
About 50 minutes from St. Adolphe is the cute little town of St. Joseph. Our first stop was at the Musee St. Joseph Museum for a step into the past. Spanning 19 acres with 24 buildings to visit, the museum is a reconstruction of a pioneer village including a school from the late 19th century, a blacksmith shop, post office, a general store and much more to explore. The collection features antique tractors and houses one of the largest collections of stationary engines in western Canada. Be sure to check out the Laurent Fillion camera collection to see how this ubiquitous tool has transformed from its earliest forms to what it is today in little over a century.
After working up an appetite sightseeing all afternoon, the next stop is St. Joseph's Fall Supper. Fall suppers are a long standing Manitoba tradition where communities, churches and various organizations come together to serve hearty home cooked food in a convivial atmosphere.It turns out attending a fall supper in a French community offers up some classic dishes like tourtiere (seriously, this was the best one I've ever tasted), served along side roast beef, pickled beets, hominy corn (hint: it's not really corn), and all kinds of sides.
And the dessert--oh my the desserts--no less than eight different kinds of pie from pumpkin to rhubarb, cheesecakes, puddings, jello, turtle pie and even bacon toffee proving that even a fall supper isn't immune to food trends. Not only was the food amazing but the atmosphere and people couldn't have been more friendly and welcoming. It's clear that a rural fall supper is both a social event and way of life. And at just $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 5-10 and free for those under 5, you won't find a better meal for a better deal.
While St. Joseph's has passed for this year, definitely plan to attend next year or check out this list for upcoming suppers happening this fall.
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