Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Lunch Skate Date



Last week, I gathered some friends together for a lunchtime skate date. I extended the invite online through the hashtag #lunchskatedate and other Internet-friend lunch-hour adventurers joined us! It was perfectly timed, as the Red River Mutual Trail had just re-opened after being closed due to an unusually warm January week. As an extra bonus, we were able to explore some of the brand new warming huts!


It was one of those perfectly sunny winter days in Winnipeg: blue skies, crisp air and blazing sunshine. It filled my heart to see so many people stepping away from their desks for fresh air, pals and frosty beers! Pro tip: if you live or work on the west side of downtown, you can access the Red River Mutual Trail from the Osborne Bridge.




Skating is one of those activities that you can do in a group and still go at your own pace. Its a great leisure winter activity for all. Slow and steady or fancy backward crosscuts, were all on the same ice together.


It felt so good to be out in the sun breathing in the fresh air. I often think of The Forks as our downtown active community hub. Its not that difficult to zip out to trade in your cubicle’s fluorescent lights for some sunshine on the Red River Mutual Trail.


We skated through the new warming hut "Open Borders" created by Joyce de Grauw and Paul van den Berg from Rotterdam, Netherlands.


The warming huts are great public art installations. Designers from around the world compete to have their designs built. Brilliantly staggered along the river, they pop up along the ice trail, making for great rest stops to explore and relax your skate legs.

Skating is one of the best "visiting activities." Its not too intense, and you can just glide along while carrying a conversation (and forget that its exercise!).


We capped off our skate with lunch at The Common. Nothing like an après skate with an ice-cold beer! The lunch possibilities are endless at The Forks: soup, burgers, sushi, curry, noodles; you name itits there. And theres always a new restaurant popping up.


It really is the best way to spend a winter lunch break. Everyone trotted back to their offices feeling lighter, energized and happier. That was actually super fun and super easy,reported one skater on his way back to work. I feel SO good,said another.


Why not beat those winter blahs and sluggish afternoons by gathering your co-workers, boss and downtown friends and zipping over to The Forks for a #lunchskatedate!

And, if standing on metal blades in the middle of a frozen river still scares you a bit, I have good news! The Forks is offering Suds + Buds skate lessons from 8 - 9 pm every Wednesday night in February hosted by moi! All levels are welcome. Ill work with you to build your confidence out on the ice so you can enjoy one of our citys greatest winter gifts! Life is too short NOT to try it. Come on, itll be fun!


Lindsay Somers is a Lifestyle Health Coach in Winnipeg. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter. All photos by Mark Reimer.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

5 Ways to Après Skate


The Red River Mutual Trail is coming along nicely, and the Warming Huts are taking their rightful places on Winnipeg's mightiest rivers. So obviously, this means we spend every extra moment we have skating down the trails with our parters, family members and closest friends. Whenever we get a message saying, "⛸️?," we know all we have to say is, "👌," and it's a date.

But what happens when your toes are starting to tingle in the all-too-familiar Winnipeg cold? We've put together some of our favourite things to do when it's time to head on in.


1. Grab a flight at The Common




Head to The Common after a couple laps around The Forks site via skate. Over half of the beers on tap are made by your favourite local brews. We recommend trying out Barn Hammer Brewing Co.'s Grandpa's Sweater.

2. Rewind at Riverstone Spa


A photo posted by CBC Manitoba (@cbcmanitoba) on


Warm up those cold, sore muscles with a massage at Riverstone Spa. There's nothing like  essential oils and a good massage to shake up your cold bones.


3. Get the kids' blood flowing at the Children's Museum






The best way to warm up after a skate with the kids is to go run around with them at the Children's Museum. 


4. Sip something warm at Espresso Junction


A photo posted by Kaya Glover (@kayaamaranth) on



Espresso Junction roasts all their coffee in the historical Johnston Terminal to serve you one of the richest varieties of coffee in the city. 


5. Treat yourself to diner at Sydney's


A photo posted by david sonnenschein (@dys167) on



You made it to the end of the Red River Mutual Trail, and you deserve a treat! Sydney's has some of the most delectable food in the city made by super talented chefs. We promise you'll have a hard time deciding what to choose.


Stay tuned to The Forks' Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on the Red River Mutual Trail.

Go gather your Skate Squad, and happy skating!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Never Be Cold Again Enjoying Winter Outdoors!



Happy New Year! Its January in Winnipeg, our most exotic month. With downtown skate trails, toboggan hills, and fine dining on a frozen river, The Forks has cultivated a bustling, active winter city. Im proud of us!

I spend a lot of time skating at The Forks, and when the Red River Mutual Trail opens (very soon!), I will begin skating to work. Now that is a hilarious, unique, and wonderful winter novelty in Winnipeg. Whether youre skating, tobaganning, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, walking or having dinner at RAW Almond, Ive got all the tips and tricks to keep you warm all winter long at The Forks.

I recently visited with Garret at Wilderness Supply to get the best advice on how to properly dress for winter, including layering, different materials, and the kind of socks that should be mandatory for every Winnipegger.

Use these as guidelines, depending on the activity you are planning, your personal preference, and the weather outside.


Here are the three main layers (tops and bottoms!):


The base layer: or as most people call them, long johns. These are a game changer. Your old, thin cotton long johns may need an update. Your base layer should be fairly tight and close fitting to the skin. If youre especially active, this layer also helps to wick moisture (sweat!) away from the skin. I prefer a synthetic or wool base layer. 

The mid-layer: the layer youll add for the coldest weather. This layer doesnt have to be too technical or specific. Lets be honest, its usually an old pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Think leisurewear for this layer.

The shell layer: this is also your wind protector, commonly known as your jacket and ski pants. Pants can be insulated (a bonus built-in mid-layer!) or just a nylon shell. When I cross country ski or do a more active sport, I usually leave the jacket at home and go for the thin nylon shell on top of my layers.

Head, hands, and feet: No one wants to end a romantic skate date because of cold feet! Wool socks are a Winnipeg winter must. I dont often recommend brand-specific items, but Smart Wool socks are the Cadillac of socks. I only need one layer; they are that good. One layer of socks is also more comfortable in my skatesnot as tight as multiple layers of socks. Im perfectly comfy and warm! I pretty much live in Smart Wool socks all winter. If you take away one thing from this, it is: invest in good socks.



Sporty toque, fashion toque, or hood, you can really play around with head fashion on the skate trail. As long as you cover your ears and forehead, youre good to go. On windy days, face covering is essential! Personally, I find scarves too cumbersome for activity. They get untied, and I feel like Im constantly having to adjust them, so Im all about the neck warmer. Again, I prefer wool; it aerates well (condensation when youre breathing into it) and doesnt stink if youre susceptible to sweating! I can pull it up and over my nose and ears, and it stays put. I love my neck warmer. Winter got 78% more enjoyable when I purchased it.

For hands, Im all mittens, all the time. Gloves are never warm enough for me. Down filled, waterproof mittens are pretty much the cats pyjamas. I also like the old elementary school trick of tucking your mitts into your jacket or one of your underlayers. Snow on the wrists is the worst!


So there you have it! Once youve figured out all your layers, winter is truly an invigorating time of year. So for all you winter haters’ — put on some layers, block that wind, and get out there. See you on the Red River Mutual Trail and in Arctic Glacier Winter Park!

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Lindsay Somers is an urban lifestyle health coach. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram