September 25, 2018

Winnipeg
13° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Planning for the sunny days ahead

A list of things to do before the cold weather sets in

Sometimes the advent of September can feel like the end of summer, even for those us whose school days are long behind us. But Labour Day doesn’t have to signal the demise of sunny days and leisurely activities.

The Free Press Take Five offers a quintet of suggestions for ways to get outside and milk the most out of the remaining season.

Splash Dash River Tours

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Sometimes the advent of September can feel like the end of summer, even for those us whose school days are long behind us. But Labour Day doesn’t have to signal the demise of sunny days and leisurely activities.

The Free Press Take Five offers a quintet of suggestions for ways to get outside and milk the most out of the remaining season.

 

Splash Dash River Tours

The river taxi season winds up at the end of August, but you can take advantage of the Splash Dash guided river tours until the Thanksgiving long weekend.

A Splash Dash boat makes its way around The Forks harbour. The guided river tours run from noon to sunset until the Thanksgiving long weekend. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files)

A Splash Dash boat makes its way around The Forks harbour. The guided river tours run from noon to sunset until the Thanksgiving long weekend. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Running from noon until sunset, these scenic 30-minute tours leave from The Forks harbour seven days a week and take passengers on an informative tour of the downtown-area waterways — and they might actually be even more scenic as the fall colours start to emerge.

Boat captains provide commentary and historical information on points of interest along the way. Seeing familiar sights from a whole new vantage can make it feel like you’re in a different city, making a half-hour tour seem like a mini-holiday.

Tickets — $11.50 for adults and $9.50 for students/seniors — are available at the Splash Dash kiosk at The Forks harbour. For more information, call 204-783-6633.

 

Outdoor Markets

We’re on our way to decorative gourd season, but you can still pick up fresh produce — everything from carrots and cauliflower to kale and kohlrabi — at a local farmers market.

You can still pick up fresh produce — everything from carrots and cauliflower to kale and kohlrabi — at a local farmers market. (Wayne Glowacki / Winnipeg Free Press files)

You can still pick up fresh produce — everything from carrots and cauliflower to kale and kohlrabi — at a local farmers market. (Wayne Glowacki / Winnipeg Free Press files)

St. Norbert’s Wednesday market (3514 Pembina Hwy.) runs to Sept. 26; the Saturday market to Oct. 6.

The weekly South Osborne Farmers Market at Lord Roberts Community Centre (725 Kylemore Ave.) goes to Sept. 26; the outdoor Downtown Farmers Market at Manitoba Hydro Plaza on Thursdays runs to Sept. 27.

Of course, markets aren’t just about fruits and veggies. The Alleyways Market in the Exchange takes place Friday on Elgin Avenue between Lily and Bertha streets (behind the Centennial Concert Hall) from 4 to 10 p.m., featuring 50 makers and foodies, including Nonsuch Brewing, Aschenti farm-to-bar chocolate, Leda & Spark jewelry, Beyond Flowers, Kool Skool Bus Ice Cream, Sand Stone Style concrete homewares and much more. See alleywaysmarket.ca for details.

 

Outdoor Trails

Cooler days are a great time to get out an enjoy Manitoba’s many trails, whether it’s for hiking, biking, riding or just enjoying nature. Here are a couple of suggestions:

The Brokenhead Wetland Interpretive Trail features 1½ kilometres of cedar boardwalk. (Jill Wilson/ Winnipeg Free Press)

The Brokenhead Wetland Interpretive Trail features 1½ kilometres of cedar boardwalk. (Jill Wilson/ Winnipeg Free Press)

Brokenhead Wetland Interpretive Trail: This self-guided nature trail features 1½ kilometres of cedar boardwalk that meanders through a balsam fir forest, a white cedar bog and a rare type of peatland known as a calcareous fen. Informative signs (in English and Ojibway) along the path point out notable trees and plants, and explain their importance to Indigenous culture.

Located just north of Brokenhead Ojibway Nation along Highway 59 near Scanterbury, the trail is adjacent to the Brokenhead Wetland Ecological Reserve, where you can find 28 of Manitoba’s native orchid species, eight species of carnivorous plants and many other rare plants. It’s a relaxing walk (very flat) through a unique and beautiful ecosystem.

Horseback River Trails: Located in Otterburne (25 minutes south of Winnipeg on Highway 59), Horseback River Trails provides an hour-long ride on Spirit, Legend, Oakley or Black, down varying routes that may go down forested trails, along riverbanks, through meadows or down country lanes. No experience is necessary.

Call Lisa Mcleod at 204-392-2458 to book a ride. Three days’ notice is preferred; the $30 trail rides run Monday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, see horsebackrivertrails.com.

 

Rooftop patios

There are still some opportunities to soak up the late-summer sun high above the streets before it’s jacket-and-scarf weather.

Every Wednesday in September, the Met rooftop at 281 Donald St. features the Live at 5 Rooftop Patio Series, with free musical entertainment from 5 to 8 p.m. (Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Every Wednesday in September, the Met rooftop at 281 Donald St. features the Live at 5 Rooftop Patio Series, with free musical entertainment from 5 to 8 p.m. (Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Whether it’s an Aperol spritz with a view of the historic buildings of the Exchange at Forth’s tiny patio or wining and dining under the strings of lights at Stella’s Pembina Avenue location, there’s an al fresco option for every taste.

Enjoy a pint and the boisterous sport-bar vibe at the downtown Tavern United, or the more muted atmosphere and craft cocktails — chamomile-infused Canadian Club, anyone? — at the Roost on Corydon.

Every Wednesday in September, the Met rooftop at 281 Donald St. features the Live at 5 Rooftop Patio Series, with free musical entertainment from 5 to 8 p.m. This week's performer is jazz vocalist Nadia Douglas; Sept. 12 is pop/cover band 2ManBand; Sept. 19 features classic country act the Russell Lee Band; Sept. 26 is country cover band Bluestem. Food and drinks are available.

 

The Poutine Cup

Yes, it’s true, Le Burger Week has not even come to a close yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning your next greasy, delicious indulgence. This year’s annual Poutine Cup takes place Sept. 13 at Fort Gibraltar.

At the Poutine Cup, local restaurants will compete for tasters’ votes. (Supplied)

At the Poutine Cup, local restaurants will compete for tasters’ votes. (Supplied)

Ten local restaurants (the lineup of participants has yet to be announced) will set up outdoor stations around the historic site in St. Boniface and dish out their twisted takes on the beloved Canadian concoction traditionally made with french fries, gravy and cheese curds. Past years’ events have featured popular poutines with bison, prime rib and pickerel.

Doors at the Fort at 866 St. Joseph St. open at 5:30 p.m., service begins at 6 p.m. Winners will be announced around 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 at wfp.to/poutinecup; they include three drink samples and all-you-can-eat poutine.

 

jill.wilson@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @dedaumier

Jill Wilson

Jill Wilson
Senior copy editor

Jill Wilson writes about culture and the culinary arts for the Arts & Life section.

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