February 27, 2020

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Winnipeg Free Press

ABOVE THE FOLD

Love the one you're with

Heartfelt ways to celebrate Valentine's Day, whether you're flying solo or part of a pair

Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, which means it’s not only a day to celebrate love in all forms, but it also kicks off a long weekend, thanks to Louis Riel Day on Monday.

No matter what the status of your current relationship is, Winnipeg is full of romantic — and budget-friendly — ways to celebrate V-day. Here are five ideas from the Free Press for activities that are sure to have you falling in love... whether that’s with someone else, yourself or the city itself.

Get in touch with nature at Assiniboine Forest

A solo stroll through Assiniboine Forest is a great way to get some ‘me time’ on Valentine’s Day. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files)

A solo stroll through Assiniboine Forest is a great way to get some ‘me time’ on Valentine’s Day. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Winnipeg has a lot of parks, but it also has something really special: a forest within city limits.

Assiniboine Forest, located at 55 Pavilion Cres., between Chalfont Avenue and Shaftesbury Boulevard, features the ecological diversity of four different habitats: forest, prairie, pond and marsh. There are multiple trails to explore and an abundance of stunning wildlife roams the forest in every season.

The forest was preserved as a municipal nature park in 1973, shortly after the Town of Tuxedo joined the City of Winnipeg. Today it is one of Canada’s largest urban nature parks.

If you’re dreaming of sunny summer days spent outdoors, Assiniboine Forest is sure to make you fall in love with all that the winter season has to offer. Best of all, admission is completely free.

Bond over board games at Across the Board

Enjoying a board game with your Valentine — or two or three other couples — is a great way to get in some fun time together. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Enjoying a board game with your Valentine — or two or three other couples — is a great way to get in some fun time together. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press files)

You might think board games and romance have nothing in common, but you’d be mistaken.

In fact, there are a plethora of board games that are perfect for getting to know your special someone better, and you can play them all — while wining and dining to your heart’s content — at Across the Board Game Café.

The full-service restaurant is home to a collection of more than 1,500 board games; you can play as many as you want for just $6 per guest.

If you’re not sure where to start, try your hand at Monopoly (to determine financial compatibility), Clue (to determine your partner’s investigative ability), Cards Against Humanity (to determine general creativity) and Fog of Love (to facilitate general bonding… or instigate a dramatic breakup).

Across the Board is located at 211 Bannatyne Ave. Reservations can be made at acrosstheboard.com or by calling 204-691-3422.

Dance your heart out at Sexual du Voyageur

The ninth annual Sexual du Voyageur is back and it’s the perfect place to dance your heart out to famous romantic tunes. Red Moon Road singer Sheena Rattai will be performing live covers of the best love songs of all time, while DJ Hunnicutt and DJ Kilusan will keep the dance floor hopping.

Sexual du Voyageur takes place Friday at 9 p.m. at the Good Will Social Club, 625 Portage Ave. Admission is $10 at the door. The event is 18-plus.

Ice skating in the heart of the Exchange District

The small rink at Old Market Square has been decorated with lights so you can skate all night. (Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press files)

The small rink at Old Market Square has been decorated with lights so you can skate all night. (Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press files)

With the Red River Mutual Trail at The Forks out of commission for the season, owing to high water levels and uneven freezing, the rink at Old Market Square in the Exchange District is ready and waiting to become your go-to place to ice skate.

Located directly in front of the Cube, the rink is decorated in beautiful lights that keep its small but mighty rink illuminated all night long. The ice even features a curling circle for curling enthusiasts (sorry, hockey fans, no pucks allowed).

Netflix and chill

Gillian Anderson plays sex therapist Jean Milburn in the Netflix series Sex Education. (Netflix)

Gillian Anderson plays sex therapist Jean Milburn in the Netflix series Sex Education. (Netflix)

If going out isn’t your style — or you have no one to celebrate with — there are still plenty of ways to partake in Valentine’s Day right from the comfort of your couch, thanks to streaming services like Netflix.

Whether your plan is to literally relax and watch movies or "chill" in a more euphemistic way, the platform curates its own list of romantic films based on your viewing habits, so you’re sure to find some good flicks to watch.

Classics of the ‘90s such as Titanic, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’ Diary are all available to stream, but if you’re looking for something more contemporary, try the Netflix original series Sex Education.

The show touches on every possible element of human sexuality in entertaining and informative ways, through the high school experience of Otis (Asa Butterfield) and his sex-therapist mom (Gillian Anderson). With a diverse cast and outstanding representation of the spectrum of sexuality, Sex Education is quite possibly the best sex-ed class you’ll ever get… and a perfect end to a perfect Valentine’s Day.

Frances.Koncan@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @franceskoncan

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