Normally winter in Winnipeg is a bustling time when people of all varieties defy the cold in all sorts of spirited ways. This year, with most of our favourite activities shut down, it may be a little tricky to keep ourselves entertained in the ways we usually do. But whether you’re an adventurer, an artist, a partier or a homebody, we’ve got some ideas for your winter.
So you’re sporty. You can name a Jets player and know-how they keep score in curling. When skates became a hotter commodity than Gamestop stocks, you didn’t fret because you already owned some. Impressive!
Red River Skating Trail
Why not strap those skates on and scoot down to the Forks where our favourite skating trail is painted pink and full of life. With conditions always changing on our beloved rivers, make sure to check out the skating trail and park conditions before you go out.
The beauty of being landlocked means we have so much land in all directions to explore. Ah, the prairies! Stretch those legs and grab a real good walking stick because there are countless unique hiking trails to discover in Manitoba. And if you don’t feel like driving far, there are about a hundred all within the Winnipeg area. I know you sporty types are raring to get out there and adventure, but maybe you’re overwhelmed with the choice. We recommend the AllTrails app to help you get started. There’s a map function that shows you well, all the trails!
Did you get a degree by writing papers about your feelings? Do you own clothing that has been subjected to scissors and/or hot glue? Well, you must be an artsy type! You probably miss Festival du Voyageur about now, but don’t worry, there are other things you can do to celebrate creativity.
Virtual Paint Nite
It’s easy, all you need is a stream of Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting which you can find on Amazon Prime or Youtube, a friend or two, and any dang art supplies you have. Have someone run the video and share their screen, and everyone can follow along in video chat, gasping and groaning together at their unfixable mistakes. Even if you don’t own oil paints like Bob uses, you can try pencil crayons, acrylics, markers, anything you got. When you and your friends do a final reveal of your pieces, it’s fun seeing what everyone did with different supplies.
Build a New Life in the Snow
Winnipegger Vinora Bennett built a collection of fantastic snow bears [source: CBC] in her front yard this January. Why not take a page out of her book and try some snow building of your own? You could build a snow friend with a jaunty hat. Or a big comfy couch next to a fire pit! Or a loving snow wife, and snow children who actually respect you. You can build the snow life you always wished you had… Or a snow giraffe!
If you miss being in a room filled with people, boisterously sharing jokes and ideas, carelessly spraying each other with your particles – you’ve gotta be the social type. I know it’s been particularly hard for you during this little pandemmy. Try some of these fun ways to catch up with the people!
Game night has gotten way more high-tech, and there’s plenty of choices no matter how many friends you’ve gotten together. If there are 2 or more of you, try backyard.co (accessible through your browser) where they host online games like Scrabble, Cards Against Humanity, Doodle and many more. The cool thing about backyard.co is they embed video of all the players right into the play area, so you’re on the call and playing the game all on one site. Alternately, there’s always crowd favourite Jackbox (browser-accessible) which can be played by screen sharing the game screen with your pals, and participating on your phone. And don’t forget the highly meme-able Among Us (available on Android, iPhone, Steam, or the creator’s website directly) which is basically a murder-mystery on a spaceship. Among Us is great if you want an excuse to really stretch your wings and test how manipulative you’re able to be with your friends. Come on social-types, I know you have it in you.
You’re starved for human interaction, and there’s only one place you can go where you’re actually allowed to be with the public. So head on down to your neighbourhood Food Fare, Co-Op or Deluca’s and when it’s time to check out and the clerk politely asks how your day is going, you stare them deep in the eyes like you haven’t seen a living soul in years. Tell them exactly how your day is going, relieved that finally someone wants to know. And you ask them how their day is going, ask them to tell you everything. And as they bag your items, they bag your heart along with them, and you can ride that high until the next time you run out of unsweetened greek yogurt.
So that all sounds like a lot of doing, and you’re not much of a doer. You’d much prefer to eat your chips straight from a bag rather than pouring them into a bowl. And you have zero interest in picking up a pandemic hobby. Say no more, lazy types. I have just the thing for you this winter. You don’t even need to get off the couch.
Be a Couch Judge
Start with a reality TV show of your choice, one with a talent element. The Great Canadian Baking Show, Ru Paul’s Drag Race, or any of those shockingly specific ones like Blown Away or American BBQ Showdown. Now forget the fact that you don’t know where to find platform thigh-high boots in men’s sizes, or that you’ve never even been near a hot shop. You can sit back having spent no time or energy on these peoples’ passions, and you can judge them! Hard. Trust me it’s really fun and rewarding. You can say things like, “This croque-en-bouche really lacks the drama I was looking for,” or “I could get a better char on those ribs with my eyes closed.” This is an excellent way to mix up your TV watching experience, and to be a terrible person behind closed doors.
Shop Local Online
There are some dangers to shopping online, understood. There isn’t enough time between the walk to your wallet and keying in your credit card to decide whether you actually need a subscription box for cat toys. And it’s too easy to have half your paycheck end up in spooky Jeff Bezos’ pocket because of the pure convenience of it all. But we can all agree the thrill of expecting a package in the mail is tough to beat. So don’t stop shopping online, just try doing it locally! Check out The Locals Winnipeg and their huge selection of apparel, handicrafts and snacks. Or why not mosey on over to our very own Local Shop page and browse the artisans’ websites. It’s fun, ethical, and takes literally no work!