Thursday, 25 May 2017

7 Ways to Relive Your Childhood at The Forks

There’s one thing all of us ‘90s babies have in common – if you grew up in Winnipeg, you probably have memories of spending time at The Forks. Remember being covered in sticky cinnamon sugar after pouring the leftovers from the donut bag into your mouth? Sweet, sweet times.

All the fun doesn’t have to be over! Grab your friends – and hey, their kids too if they have ‘em – and head to The Forks this weekend to experience your childhood all over again.

1. Find that long-lost Beanie Baby at Kite and Kaboodle

The Johnston Terminal’s second floor is home to one of the coolest toy stores in the city, where every square inch of Kite and Kaboodle’s shelves are packed with games, books, plush animals, action figures, and whozits and whatzits galore. Your kid self would go nuts if they knew you could get toys whenever you want now. Buy something for your nephew’s birthday or treat yourself – whatever it is, it’ll be awesome.

2. Eat a Skinner’s hot dog 

Nothing says nostalgia like a crisp, juicy Skinner’s foot-long hot dog from The Forks Market. Your mom might’ve made you get a regular-sized one back in the day, but now that you’re a grown adult, you can handle the real size. Probably.

3. The Common: the new lemonade stand

Trade memories of mixing all the Kool-Aid flavours together and making your friends to drink it for trying the best of craft beers and wines at The Common instead. Those double-dog-dares of days gone by have built up your now-sophisticated taste buds to appreciate these homegrown adult drinks. Try a flight of four locally crafted beers or three artisan wines – these will definitely go down easier.

4. Mini Donut Factory: Need we say more?

We probably don’t even have to say anything about this one – as soon as you enter The Forks Market, your nose immediately leads you to the mini donuts. It knows the way. When you were a kid, you probably begged your parents to let you hold the crinkly white paper bag on the drive home so you could secretly eat more than your share before your little sister realized it. You didn’t care that they were so fresh that they were too hot for your little fingers to hold. It’s all about those sweet, melt-in-your-mouth donuts. Mmmm.

5. Rediscover and explore at the Children’s Museum

It’s all in the title! Bring your little cousins or youngins of your own to the Children’s Museum to explore, learn, and feel awesome when they pretend to be the conductor of their very own train. (Right? You totally did that too.) When they’re excited, you get excited too, and you remember how it feels to learn things for the first time when you see it through their eyes.

6. Act like a kid in a candy store at Sugar Mountain

A post shared by Sugar Mountain 🍭🍬🍫 (@sugarmountainwpg) on

Did your mother fear this place like mine did after she let me get the giant Pixi Stick? Maybe you can handle your sugar better now, maybe (like me) you still get hyper, but Sugar Mountain was the store of your dreams as a kid. Now you can try some more adventurous candies or still pick your tried-and-true favourites – but try to make them last longer than the ride home this time.

7. Climb up the Market Tower

When you’re so small, it’s hard to imagine being able to see the whole city at once – which is why The Forks Market tower is so awesome. Take in the views of the rivers, the landmarks, and the wonderful place you call home. If you’re feeling extra competitive, see which of your friends can run up the six storeys the fastest – last place buys mini donuts!

by Diana Chabai, The Forks Marketing + Communications Intern. Diana's favourite way to relive the '90s is to re-create *NSYNC's "Bye Bye Bye" music video dance moves in her basement. 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Active Lifestyles: bike ride + lady lunch at The Forks

Eating and drinking with friends is no new thing. Its the most common way many of us connect with others. But, if youre friends with me, Im always sneaking in a little activity into our hangout.

The new warm spring weather inspired me to invite some friends for a bike riding lady lunch date. I love grown up bike riding parties. You feel like a kid again, going places with your own two feet before you had a drivers licence.

Faster than walking, slower than driving, riding a bike is a perfect pace to take in the sights, sunshine and fresh air. Its pretty magical to pedal to your destination - just so leisurely! Not sure how to get to The Forks on a bike path? Find your bike route to The Forks here.

The Forks Market and The Common have transformed "food court" eating. Bringing everyone together, it is the casual downtown destination for everyone. The craft beer, curated wines and fresh food choices are endless. No matter what youre in the mood for - they have it.

I love rethinking how we spend time with people we care about, there are many ways to build activity into our socializing time. Riding your bike to The Forks with pals is such an easy and enjoyable way to hang out. It gives you more time to connect AND get a little movement in. So, next time, why not arrange a grown up playdate bike ride to The Forks for lunch? Its kind of the best day ever.

Lindsay Somers is a lifestyle health coach. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Photos by James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

4 Treats You Have to Try at Neon Cone This Summer

Warm sunny days like today are perfect reminders that summer is just around the corner, and one of our favourite ways to celebrate that as often as possible is to swing by Neon Cone, grab a couple of scoops, and chill on the patio.

Although you’ve probably been there for rum raisin or tiger tiger before, the shop – which has been a family-run staple at The Forks for more than twenty years – has so much more to offer than just the traditional standbys. They gave us the inside scoop (har-de-har) on what's brand new, and what you absolutely have to try.

1. Ice cream made in-house, at The Forks

Ice cream is a tricky and delicious science. There's a delicate balancing act between the cream and the rest of the ingredients, that can make or break the flavour or texture. Neon Cone has spent the winter months researching ice cream trends (could there be a worse job?!) perfecting their recipe, sourcing local ingredients, and concocting a line-up of outstandingly delicious flavours that are truly Manitoban. 

With the advice and guidance of a real, Italian gelato specialist, they've also been making their own gelato in the shop for the past few years. 

Featured above: maple whisky butter pecan. It's ok, we're drooling too. 

2. Ice cream flights 

Because you know you're going to want to taste them ALL, this helps eliminate the decision making process. Flights will feature four made-in-house flavours. We got to try a few of them, and haven't stopped thinking about them since. The flight on the left includes all house-made gelato flavours: (from top) dark chocolate, raspberry, mango, and lemon. On the right, homemade ice cream: local honey + lavender, espresso flake, strawberry rhubarb crumble, and carrot cake. Other flavours you might spot in the freezer this summer: Manitoba rooibos tea + blueberry as well as London fog (Earl grey tea + vanilla) with teas provided by local tea shop, Cornelia BeanYum.

3. Cookie Girl ice cream sandwiches

These aren’t the freezer-burned ice cream sandwiches that stuck to the paper you knew as a kid – this is the highly upgraded and doubly delicious version. Neon Cone has partnered with local baker Cookie Girl for a build-your-own ice cream sandwich that will make your sweet tooth swoon. Choose from cookie flavours like funfetti, peanut butter cup, or salted caramel and fill 'em with an ice cream like vanilla, chocolate, or hey, even cookie dough. They keep the ice cream in an extra-cold freezer so it's less prone leak out the sides on that first highly-anticipated bite. Genius.

For another delicious pairing, look for the Tall Grass Prairie Bread Co. brownies in Neon Cone's brownie sundaes this summer!

4. Rotating tap at Fro-Gurts

The family who owns Neon Cone also owns its frozen-yogurt counterpart, Fro-Gurts. While they always offer a selection of your favourite flavours, they also have a rotating seasonal tap – they featured pumpkin pie and gingerbread this winter. Coming up in May: juicy and refreshing blood orange.

Is your mouth watering yet? Neon Cone updates their Instagram account with photos of their newest flavours and specials. Check it out so you don’t miss a minute of the sprinkle-coated action!

by Diana Chabai, The Forks Marketing + Communications Intern. Diana's favourite ice cream flavour is usually mint chocolate chip, but Neon Cone's strawberry rhubarb crumble might be the new winner.