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

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Kick Off Canada 150 at Wawanesa Insurance Family New Year's Eve

We're ringing in the new year bigger than ever before. Wawanesa Insurance Family New Year's Eve promises to be a blast for everyone, young and old.

We've got two fireworks shows this year to kick off Canada 150! The shows are at 8 pm and midnight, and put on by award-winning local company Archangel Fireworks.

For all the details head over to and let us know if you're coming on Facebook!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

5 Things to do at The Forks This Holiday Season

There’s no doubt that December is a busy time – figuring out what to buy for loved ones, checking progress on your New Year’s resolutions, and getting accustomed to driving to and from work in the dark. On the bright side, the change of the season means there is an entirely new set of exciting things happening at The Forks!

1. Shopping local at The Forks Market

The Forks Holiday Gift Guide highlights the best gifts for Her, for Him, the kiddos, the foodies, the yogis, and The Common lovers. You can find every item in the guide in The Forks Market, so while you’re shopping, you can walk around with a glass of wine in hand on the first floor, be serenaded by the buskers, and stop in for a meal at the Food Hall. Yeah – that’s what we call shopping!

Check out Forks Trading Co. and Generation Green for a couple stops where you are guaranteed to find the perfect gift for the picky teenage fashionista or your Aunt who seems to have everything. They have a huge variety of goodies – many of which are made right here in Manitoba. #shoplocal this holiday season!

Still stuck? Head to The Common or The Forks Market Office to pick up The Forks Market Gift Cards. That way, they can pick up whatever they’d like from the shops in The Forks Market.

2. Lace up your skates

The on-land skating trails around The Forks are ready for evening skates with a date and a steaming hot chocolate or for an afternoon pick-up game with your buds. Be sure to skate the Historic Rail Bridge, the view with the twinkling lights overhead is... Well... You'll have to see it for yourself. We promise, that shot will be Instagram-worthy.

3. Get your craft on in The Forks Market Food Hall

One of the best parts of the holidays is getting the chance to spend time with the people who make you smile. The next best thing about the holidays is all the making that goes on – holiday baking, DIY presents, creative wrapping, and sparkly decorating. Now, you can combine those things by bringing your favourite people to The Common for our crafting workshop series. 

4. Keep the family on their feet during the relaxing season

Come down to The Forks Market on December 18th for some family-friendly programming, a holiday movie, and some other great surprises. The Common will be open and serving craft beer and wine for the big kids too! Stay tuned on The Forks Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates and more information.

5. Give 2016 a send-off to remember

To finish off a great year, and kick of #Canada150, The Forks will be hosting Wawanesa Insurance Family New Years Eve. There will be activities for the kids during the day, fireworks at 8:00 p.m. and midnight with concerts and DJs throughout the night, and of course – drinks at The Common all night.

For a full list of events at The Forks, visit